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What Is The Difference Between I.e. and E.g.?

E.g. and i.e. are abbreviations for Latin phrases that are used often in academic and technical writing.

Their meanings are below:

E.g. – E.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means "for example."

I.e. – I.e. stands for id est and means roughly "that is."


If the Latin definitions of e.g. and i.e. confuse you, there are easier ways to remember the difference between the two abbreviations.

Helpful hint for e.g.

When you see e.g., notice that it starts with an E, and think of that E as "Example." It will help you remember that e.g. means "for example".

Helpful hint for i.e.

When you see i.e., notice that it starts with an I, and think of that I as "In other words" or "in essence." It will help you remember that i.e. means "in other words," "in essence," or "that is."

So how does this work in a sentence?

Let's take a look at each of these abbreviations used in a sentence.

There are many things I love about the mountains, e.g., the crisp air and beautiful scenery.

Since "the crisp air" and "beautiful scenery" are examples of some of the many things the writer loves about the mountains, e.g. is the correct choice for this sentence.

You need to make sure you act professionally, i.e., dress well, be polite, and communicate effectively.

Since dressing well, being polite and communicating effectively are ways to act professionally, or the essence of acting professionally, i.e. is the correct choice for this sentence.

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