When to use i.e. and e.g.

You’ve probably seen the Latin abbreviations “i.e.” and “e.g.” on many occasions, but what do they mean and when should you use them?

i.e. and e.g can be found in abundance across a variety of places like school textbooks, fiction novels, online articles and more. But what exactly do they mean, and when is an appropriate time to use them? Understanding thise difference will improve your writing skill and make you just a bit smarter than you were yesterday.


i.e is the Latin abbreviation for id est, and means “in other words.” Contrary to e.g., i.e. does not indicate listed examples. Proper use: Absolutely no horseplay around the pool, i.e. participating in behaviours that could lead to potential injury.


e.g. is the Latin abbreviation for exempli gratia, and means “for example.” In contrast to i.e, it can be used to list examples. Proper use: mass consumption of foods that contain high sugar content (e.g. soda, candy) can result in ongoing health issues.

Now you can not only be very, very way more smart in your prose, but you can earn sweet karma by calling people out for their misuse of these Latin abbreviations. Or, you might get called a pedant, it all depends on how you come across.

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Tagged in : SelfWriting

Aleksey Weyman

Aleksey Weyman is web designer, artist and creator of Millennial Moderator