I.e. v/s E.g.: Do you know the difference?


Abbreviations are a part and parcel of the English language; however, to ensure that you make appropriate use of the same is extremely vital as well. Therefore, assuring that you know and understand the difference between the two basic and most commonly used abbreviations 'i.e.' and 'e.g.'; here is a useful article to solve your doubts and help you get a clearer picture.

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A fact is that numerous people get confused between the two Latin abbreviations 'i.e.' and 'e.g.', and tend to use them interchangeably. This confusion is often overlooked, nonetheless, as an English learner you need to focus on learning the right usage of everything, even abbreviations.

What does 'i.e.' stand for?

'i.e.' refers to the Latin phrase 'id est' that means 'that is'. This abbreviation is usually used while explaining or rephrasing a sentence. The English translation of the two alphabets 'i.e.' means 'in essence'.

Usage- I love animals. (i.e., I pretty much adore all animals)

What does 'e.g.' stand for?

'e.g.' stands for the Latin phrase 'exempli gratia' that means 'the sake of example'. This abbreviation is usually used when giving an example. The English translation of the two alphabets 'e.g.' means 'example given'.

Usage- I love animals. (e.g., cats and dogs)

Let's take a look at a few tips and tricks that could help you improve your English communication skills and give you a deeper understanding of the same.

tips and tricks

Tips and tricks to use 'i.e.' and 'e.g.':

1. Take time to understand the meaning of the abbreviation. Know what each of them stands for, as that will simplify the process further.

2. Learn the art of association. Make sure to associate the abbreviations with their individual meaning, as that is the ideal way of refraining from any sort of confusion.

3. Understand that 'i.e.' is an abbreviation that is used to paraphrase after making a statement.

4. Make an attempt at replacing the abbreviations with their meanings and see whether it makes any sense. This is a great way to double check, if you're using the right abbreviation at the right place.

5. Use 'e.g.' before giving examples.

6. While using 'e.g.', there is no need for you to use the term 'etc', as 'e.g.' refers to an incomplete list.

7. Avoid using the abbreviations 'e.g.' and 'i.e.' while speaking in English, as that would just sound stupid. Instead, used the words such as 'for instance' and 'in other words'.


It is important for you to understand the difference between each abbreviation and that will come only with practice. Be sure to write and practice, as that will give you a better understanding of the same.
So, strap on your English learning game face and head on an ambitious journey of mastering the English language and enhancing your writing as well as oral communication skills. Lastly, make sure to keep in mind the tips and tricks mentioned above, while learning a variety of other abbreviations the English language has to offer.

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- By Chander Madan

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