Which Is It–i.e. or e.g.?

[Instructors: Download PDFs of the exercise and suggested solutions at the end of the post.]

Image from Bird GEI

The Latin abbreviations i.e. and e.g.are often confused because although they do not mean the exact same thing, they are closely related.

I.e. is the abbreviation for id est, or in English, that is. It is another way to say in other words and is used to introduce further clarification.

Example: My job requires good communication skills, i.e., clear writing and fluent conversing.

E.g. stands for the Latin exempli gratia, or in English, for example, and is used to introduce an example.

Example: I enjoy team sports, e.g., field hockey and basketball.

Follow these rules when using i.e. and e.g.

  • Never italicize i.e. or e.g.
  • Always include periods after each letter.
  • Do not start a sentence with i.e. or e.g.
  • Place a comma before and after the abbreviation.

Your task. In the sentences below, choose the correct abbreviation, i.e. or e.g.

  1. As an ER nurse, Joe works the late shift, (i.e. or e.g.), from 12 am to 8 am.
  2. The Winter Olympics include a variety of outdoor activities, (i.e. or e.g.), luge, freestyle skiing, and speed skating.
  3. As sea levels continue to rise, many American cities will be affected, (i.e. or e.g.) New Orleans, New York City, and San Diego.
  4. In addition to hiking and painting, I regularly participate in self-supported bicycle touring, (i.e. or e.g.), traveling hundreds of miles with all my camping equipment.
  5. The marketing team will require only the basic presentation materials for the Atlanta trip (i.e. or e.g.), Product Benefits PowerPoint and Competitor Comparison Checklist.
  6. We eliminated the Cronos shoe from our upcoming catalog after customer complaints pointed us to a significant quality issue, (i.e. or e.g.), the red ink was not colorfast.
  7. I will be traveling on business to three big cities, (i.e. or e.g.), Atlanta, Austin, and Denver.
  8. Our new product line will introduce many new flavors, (i.e. or e.g.), mango chutney, maple walnut, and peach cream.
  9. The hotel offers an array of business services, (i.e. or e.g.), free Wi-Fi, copying, and faxing.
  10. Some African countries, (i.e. or e.g.), Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt, had a high GDP.

Which Is It Exercise

Which Is It Answer Key


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