What is the Difference between “e.g.” and “i.e.”?

e.g. vs. i.e.

What is the difference between e.g. and i.e.?

This CommunicationSnack® compares “i.e.” vs. “e.g.” and shows you how to use these abbreviations.

These two Latin abbreviations are used to clarify information.
e.g. = exempli gratia (for example)

i.e. = id est (that is/in other words)

Use “e.g.” when introducing information that includes an example of what you are talking about:

The CEO is considering new work policies, e.g., telecommuting and job-sharing, to help the company retain employees with small children.

Telecommuting and job-sharing are examples of the policies the CEO is considering. There could be more examples.

Use “i.e.” when introducing information that renames exactly what you are talking about:

The hotel will provide light refreshments, i.e., coffee, tea, and cookies.

In other words, the refreshments are exactly coffee, tea, and cookies.

Punctuation Note: As you can see from the examples above, the “i.e.” and “e.g.” should be in lowercase with periods after each letter. Most style guides suggest using a comma after the abbreviations. Do not italicize “i.e.” and “e.g.” unless the entire sentence is italicized.

Memory Tip:
Think of the “e” in “e.g.” as “example.”
Think of the “i” in “i.e.” as “in other words.”

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