article Oh, i.e. and e.g. What do these two abbreviations mean, and how and when to use them.
They are both Latin terms. I.e. means id est, or that is. E.g. means exempli gratia, or for example. If you look, e.g. starts with an e for example. If you remember that, then you are better than most people who try to use these terms. But, when do we use these Latin abbreviation?
When we are speaking, we don’t naturally say id est or exempli gratia when giving ideas or examples to people. This is used solely in writing. E.g. is used when giving examples. List only two or three examples, not a complete list when using e.g. If you need to give a complete list, then consider using a table.
I like to play many different video games, e.g. roleplaying, action, racing, etc.
Use i.e. when you are clarifying or adding to the same ideas in the sentence; not listing lists or examples. You can think of using i.e. when you want to say “in other words” or “in essence.”
The best way to take out a unicorn is with a Claymore, i.e. a directional mine which explodes shrapnel into a designated kill zone.
Now, the stylistics part. Depending on the copyeditor or house style guide, parenthesis and commas are acceptable. It’s just comes down to preference.
I use them without the commas after i.e. and e.g. because I think it looks cleaner for the readers eyes. I usually don’t like i.e. or e.g. in parenthesis unless it’s a super long sentence and it helps the reader see where the example starts and ends. But, like I said, it’s all about preference or the house style guide.
This article has some really great examples, which I used one here.