Usage and Difference: I.e. and E.g.

You must have seen these abbreviations being used several times and wondered what they mean.

Let’s find out!

What do i.e. and e.g. mean?

Both of these are Latin abbreviations. I.e. stands for id est and e.g. stands for exampla gratia. Do not fret, I’m not going to teach you Latin or ask you to remember these full forms.

In English, i.e. stands for that is and e.g. stands for for example.

How to remember the difference

If you are having trouble remembering all of that, look at it this way.

I.e. which starts with i, means in other words.

E.g. which starts e, means for example.


E.g. is used to introduce an example. If I say : I like outdoor games e.g. cricket, badminton and tennis, then you know that these are examples of outdoor games that I like.

On the other hand, i.e. is to provide a clarification to your statement. So, if I say: I like to play outdoors i.e. cricket, badminton and tennis, then you know these are the only outdoor games that I like.

Here’s another example:

On Sunday, I’ll go to some cafe e.g. The Rooftop Cafe or Hardrock Cafe.

On Sunday, I’ll go that new cafe i.e. The Summer House Cafe.


  • No need to italicize i.e. or e.g. when you it in a sentence.
  • There is always a period after each letter as it is an abbreviation.

I hope the difference is clear now. If you want to know some more foreign words that are used in English, check  out our blog: http://www.genlish.com/learn-english/articles/foreign-terms-used-english/

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