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Writing Mistakes that Make You Look Dumb


i.e. is not e.g. is not i.e.

Some people seem to think that throwing an “i.e.” into a paragraph makes them look smarter. Unfortunately, most of those people are using i.e. to mean “for example.”

WRONG: “I have sold many products, i.e. washing machines.” This doesn’t make any sense.

i.e. is an abbreviation of the Latin words id est, literally translated as “that is.” In English, i.e. is used synonymously with “namely.” It specifies and limits.

e.g. is also a Latin abbreviation but of the words exempli gratia, meaning “for example.” E.g. implies, “This is one of several possible options.”