EG or IE?

What is the difference between e.g. and i.e.?
ie or eg example

The Difference between e.g. and i.e.

The abbreviations e.g. (from the Latin exempli gratia) and i.e. (from the Latin id est) are often confused. This confusion arises because they are both used to clarify something previously mentioned. However, they are not the same.


The abbreviation e.g. is used to provide an example:

Examples with e.g.:


The abbreviation i.e. is used to restate an idea more clearly or to offer more information. (It can usually be substituted with "in other words.")

Examples with i.e.:

Getting Them Wrong

If you mix up e.g. and i.e., your sentence might still be grammatically correct. However, the mix up will change the meaning of your sentence. Look at these two examples:

A Quick Test

Remembering e.g. and i.e.

This may assist in remembering:

Formatting e.g. and i.e.

There are four common formats with e.g. and i.e.

(1) Comma before e.g. or i.e. (2) Semicolon before e.g. or i.e. (3) Brackets with e.g. or i.e. (4) A new sentence with e.g. or i.e.

The Comma after e.g. or i.e.

In the US, it is usual to follow e.g. or i.e. with a comma. It is less common in the UK. There is leniency in all conventions. The golden rule is be consistent.

e.g./i.e. or eg/ie?

It is usual to see full stops (periods) with e.g. and i.e. However, you can write them without. The golden rule is be consistent.

Don't Use "etc." after e.g.

It is inappropriate to use etc. after e.g. since it is understood that you are only offering a partial list by way of example. For example:
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See Also

Glossary of easily confused words Glossary of common errors Glossary of grammatical terms Abbreviations