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What Do I.e. and E.g. Mean?

I.e. and e.g. are both abbreviations for Latin terms. I.e. stands for id est and means roughly "that
is." E.g. stands for exempli gratia, which means for example. "Great. Latin," you're probably
thinking. "How am I supposed to remember that?

How to Remember the Difference Between I.e. and E.g.

But by now, I'm sure you know that I'm not going to ask you to remember Latin. I'm going to
give you a memory trick. So here's how I remember the difference. Forget about i.e. standing for
"that is" or whatever it really means in Latin. From now on, i.e., which starts with i, means in
other words, and e.g., which starts with e, means for example. I = in other words. E=
A few listeners have also written in to say that they remember the difference between i.e. and
e.g. by imagining that i.e. means in essence, and e.g. sounds like egg sample, and those are
good memory tricks too
E.g. means for example, so you use it to introduce an example: I like card games, e.g., bridge
and crazy eights. Because I used e.g., you know that I have provided a list of examples of card
games that I like. It's not a finite list of all card games I like; it's just a few examples.
On the other hand, i.e. means in other words, so you use it to introduce a further clarification: I
like to play cards, i.e., bridge and crazy eights. Because I used i.e., which introduces a
clarification, you know that these are the only card games that I enjoy.
I like fun examples, so here are some extras that didn't make it into the show.
1. Our pet, Squiggly (i.e., the snail we brought home after the lab experiments were
finished), loves to curl up on his little patch of grass.
2. Our pet snail, Squiggly, loves vegetation (e.g., grass, leaves, twigs).

Key Rules
1. Use Active Voice
Every human language starts an active sentence with the subject, or the "doer." In
English, the verb (what's being done) follows the subject. If there is an object (the
receiver of the action), it comes after the verb. The formula looks like this:
S+V+O. This rule is the foundation of the English language.
Here are some examples:

Mary walked the dog.

The dog liked Mary.

I did not like the dog.

2. Link Ideas with a Conjunction

Sometimes you want to link two ideas with a second S+V+O combination. When
you do, you need a coordinating conjunction. The new formula looks like this:
Coordinating conjunctions are easy to remember with an acronymic mnemonic








3. Use a Comma to Connect Two Ideas As One

FANBOYS are used when connecting two ideas as one in a single sentence, but don't
forget the comma.
For example:

I do not walk Mary's dog, nor do I wash him.

Mary fed her dog, and I drank tea.

Mary feeds and walks her dog every day, but the dog is still hyperactive.

Use the Semicolon to Join Two Ideas

A list of grammar rules has to include the scariest of punctuation marks. It might look funny, but
don't be afraid of the semicolon; it's the easiest thing in the world to use! Say you want to join
two ideas but can't figure out or can't be bothered to use a coordinating conjunction. The two
ideas can be separate sentences, but you think that they are so closely connected; they really
should be one. Use a semicolon.

Mary's dog is hyperactive; it won't stop barking or sit still.

My heart is like a cup of Lapsang Souchong tea; it's bitter and smoky.

Mary has to walk her dog every day; it is the most hyperactive dog anyone has ever seen.

Use the Simple Present Tense for Habitual Actions

The simple present is the tense you use for any habitual action. The things you always do or do
every Tuesday are described with the simple present, which just means you pick the first form of
any verb.

Mary likes dogs.

I don't walk Mary's dog.

Mary and I drink tea every Tuesday together.

Use the Present Progressive Tense for Current Action

The present progressive tense is for anything that is happening right now. All of the progressive
tenses are easy to spot because their verbs always end with "-ing" and get a helping verb. A
helping verb is just so we know who and when we're talking about. In the present progressive,
the helping verbs are the present tense conjugations of "to be."

I am drinking Lapsang Souchong tea.

The barking dogs outside are driving me crazy.

Mary is playing with her hyperactive dog.

Tips & Tricks - Grammar

Here are some common mistakes that should not make their way into formal writing. More will
be added as warranted.

use of quotation marks

When used together, quotation marks belong on the OUTSIDE of commas and periods. Place
other punctuation marks INSIDE quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material.
Researchers concluded, "Twenty-five subjects improved."
feel vs. believe

People can feel sick or can feel the table. People DO NOT feel an opinion - they think, opine, or
believe an opinion.
I feel happy when I'm with you.

I can feel the wet grass between my toes.

I believe you're not happy.
I think I made a great decision!
they vs. it

A company is an it, not a they.

The manufacturer wanted the demographics of its customers.
The brokerage house diligently follows the performance of its funds.
punctuation in a series

Use a comma before the final "and" and "or" in a series.

The research showed that age, level of education, and economic status had no degree of
If you want live music, a DJ, or videos at the party, you must decide now.
it's vs. its

Its is ALWAYS and ONLY a contraction of it is. Its is correct only if you can substitute it is. Its
is ALWAYS and ONLY possessive.
Its time to leave.
Its too hot.
The mutiny of 1809 had its roots in several grievances.
The choir sang its finale.
people vs. persons

People is the plural of person and is by far the preferred usage. In fact, Websters Eleventh New
Collegiate Dictionary doesnt recognize persons with its own entry ... its mentioned only as a
footnote to people. The use of persons is discouraged.
Fifty people made the trip.
The people were amazed at his agility.
a lot vs. alot

The correct spelling is a lot ... its two words - always!

A lot of people traveled this weekend.
He fussed a lot before giving in.
I ate a lot of candy and got sick.
sex vs. gender

Sex is a designation of male or female. Gender is a designation of masculine or feminine. Thus

you can have a male sex with a feminine gender ... or a female sex with a masculine gender.
The members were grouped according to age, sex, and interest.
The gender John portrayed was the highlight of the play.


Re means with regard to. As the subject of a letter or memorandum, it is followed traditionally
by a colon. But when used in a sentence, it stands alone as a word unto itself. (By the way, in re
is a Latin phrase used often by attorneys ... lets keep it that way.)
Re: Your Repeated Tardiness
I need to speak with you re your repeated tardiness.
data is/was vs. data are/were

Data is a plural word. Datum is the singular. Although data is/was has become popular, data
are/were is the correct usage.
The data are collected and organized.
The data were analyzed using the chi-square method of analysis.
insure vs. ensure

Insure is to financially protect property or life. Ensure is to make certain.

Did you insure your jewelry on your homeowners policy?
To ensure that everyone arrives on time, provide directions.
since vs. because

Since relates to a period of time. Because expresses a reason.

Since 1980, Ive moved twice.
I saved $25 because it was on sale.
Hes been sick since he arrived.
He left because he was sick.
Since/Because you left, Ive been lonely. (This one could go either way ... whether you mean
after the time of the leaving or as a result of the leaving.)
walking through the park ...

This one is sometimes elusive. Here's the rest of the sentence.

Walking through the park, the sun was shining.
The sun was walking through the park? I don't think so. Revise this sentence to ...
Walking through the park, we enjoyed the sunshine.
above - over - more than

Items are above or over. Numbers are more than.

Wrong - Over 200 people attended.
Right - More than 200 people attended.
due to the fact that

Invoices become "due." The phrase is a wordy way to say because. Stick with because.
He was late due to the fact that there was a freeway accident.
He was late because there was a freeway accident.
Because of their limited client experience, advanced beginners needed supervision.
in order to

This a wordy way to say to. Stick with to.

Stir consistently in order to avoid burning.
Stir consistently to avoid burning.