- On December 10, 2019
- Only 50 percent of doctors screen their patients for osteoporosis according to professional guidelines, e.g., every two years.
- If the candidate’s tax plan is implemented, John’s $1,000 investment would incur a 6% wealth tax, i.e., $60.
In one of those two sentences, the two-letter abbreviation is incorrect. Which one is it?
If you chose the first sentence—the one with e.g., every two years—you chose correctly. That e.g. should be i.e.
E.g. and i.e. are abbreviations for Latin terms, but I’m not going to bother you with Latin terminology because chances are that’s not how you’ll remember what the abbreviations mean or when to use them.
E.g. means for example, while i.e. means in other words. Think of it this way: The e in e.g. stands for example and the i in i.e. stands for in other words.
Here’s an example of both in a single (yes, silly) sentence: I don’t really like green vegetables, e.g., spinach and broccoli, so I eat them only on Sundays, i.e., once a week.
Here are two other things to remember: Whenever you use e.g. and i.e. in a sentence, be sure to include a period after each letter and a comma after the second period. And when you use e.g. to introduce a list, never end that list with etc. By its very definition, e.g. says your list is not complete.
And that’s a wrap for 2019! The Weltchek Weekly will be back in 2020. If you have a topic you’d like me to address in the new year, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.