Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writing Wednesday: i.e. vs. e.g.

Do you find yourself confused about whether to use i.e. or e.g. in a sentence? Just me?

Well, if you've ever had a question about which one is right (or what the difference is), I hope this post will clear up any confusion. Below are a few easy tips that help me.

  • i.e.: Use this in place of the phrase "in other words." For example, this sentence would be correct: I had a really bad day at work, i.e., all hell broke loose when I walked in the door.
  • e.g.: Use this when you're listing a bunch of examples. Here's a sentence that uses e.g. the right way: I love romantic comedies, e.g., The Proposal, Kate and Leopold and While You Were Sleeping.

Pretty simple! The easiest way I remember it is thinking "i" = "in other words" and "e" = "examples." 

But if you're still confused (and even if you're not), check out this hilarious explanation from The Oatmeal. I promise that it'll clear things up — and it'll make you laugh.

Do these phrases ever trip you up? I find that I usually want to use i.e. and rarely use e.g. in sentences.


  1. Haha, that thing from the Oatmeal is funny. I actually never knew this one...I just never use either!

    I agree with what you said on my blog btw. If I'm going 100% everyday then it isn't a big deal when I get dressed up for a special occasion. For example, the girl I talked about in my post looked pretty on her wedding day, but it wasn't WOW.

  2. the english language is just so dang weird haha!

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  4. I've definitely felt some confusion over this!

    I have a writing question for you: is there a reason people often give their email address like this: myname [at] gmail [dot] com instead of like this: Is it just a cool thing to do, or is there a purpose behind it? Thanks!!


Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.