What's the Difference between "e.g." and "i.e."? 

When Should You Use Each?  

These two come from Latin and they are quite common in English writing.

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Here is a short explanation on what they mean and how to use them properly:


It stands for the Latin phrase "exempli gratia", which means "for example."

  • "Big cities, e.g. New York, London and Tokyo offer more exciting activities."
  • "You should hang out more with people in your own age, e.g. Tom, Kate and James."


It stands for the Latin phrase "id est", which means "that is."

You use this "i.e." when you want to explain exactly what something means.

  • "He is rather confused, i.e. he is not sure what to do." 
  • "We are going on a short vacation, i.e. 3-4 days." 
  • "Linda is moving to the north, i.e. Canada."

A girl gives an example

So the difference is that with "e.g." you are just giving an example, but with "i.e." you are explaining exactly what it means.

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