How's your Latin?
When to use i.e., e.g. and etc. These three Latin abbreviations still appear in modern English and are often confused with one another.
I.e. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘id est’, meaning ‘that is’.
Use i.e. when you are adding extra information to clarify something that was previously stated. This information is finite, meaning the only possibilities are the things you list after the ‘i.e.’
Example: I am taking two languages this year, i.e. English and French.
E.g. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘exempli gratia’, meaning ‘for example’.
Use e.g. when you are listing examples of something you stated previously. Using ‘e.g.’ means there are more possibilities than the ones you are stating.
Example: My children love playing outdoor games in the summer, e.g. tennis, football, mini golf.
Etc. is the abbreviation of the Latin phrase ‘et cetera’, meaning ‘and other things’.
Use etc. at the end of a sentence to indicate a list of similar items without listing everything.
Example: The pub had a traditional English menu consisting of Yorkshire pudding, shepherd’s pie, pie and mash, toad-in-the-hole etc.