E.g. vs. I.e. – How To Distinguish These Abbreviations

21.08.23 Commonly confused words Time to read: 5min

How do you like this article?

0 Reviews


eg-vs-ig-01

When writing an academic paper, it is common to encounter commonly confused words. This can have an impact on the quality of your paper, as precision and clarity in language are crucial, especially, in academic writing to effectively convey your arguments. For instance, words such as “e.g.” and “i.e.” can be easily mixed up due to their similar spelling, leading to incorrect usage. In this article, you will gain an understanding of the differences between “e.g.” and “i.e.” and how to use them correctly.

Definition of “e.g. vs. i.e.”

“E.g.” and “i.e.” are both Latin abbreviations that respectively translate to “for example” and “in other words”. “E.g.” is used to introduce a non-exhaustive list of examples, while “i.e.” is used to provide further clarification or rephrase something differently.

E.g.

… is an abbreviation that comes from the Latin term “exempli gratia” which translates to “for example”.

I.e.

… is an abbreviation that comes from the Latin phrase “id est” which translates to “in other words” or “that is”.

It is important to focus on the surrounding context to distinguish between the two words. To remember the difference, you can think of “e.g.” as “example given” and of “i.e.” as “in essence”. You can link the abbreviations to their meanings.

Using the word “e.g.”

The word “e.g.” is a Latin abbreviation meaning “for example”. The term is typically followed by examples that illustrate or clarify a statement. Note that there is always a comma after “e.g.”.

“E.g.” as an abbreviation

A non-exhaustive list of examples that explain or provide instances of the statement made in a sentence and typically follows “e.g.”.

Examples

  • I enjoy outdoor activities, e.g., hiking, swimming, and biking.
  • She has a collection of vintage items, e.g., old coins, antique jewellery, and retro posters.
  • The store sells a variety of fruits, e.g., apples, oranges, and bananas.

Tip for using “e.g.” correctly

Synonyms of the word “e.g.” can help remember how to use it in a sentence more efficiently. In the following, there will be four synonyms illustrating the meaning of “e.g.” in a sentence.

Synonyms Examples
For instance I enjoy various types of music, e.g., classical, jazz, and rock.
I enjoy various types of music, for instance, classical, jazz, and rock.
Including The menu offers a range of options, e.g., vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free dishes.
The menu offers a range of options, including vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free dishes.
Like He prefers bright colors, e.g., red, yellow, and orange.
He prefers bright colors, like red, yellow, and orange.
Such as She has a variety of hobbies, e.g., painting, cooking, and playing guitar.
She has a variety of hobbies, such as painting, cooking, and playing guitar.

Note: Always place a comma after “e.g.”.

Using the word “i.e.”

The word “i.e.” is a Latin abbreviation meaning “in other words.” The term is typically used to clarify or provide further information about something that has been mentioned. There’s always a comma after “i.e.”.

“I.e.” as an abbreviation

“I.e.” functions grammatically as an abbreviation and is used to explain something more thoroughly that has been stated before. It’s commonly used to introduce examples or specify the meaning of a term or phrase.

Examples

  • I love citrus fruits, i.e., oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
  • She has a fear of arachnids, i.e., spiders.
  • The company specializes in providing IT services, i.e., cybersecurity.

Tip for using “i.e.” correctly

Using synonyms can help distinguish between the meaning of “e.g.” and “i.e.”. There will be four synonyms of “i.e.” stated in the following table, with an example sentence for each.

Synonyms Examples
In other words The assignment is due tomorrow, i.e., by the end of the day.
The assignment is due tomorrow, in other words, by the end of the day.
Namely The team consists of three individuals, i.e., John, Sarah, and Alex.
The team consists of three individuals, namely, John, Sarah, and Alex.
That is She has a passion for outdoor activities, i.e., hiking, camping, and kayaking.
She has a passion for outdoor activities, that is, hiking, camping, and kayaking.
To be specific There are three primary colors, i.e., red, blue, and yellow.
There are three primary colors, to be specific, red, blue, and yellow.

Note: Always place a comma after “i.e.”.

Test yourself!

Practice sheet

To test your ability to differentiate between “e.g.” and “i.e.”, complete the 10 sentences by filling in the blank spaces. Afterward, refer to the second tab for the correct answers to confirm your comprehension.

  1. She enjoys playing musical instruments, _____, the piano and the guitar.
  2. The company offers a variety of payment methods, _____, credit card, and PayPal.
  3. The zoo is home to various species of animals, _____, lions, elephants, and giraffes.
  4. The exhibition showcases artwork from artistic movements, _____, Impressionism, and Cubism.
  5. The professor teaches various subjects, _____, mathematics, physics, and chemistry.
  6. The restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine, _____, pasta, pizza, and risotto.
  7. The museum displays artefacts from historical periods, _____, Ancient Egypt, and the Middle Ages.
  8. The library has a wide selection of books, _____, fiction, non-fiction, and biographies.
  9. The conference will feature speakers from various fields, _____, medicine, technology, and finance.
  10. The city offers a range of recreational activities, _____, hiking, swimming, and cycling.
  1. She enjoys playing musical instruments, i.e., the piano and the guitar.
  2. The company offers a variety of payment methods, e.g., credit card, and PayPal.
  3. The zoo is home to various species of animals, i.e., lions, elephants, and giraffes.
  4. The exhibition showcases artwork from artistic movements, e.g., Impressionism, and Cubism.
  5. The professor teaches various subjects, i.e., mathematics, physics, and chemistry.
  6. The restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine, e.g., pasta, pizza, and risotto.
  7. The museum displays artefacts from historical periods, e.g., Ancient Egypt, and the Middle Ages.
  8. The library has a wide selection of books, e.g., fiction, non-fiction, and biographies.
  9. The conference will feature speakers from various fields, e.g., medicine, technology, and finance.
  10. The city offers a range of recreational activities, e.g., hiking, swimming, and cycling.

FAQs

Use “e.g.” to introduce examples and “i.e.” to provide details or restate something in different words.

The abbreviation for “for example” is “e.g.”.

To remember the difference between “e.g.” and “i.e.”, you can use the following mnemonic devices:

  • You can think of “e.g.” as short for “example given”.
  • To remember “i.e.”, you can think of the abbreviation as “in essence” or “in explanation”.
  • “She enjoys playing musical instruments, e.g., the piano and the guitar.”

In this sentence, “e.g.” is used to provide examples of musical instruments she enjoys playing, but it does not encompass all possible instruments.

  • “The company offers a variety of payment methods, i.e., credit card and PayPal.”

In this example, “i.e.” is used to specify that credit card and PayPal are the specific payment methods offered by the company.

The abbreviations “e.g.” and “i.e.” are used in sentences as follows:

  • “The restaurant serves various Italian dishes, e.g., pasta, pizza, and risotto.”
  • “He’s an omnivore, i.e., he eats both plants and meat.”
Check your final paper for plagiarism
Not properly attributing credit to original sources often causes deductions in marks. Use our online plagiarism checker to reduce the risk of such penalties and correct any potential plagiarized passages. It takes only 10 minutes to submit your paper confidently.