Eg and ie: what’s the difference?

If you want to use eg and ie in your writing, make sure you know the difference.

I don’t like abbreviations in writing. They’re lazy and usually unnecessary. But that’s just me. If you’re going to use eg and ie in your writing, these tips will help you get it right.

• eg means ‘for example‘ or ‘such as
• ie means ‘in other words

It might help to remember for egsample.

Here are some examples of how to use eg and ie correctly, and how to avoid them altogether:

I love savoury food, eg cheese, crisps, crackers, and nuts.
You could write: I love savoury food, such as cheese, crisps, crackers, and nuts.
Even simpler: I love savoury food – cheese, crisps, crackers, and nuts.

I’m doing my favourite thing tonight, ie dancing.
You could write: I’m doing my favourite thing tonight – dancing, in other words.
Even simpler: I’m doing my favourite thing tonight – dancing.

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