Two abbreviations that are easy to confuse
On February 26, 2018 | 0 Comments | Grammar tips |

Do you know the difference between e.g. and i.e.? If your answer is no, or that you think you do but you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Here’s a quick refresher on how to use them correctly.

E.g. means for example:

  • There are many things to do on this island, e.g., snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving. (CORRECT)
  •  There are many things to do on this island, for example, snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving. (CORRECT)
  •  I have many friends who love grammar as much as I do, e.g., Gloria, Alison, and Peggy. (CORRECT)
  •  I have many friends who love grammar as much as I do, for example, Gloria, Alison, and Peggy. (CORRECT)

I.e. means that is:

  • Kathy’s three favorite hobbies, i.e., snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving, can all be done on this island. (CORRECT)
  •  Kathy’s three favorite hobbies, that is, snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving, can all be done on this island. (CORRECT)
  •  The place Gloria calls her second home, i.e., her office, is in Oakland. (CORRECT)
  •  The place Gloria calls her second home, that is, her office, is in Oakland. (CORRECT)

When I hear people get tripped up, it’s almost always by using i.e. when they should be using e.g., and rarely the other way around. For example:

  •  The dessert menu was full of yummy options, i.e., chocolate cake and pudding.(INCORRECT)
  •  The dessert menu was full of yummy options, e.g., chocolate cake and pudding. (CORRECT)
  •  She gave us a long list of color choices, i.e., pink, yellow, and blue. (INCORRECT)
  •  She gave us a long list of color choices, e.g., pink, yellow, and blue. (CORRECT)

If you’re still confused, use this trick: e.g. looks like egg, and egg sounds like the beginning of example. That should help!

-Maria

 

This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2018 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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