E.g. vs. I.e.

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E.g. vs. I.e.

Abbreviations are always a great solution for people who type or write fast and need to shorten their words in order to maximize their efficiency and time. But at the same time, they can be quite confusing, especially if they only keep the first letters.
 In addition, if the first letters don't even originate from English but from a different language, remembering the initial spelling or the words themselves can be very challenging.

"E.g." and "i.e." are two great examples to illustrate this situation. Do you know what they actually stand for or how to properly use them? Take a look at the explanations below and find out!

E.g. vs. I.e.

Both "e.g." and "i.e." actually originate from Latin. "E.g.", also frequently spelled "eg", is the abbreviation used for the Latin expression "exempli gratia", which translates into "for the sake of example".

"I.e." is also commonly spelled "ie" and stands for a shorter form of the Latin expression "id est", which would translate into "which/that is".

When do we use "e.g."?

"E.g." is used before providing an example to better illustrate the meaning of your phrase, to explicitly show or apply what you actually refer to. Colloquially, "e.g." can be translated into "for example" and is usually followed by a suggestive example to support your affirmations.

Example: Asian cultures, e.g. Indian or Pakistani, have completely different rituals and traditions from European cultures. - "e.g." is used as an abbreviation for "for example" before actually naming some examples to better illustrate the cultures referred to.

When do we use "i.e."?

"I.e." is also commonly used in every situation when you want to provide further, clearer, more exact information about what you refer to. It is quite similar to the meaning of "e.g.", but it puts an accent on providing further, clearer information rather than simply exemplifying it.

Example: I will only book a room from your hotel if you offer me a more acceptable offer, i.e. a lower price. - this is used to explain more clearly what you refer to; in this case, "i.e." can be replaced with "which is", indicating exactly what you expect.


"E.g." and "i.e." might originate from Latin expressions, but they are so frequently used in English in their abbreviated forms that simply knowing what they stand for is more important and useful than remembering the initial words. What you need to know in order to use them correctly is that "e.g." or "eg" stands for "for example", while "i.e." or "ie" refers to "that is", offering further explanation.

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