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