i.e. and e.g. come from abbreviated Latin terms.
i.e. comes from the Latin id est, which means ‘that is’ or ‘in other words’.
e.g. comes from the Latin exempli gratia, which means ‘for example’.
Here are some examples of how to use e.g. correctly:
‘John had a large collection of classic cars, e.g., a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Phaeton and an MG, which he kept in a large warehouse.’
‘Joan had errors in her essay, e.g., no commas.’
Bonus: Download our Quick Reference Guide for how to use i.e. and e.g. Click here to download
Please note that when submitting essays or theses to universities in Australia, it is preferred that you only use e.g. within parentheses, such as in the following examples:
‘Many people thought that John had a large collection of classic cars, (e.g., a Rolls Royce Phantom, a Phaeton and an MG), which he kept in a large warehouse.’
‘Joan had errors in her essay (e.g., no commas).’
Otherwise, it is preferable for you to use ‘for example’ rather than ‘e.g.’
Here are some examples of how to use i.e. correctly:
‘Many people thought that John had a problem with collecting classic cars, i.e. he had too many of them.’
‘Joan didn’t spend enough time writing her essay to ensure there were few errors, i.e. she needs to spend longer on her essays if she wishes to improve her grades.’
i.e. and e.g. are now considered a common part of the English language so you should not need to italicise them, but remember that they are abbreviations so there is always a period after each letter.
Misuse of these two abbreviations is extremely high and many people confuse the two, so if you are not sure, you can always just write the words ‘for example’ or ‘in other words’.
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Learn the best way to add examples to your essay to support your ideas. You need to use a range of linking words in your essay and also use them flexibly in different locations in the sentence. See below for a list of useful linking words with sample sentences:
Linking Words for Giving Examples
- for example
- for instance
- to illustrate
- as an illustration
- to give a clear example
- take, for example,
- such as
Video Tutorial: How to Add Examples in an Essay
Sample Sentences with Supporting Examples
Please note that the linking words do not need to be at the start of the sentence. You can use them more flexibly by changing their location.
Global warming should be taken more serious as it can result in a number of disastrous consequences. To give a clear example, the melting polar ice caps have not only caused a loss of habitat for polar bears but are also threatening seas levels worldwide.
More and more women are choosing to start a family later in life. 20% of women giving birth to their first child, for instance, are over the age of 30 in the UK.
Crimes should not have the same punishment. Minor crimes, such as pick pocketing and traffic offences, should not have the same penalty as major crimes, namely murder and manslaughter.
Children often learn behaviour from the adults around them subconsciously. To illustrate, around 50% of children who are brought up by aggressive parents often use aggression to solve their own problems later in life.
Parents should be responsible for teaching their children right and wrong. If, for example, they see their child using bad language, they should spend time explaining to their child the serious consequences that can result from this type of behaviour.
More and more people are leading sedentary life styles due to work conditions. Take, for example, office workers in the UK who spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week sitting in front of their computers.
All Linking Words for Essay Writing
You can find a list of all linking words that can be used in essay writing: Linking Words for Writing.
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