Angela’s ABCs: How to know your i.e. from your e.g. and your etc.
Or Latin abbreviations made clear.
i.e. is short for the Latin id est, which means that is. So the abbreviation is used to specify or make clear, or signify in other words.
e.g. is short for the Latin exempli gratia which means for the sake of example. It is used when presenting examples or more possibilities.
Ways to remember the difference
Some people remember the difference between i.e. and e.g. by imagining that i.e. means in essence, or in other words and e.g. sounds like egg sample, or could mean example given.
The new diet was based on eating one thing only, i.e. cabbage soup.
The new diet was based on eating many green vegetables, e.g. spinach and broccoli.
etc. is short for the Latin et cetera which means and the rest, or and other things, or and so on.
I decided to go shopping for the basics: milk, bread, cereal, eggs etc.