Grammar for Geeks: i.e. vs e.g.

These two are often interchanged which can make for interesting reading when you know what the differences are. So here's the rule...

Word Example
i.e. Learning assembly language is enlightening. (i.e., it will bring you closer to being an uber-geek)
e.g. The add instruction in x86 assembly combines the two specified values and stores the result in the first parameter. E.g., add ax,bx would be equivilant to ax=ax+bx

Note: By nature, i.e. and e.g. are preceded by a mark of punctuation, usually a comma. Generally both are followed by a comma in American English, though not in British English. E.g. may also be followed by a colon, depending on the construction. In British English, it is often written as eg with the periods omitted.


Last updated: Sat Nov 1 12:41:21 PST 2003
Contribitor: Steve Shah, Ryan Kipfer, and