Study Tip: How to Use I.e., E.g. and Ex. Properly
Using abbreviations has become a accepted part of writing in the English language. However, using them properly can mean the difference between appearing like someone who knows what they’re writing about and someone who’s trying to seem clever, but actually isn’t. In this article we’ve put together a study tip: how to use i.e., e.g. and ex. properly.
Although all three of these abbreviations are similar, they’re actually used in different situations. It really comes down to what each abbreviation actually means – and they’re all different.
I.e. is a Latin abbreviation for id est. Id est means “in other words” or “that is” in English.
E.g. is another Latin abbreviations that stands for exemplia gratia. This translates to “for example” in English.
Ex. is actually an English abbreviation. Many people think that it’s the short form of “example,” but it actually stands for “exercise.”
Now that we understand what each abbreviation actually stands for, it becomes much easier to use them properly.
Examples of Use
In the case of i.e., which means “in other words” or “that is,” the abbreviation is used to signify the use of paraphrasing or a clarification of the previous phrase. An example could be, “I am running a half marathon, i.e. 13.1 miles.”
Using e.g. is somewhat similar to using i.e., but not quite. Because e.g. means “for example” in English, it’s used to convey an example of the phrase that proceeds it. An example of using e.g. could be, “I run a lot of foot races e.g. marathons, half marathons and 5k runs.”
The abbreviation ex. Is probably the most misused abbreviation of the bunch. Many people think that ex. is an abbreviation for “example” and use it as such. They would be wrong. The correct abbreviation to use when citing an example is e.g. Because ex. is an abbreviation for “exercise” using it properly would require talking about a school lesson or a part of a textbook. An example of using ex. properly would be, “Please open your books to ex. 6.”
Although many people might think that all three abbreviations are interchangeable, those who truly know how to use them properly will wince when they see them mixed up. If you want to appear as intelligent as you actually are, take the time to learn the differences between these abbreviations and use them correctly.