Difference between i.e. vs. e.g.? I.e. and e.g. are two abbreviations that you can meet often when you read articles, emails, or non-fiction books. You might even skip them, without paying any attention to them because they are just two letters in the middle of the sentence that don’t seem to add a lot of information to it. But if you have to use these abbreviations e.g. vs. i.e. yourself, will you do it correctly? There are many writers, even professional ones, who still get these two confused. However, once you sort out the difference between i.e. vs. e.g., you won’t have problems with them ever again.
I.e. vs. E.g.
Both the abbreviations come from Latin. E.g. is a short version of exempli gratia and it means “for the sake of example”. I.e., on the other hand, stands for id est and translates to “that is to say”. So, you can see that these abbreviations have very different meanings.
- The hotel is closed during low season, i.e. from October to March.
- They keep animals, e.g. goats and cattle.
When to Use I.e. vs. E.g. | Useful Tips
Use e.g. when you’re listing examples. For instance, when you want to mention all the countries that you’ve traveled to, you can say, “I’ve been to some Balkan countries, e.g. Croatia, Albania, and Serbia”. However, if you want to give an explanation or a definition of a term that you’ve used previously in a sentence, i.e. is the abbreviation you’re looking for. For instance, “I’ve been to some Balkan countries, i.e. countries that are located within the Balkan peninsula”. In the first sentence, you give examples of the countries you traveled to, while in the second one, you explain what you mean by “Balkan countries”.
With e.g., you give one or more examples, but with i.e., you clarify the information that you’ve already provided previously. Look at one more pair of sentences about Balkan countries, where one uses e.g. and the other uses i.e. Though the sentences look similar, they have very different meanings:
- John wants to visit a Balkan country, e.g. Croatia.
- John wants to visit a Balkan country, i.e. Croatia.
In the first sentence, John wants to visit Croatia or any other Balkan country; Croatia is only one of the possibilities. In the second sentence, however, Croatia is the exact Balkan country that he wants to visit; he doesn’t want to go somewhere else.
A small trick to help you remember when to use i.e.: instead of remembering the actual Latin expression, imagine that it stands for “in essence”. This way, you’ll never confuse it with e.g.
E.g. vs. I.e. Examples
- You should eat more food that contains a lot of fibre, e.g. fruit, vegetables and bread.
- The light type uses only small quantities of raw materials; e.g. for television, or for biscuits.
- The correct target word (e.g. molar) was shown to learners in the EL condition.
- Does the patient receive any services, e.g. district nurse; home help.
- It may also be possible to promote rest by teaching some specific relaxation technique, e.g. deep breathing, yoga.
- The price must be more realistic, i.e. lower.
- The best pupil in the class, i.e. Peter, won the prize.
- The film is only open to adults, i.e. people over 18.
- The opportunity cost will be the higher of the two options i.e. ￡5,000.
- Dinners – select one from each section, i.e. a starter, main course, and dessert.
Difference between E.g. vs. I.e. | Infographic
E.g. vs. I.e.: How to Use I.e. vs. E.g. Correctly?