“e.g.” is an abbreviation for “exempli gratia”, a Latin phrase. “i.e.” is a also an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “id est”.   

Because they both serve similar purposes, these terms are often confused – even by native English speakers. So, how to tell the difference between them? In this IELTS Grammar 101, we’ll give you some tips on telling them apart.  

  • Difference between e.g. and i.e.  

  • Synonyms of e.g. and i.e.  

  • Use e.g. and i.e. in a sentence

Differences between e.g. and i.e.

Definitions

e.g.  

  • An abbreviation for the Latin phrase “exempli gratia”, which means “for example”.  

i.e.  

  • An abbreviation for the Latin phrase “id est”, which means “that is”. It is used before giving a more detailed explanation about the aforementioned topic.

Synonyms

e.g.  

  • Could also mean (synonyms): for example  

i.e.  

  • Synonyms include: that is

In a sentence

e.g.  

  • You should look at gaming consoles, e.g. Nintendo, Xbox or PlayStation 

  • There are different options to help you save money, e.g. savings accounts, term deposits, investments, etc.  

  • There are multiple colours to choose from, e.g. pink, purple, green, blue, etc.  

  • Most people chose songs from popular artists, e.g. Ariana Grande or Taylor Swift  

i.e.  

  • The theme park is closed during Winter, i.e. from June to August  

  • The club enforces a strict dress code, i.e. no thongs, derogatory clothing, etc.  

  • The applicant must provide proof of education (i.e. University transcripts) when applying for this role.  

  • Tomorrow morning, I’ll drive to our meetup point, i.e. Hyde Park  

  • Read more about this on the Merriam-Websterexternal icon dictionary site.

Want to learn more about commonly confused words?

In written English, it is important to know the correct spelling of a word you want to use. You don’t want to write “weak” when you mean “week” even though they sound the same. In spoken English, spelling is less important, but pronunciation is. Think about the word “lead” which can be pronounced as “led” or “leed.” Because these words cause a lot of confusion, it’s well worth to spend a few minutes to know the difference: homophones vs homographs vs homonyms. Read more here.  

People often use elude when they mean allude, or write allude when they should really write elude. There are other commonly confused words too: Do you know the difference between belief or believe? That is the question of another article where we explain the difference between these two commonly misused words. Read it here.