Commonly Confused Words: i.e./e.g./such as

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Should your clarifying parenthetical use i.e. or e.g.? Does it matter?

i.e. (Latin for “id est”):

  • The abbreviation i.e. means “that is” and is used to clarify or rephrase something: “The defendant was found guilty of a serious crime, i.e., first-degree murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.”  

e.g. (Latin for “exempli gratia”):

  • The abbreviation e.g. means “for example” and is used to introduce examples that illustrate a category or concept: “The prosecution presented various types of evidence during the trial, e.g., fingerprints, DNA samples, and video footage from surveillance cameras.”

Such as:

  • The phrase such as has the same meaning as e.g. and thus can be used interchangeably without modifying the sentence’s meaning.

Rule: If you want to CLARIFY, use i.e., if you want to EXEMPLIFY, use e.g. or such as.

Now to reinforce this lesson (i.e., to make it stick), here are a few practice problems!

8

1 / 10

1. True/False: The underlined word is correct. The attorney’s tactics, i.e., delaying the proceedings, were frowned upon.

2 / 10

2. True/False: The underlined word is correct. There are several forms of intellectual property rights, e.g., patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

3 / 10

3. True/False: The underlined word is correct. She had expertise in several areas of law, such as contract law, tort law, and criminal law.

4 / 10

4. True/False: The underlined word is correct. He enjoyed outdoor activities, i.e., hiking and camping.

5 / 10

5. True/False: The underlined word is correct. You should bring some essential items, e.g., a flashlight.

6 / 10

6. True/False: The underlined word is correct. There are many reasons for a contract to be invalid, such as illegality.

7 / 10

7. True/False: The underlined word is correct. There are various reasons for disqualification, such as a conflict of interest.

8 / 10

8. True/False: The underlined word is correct. The document listed several violations, e.g., exceeding the speed limit.

9 / 10

9. The underlined word is correct. Defendant argued that the Court did not have the power to hear this case (i.e., Plaintiff had no standing).

10 / 10

10. True/False: The underlined word is correct. Plaintiff is clearly liable for the car accident (e.g., he was negligent).

Your score is

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