This is How You Use ‘i.e.,’ ‘e.g.,’ and ‘etc.’ Correctly in Sentence

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We live in a world where emojis and shorthand can help get our point across, but we still come across a few language rules that tend to perplex and confuse, e.g. common abbreviations like the one I literally just used.

Yes, maybe we don’t have to use common abbreviations such as i.e., e.g. or etc, but it is fun to KNOW how to use them, right? And they’re actually still quite useful!


Arguably the easiest of the bunch, ‘etc.’ is short for “et cetera,” which means “and the rest.”

This is usually the last word in a sentence and shows that you are referring to other things that belong in the same classification.

For example, “The sporting goods store sells sneakers, sports bras, socks, etc.”

“And so on” is a synonym for etc. in this case.


This abbreviation comes from the Latin term “id est,” and means “in other words” or “that is.”

You use i.e. when you want to spell out or clarify something.

For example, “She doesn’t eat junk food, i.e. she won’t eat any processed or fried foods.”

Lifehacker suggests that you think of i.e. as meaning “in essence.”

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This abbreviation came to us from the Latin phrase “exempli gratia,” or “for example.”

You use this when you know you’re going to provide a few examples to show what you mean, but they won’t be exhaustive.

For example, “The bakery sells all kinds of pies, e.g. sweet potato, apple, and rhubarb.”

If you forget when to use i.e. and e.g., you can use other phrases that help you clarify your points. “In essence,” “in other words,” and “for example” are okay to use.

So now you know! In case you didn’t know before,,,