Word Fact: What’s the Difference Between i.e. and e.g.?


They may be small, but their power to befuddle writers and speakers of the English language is mighty: what’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? And what are the correct uses of these commonly confused abbreviations?

The term i.e. is a shortening of the Latin expression id est, which translates to “that is.” It is used to introduce a rephrasing or elaboration on something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, i.e., the juicy, edible fruits with leathery, aromatic rinds of any of numerous tropical, usually thorny shrubs or trees of the genus Citrus.” In this example, i.e. introduces an elaboration on citrus fruits.

Think you have it figured out? Take the i.e. or e.g. quiz!

The term e.g. is an abbreviation of the Latin expression exempli gratia, meaning “for the sake of example” or more colloquially, “for example.” It follows that this term is used to introduce examples of something that has already been stated: “I like citrus fruits, e.g., tangerines, lemons, and limes.”

One easy way to remember the difference between these two is by employing a simple mnemonic device: think of the i at the beginning of i.e. as standing for the first word in the phrase “in other words,” indicating that the clause that follows will rephrase or explain what precedes the term.  E.g. is a little more straightforward since e stands for exempli meaning “example.” To ensure your mastery over these terms is not tarnished by misplaced punctuation, remember that in formal writing, e.g. and i.e. are often set off in parentheses and followed by a comma; in less formal writing, it is standard to place a comma before and after these terms.


  1. Kelsey Lotnic -  September 26, 2016 - 5:21 pm

    That really helped! I didn’t know one meant “in other words.”
    I thought they were both “example.”

    • Nicole -  November 15, 2016 - 9:08 pm


  2. BONDANI BABU -  September 24, 2016 - 8:08 am

    It s awesome, I ENRICHED my knowledge,
    I always grateful to you sir.

  3. jamel -  September 14, 2016 - 12:11 pm

    what up

    • jamel -  September 15, 2016 - 11:57 am


    • Ridged -  September 27, 2016 - 7:53 am

      This is crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyy

  4. ... -  July 22, 2016 - 8:21 am

    Very good explanation thank you

    • jamel -  September 15, 2016 - 11:57 am


  5. English -  July 20, 2016 - 2:24 am

    For God’s sake! This is a dictionary/thesaurus website and people are saying
    lol… Proper english please people!

    • Sup -  July 20, 2016 - 12:58 pm

      You have a good point. However, lol is an abbreviation. That’s also English, and somewhat proper too. LOL= Laughing out loud–pretty proper to me. Its like saying NAFTA for the whole form (I know, that’s an acronym, but similar). Both are accepted, but one moreso in text. Both are found in Merriam-Webster as well! This website isn’t a research paper or an English class, so it’s okay!

    • dragonfuryattack -  July 21, 2016 - 7:14 am

      Lel (even worse)

    • Pedant -  September 1, 2016 - 11:28 am

      Yes, but English should be capitalized and you wrote it in lowercase. Pedantry does not welcome the uninitiated.

      • jamel -  September 14, 2016 - 12:10 pm

        what up

        • 3.14 -  September 20, 2016 - 4:57 am

          Why is Jamel only saying what up?

          • jamel -  September 22, 2016 - 12:14 pm

            because i dont know what to say

      • Etiquette -  October 1, 2016 - 9:14 am

        Yes, in our language we do capitalize abbreviations, however we do also follow a standard on the internet where, in causal conversation, completely capitalized word, phrases, and so on are commonly regarded as shouting. So in the instance of “lol” versus “LOL” the former can be interpreted as a polite chortle whereas the latter is a loud guffaw.

        Also, itz de internet YOs.

        Good Day.

    • Scott -  September 14, 2016 - 7:19 am

      Dictionary of Computing

      (chat) LOL – “laughing out loud”, or “lots of love” or “luck”.

    • richard -  September 19, 2016 - 3:01 pm

      please remember The K.i.s.s. acronym .

    • Chuck Rag -  October 14, 2016 - 1:45 am

      Then you’d better put some quotes around “lol”!

  6. leah -  April 11, 2016 - 11:12 am

    yes it was

    • juan -  July 18, 2016 - 6:59 am

      I gain more knowledge by reading i.e acquired by learning but to learn e.g., reading books

  7. saxren -  October 30, 2015 - 12:08 pm

    “ex i.e., e.g., etc., ect., et tu, Latin?”

    It was clear too me that my un-derstanding of the’se, abbreviations’ will be incorrect; and in year’s gone i is using them un-grammatical more often thann’t. [sic]

    • Matthew Minshull -  February 19, 2016 - 12:11 pm

      Running before you can walk, perhaps?

      • Victor -  April 21, 2016 - 2:55 pm

        That’s for sure. ;)

      • Troller -  June 24, 2016 - 11:15 pm

        If you were in saxren’s shoes, would you want to be judged?

        • Sulema -  August 25, 2016 - 6:30 am


    • coran beck -  April 17, 2016 - 11:02 pm


    • MikeB26 -  July 15, 2016 - 9:46 pm

      If a re-write of Deliverance were to take place in the English department of an Ivy League school, this would be the first sentence.

      I love it!

  8. utpal dey -  October 29, 2015 - 8:35 am

    i think i have nothing to poke my nose here

    • Thomas -  April 17, 2016 - 6:03 pm


  9. Deluiez M. Taylor -  October 28, 2015 - 6:53 am

    This was a tremendous help! Thank you.

  10. Winston -  October 27, 2015 - 12:54 pm

    People, “words” are just that, “words.” What really matters is the intent behind, or hidden in those words, that will convert them to being relevant or irrelevant, sinfull or pious. On the other hand, the reader, or the person who interprets, will be the principal actor, to bring these words to “life” depending on what meaning he/she wants to give to these “words.” So the dilema is, who has the last “WORD” the WRITER or the READER.

    • Eirik -  October 29, 2015 - 4:56 am

      What on earth are you even talking about?

      • Rathkeale -  February 8, 2016 - 3:42 pm

        That’s exactly what I thought. That answer is off topic and sounds more like pontificating than anything else. I’m glad your comment appeared first.

      • Tabitha -  May 3, 2016 - 2:43 pm


      • Troller -  June 24, 2016 - 11:12 pm

        IKR, why do you even care you Down syndrome fag.

        • IGNORANCE SEEKER -  November 23, 2016 - 9:07 pm

          FOUND ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lu -  November 13, 2015 - 8:35 am

      Well said Winton! You speak in the language of a writer. Hemingway believed something along this little line, “if you can’t understand the writing, understand the writer. What Erick failed to absorb. It’s up to every reader’s preference — what author or genre (business letter, (novel e.g., mystery, historical…)) they like to read. Simple sentence form seekers, grammarian sticklers, or rule breakers to move a story (thoughts, scenes, action) along. Steven King vs Shakespere vs JRR Tolkin…the vast tips — of various — writers and writings.

      • Matthew Minshull -  February 19, 2016 - 12:09 pm

        His name is ‘Winston’. How apt that you should defend poor grammar.

      • Mel -  May 30, 2016 - 6:11 pm

        My thought exactly Lu.

    • Propped -  January 1, 2016 - 12:42 pm

      “Speaking” as both a writer and a reader, that was atrociously written.

      • Rathkeale -  February 8, 2016 - 3:43 pm


    • Chief -  January 7, 2016 - 12:33 pm

      Sir, that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!

      • Rathkeale -  February 8, 2016 - 3:43 pm

        Chief, I agree entirely.

    • Loren Hughes -  February 3, 2016 - 4:33 pm

      I believe if what you are writing is of great importance or has the power to plant an idea in the minds of people, that is to say, can have a great impact on society e.g the Constitution, the emancipation proclamation, one should thing deeply on not only how it is written but how it is to be interpreted and can be interpreted by others. Make the message clear and the text sound.

    • Danielle -  February 22, 2016 - 11:30 pm

      Perfectly said!

    • coran beck -  April 17, 2016 - 11:19 pm

      Um, “Winston”? I found your non sequitur musings on “words” to be edifying, enlightening, and quite amusing. However, I find no DILEMMA in pointing out to you that you have misspelled the “word” (haha) “dilema” (sic).

    • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 3:38 pm

      Winston must be a liberal….probably a transsexual…. rules and formalities are all just arbitrary oppressive methods of thought control….. ;)

    • Mel -  May 30, 2016 - 6:08 pm

      I agree with you Winston. It is the intent behind the word…. except for when the reader/audience is your grad school professor.

    • Jackie -  July 5, 2016 - 11:28 am

      The DO-er.

    • Llenwuwd -  August 27, 2016 - 12:03 am

      The speaker, of course! The writer writes and the reader reads. One (said to) Be having the Last word; ought vocalize. LSS

  11. Ceroisinfinity -  October 26, 2015 - 11:29 am

    Aghhh! D-ictionary omg blew it!

  12. Ceroisinfinity -  October 26, 2015 - 11:27 am

    I looked up ‘sictionary’ in the thesaurus & ‘bible’ wasn’t listed as a synonym. Couldn’t find ‘thesaurus’ in Bible either. In fact, I couldn’t find any mention of dinosaurs. Hmmm…something is…wait, what was the question?

    • Ceroisinfinity -  October 26, 2015 - 11:32 am

      ahem… d-ictionary…of course. Blew it!

    • Marisa -  October 27, 2015 - 1:43 pm

      Freudian quip??

  13. Perin -  October 25, 2015 - 11:44 am

    I think i.e means that is
    & e.g means for example

    • Ms.Young -  October 26, 2015 - 4:13 pm

      Are Uu Sure Because I Am A Technology Teacher And I’m Have 5th Grader Asking Me

      • debbie -  October 27, 2015 - 9:49 am

        yahoo 5th grader teach ONE not both
        i.e.. most commonly used?
        In other words with a food example

  14. Mgbebu jethro -  October 23, 2015 - 5:42 am

    Can someone tell me the difference between morpheme and syllable

    • speech lady -  October 26, 2015 - 8:36 am

      A morpheme has to do with grammar – it is a unit of meaning that can modify the grammatical structure or stand alone. The word “talking” has 2 morphemes – “talk” and “ing”. It just happens to also have 2 syllables. A syllable is part of a word, based on the words rhythm but does not necessarily change the meaning of the word (although it can if it is a prefix, for example). The word butterfly has 3 syllables “but-ter-fly” but only 1 morpheme (butterfly). The word butterflies has 2 morphemes : “butterfly” and then the “s” – which makes it plural, hence modifying the grammatical structure of the sentence.

      • Kingopoke -  May 3, 2016 - 9:19 pm

        If a morpheme is related to sound and meaning, then why butterfly doesn’t split as butter and fly or butter and flies?

        • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 3:41 pm

          because the meaning has nothing to do with butter. Is a proper noun.

    • Denise -  October 26, 2015 - 3:36 pm

      The simple answer is that a morpheme is that smallest unit of sound to contain meaning. It may be a word or may be within a word.

      A syllable is a unit of sound but it is NOT tied to meaning.

      • debra ybarbo -  June 7, 2016 - 8:34 pm

        Well, thank you. I am NO grammatical genius, or for that matter, ANYONE. who knows much. But, that answer, BROKE IT DOWN!!! Thank you!!!!!

    • Aubrey Zimmerman -  October 27, 2015 - 6:51 am

      A good example of a morpheme is to look at the word “cats.”

      “Cats” has one syllable, but two morphemes.

      At closer inspection, the base word of “cats” is “cat.”

      Therefore, “cat” is one morpheme and “s” is the other morpheme.

      A good way to remember the difference is to remember this example. I hope I helped.

  15. Brando -  October 22, 2015 - 1:57 pm

    Glad to see this, I thought I.E. was short for “in essence”

  16. Kennethbentum -  October 22, 2015 - 11:09 am

    I want more articles

    • Rathkeale -  February 8, 2016 - 3:44 pm

      Me too.

      • Troller -  June 24, 2016 - 11:08 pm

        I agree, more articles mean more stupid yet, humorous comments to read.

  17. yohana irene -  October 20, 2015 - 7:45 am

    i thought e.g is example grammar, my friend on junior high school told me that

    • corina glicone -  October 22, 2015 - 9:30 pm

      key words: junior high school. Do you trust them or professionals?

      • Merrill Turner -  October 28, 2015 - 3:44 am

        Junior High students, of course!!!

  18. John -  October 20, 2015 - 5:04 am

    Is someone able to help me to distinguish the difference between desire and lust. In the Bible, lust is a sin. Would then desire to be a sin? Struggling over that one.

    • Vivi -  October 20, 2015 - 9:42 am

      Desire is an intense want. Lust is a extremely sexual desire. So no, desireing somthing is not a sin.

      • Nolan -  October 23, 2015 - 10:44 pm

        Why are you asking this question here when these comments are in response to the Word Fact about the difference between i.e. and e.g.? And why are people answering your question here?
        Despite how improper it is to ask and answer this question here, I am compelled to offer a different look at the word lust for Vivi.
        If I said, “I have a fervent lust for life”, would that mean I’m being sinful or being negative? And, if I’m not being either sinful or negative then the word lust itself is not a sinful or negative word. It’s simply a tool within language to express thoughts and ideas. Many times a word can be manipulated to express information more accurately.
        My lust of knowledge has put me in a position of benevolence among friends and family as a valuable source of information and an appreciated asset for a different point/s of view.

        • Nolan -  October 23, 2015 - 10:48 pm

          I identified the wrong person in my reply. I meant to address John. I apologize, Vivi, if I offended you.

        • Etan -  October 26, 2015 - 2:12 pm

          Well, from my point of view,why not just use desire and dismiss any ambiguity in your pursuit of knowledge.

        • Candice -  October 27, 2015 - 2:03 am

          It’s really too bad that your “lust for knowledge” didn’t stop you from starting sentences with “And”.

          • Nathan -  October 27, 2015 - 9:52 pm

            There’s nothing wrong with starting a sentence with “and” – the idea that you shouldn’t is just one of many grammar myths that is at best a guideline but certainly not a universal rule.

        • Brooke -  November 2, 2015 - 6:38 am

          Perhaps Nolan, a little restraint from your compulsion “to offer a different look” clearly criticizing ones genuine and seemingly personal struggle with the distinction between the two would offer your self proclaimed benevolent nature and elevated esteem among your peers another attribute CONSCIENCE! I find your word choice, useage and undoubtedly your tone throughout the entire post over inflated and skewed. The mention of the BIBLE in Johns post must have struck some cord prompting you to temporarily abandon your benevolent ways. Have a little tolerance and compassion for your fellow man!! Oh and to answer what you or anyone else who may read this post must be thinking I’m no bible beater..I’m Pagan.

        • Gen X -  April 9, 2016 - 11:23 am

          I believe the question was asked from a religious stand point… Well if read correctly!…
          As said above ALL words, wether used by a fiction author, non fiction author, religion, Law or for Journalism are open to interpretation… Wether this is best can become irrelevant, unfortunately!… some meaning is either misunderstood or taken, twisted & used for propaganda & even brainwashing… Having said that don’t you think SOME words havena TRUE meaning?… Especially when considering placement
          Such as LUST: You can take the word in many ways E.G… what is the dictionary, thesaurus, biblical & /or legal meaning(s)?what is the topic of discussion & What does that word represent to you?…
          Tools… Yes but tools r for building & a builder knows what he is working on should look like when done… & the ‘tools’ are only for building the BIGGER picture. How do we get that picture correct if the tools, let alone the pieces of structure, r open to interpretation… How would we do instruction based exercises?
          “A fervent lust for life”… Could b taken as meaning you r an adrenalin junkie & need your deathly fix! Or said with a sarcastic tone because the truth is the direct opposite! These I see as very negative & place Lust back in the unhealthy category… If u’ve experienced total Lust? You will know it ain’t healthy!… “Intoxicating Desire” on the other hand can b exactly that!
          Good luck all… I’m done… Thanx for the ie. & eg. Meanings!
          I was able to pat myself on the back for having it right!

        • Troller -  June 24, 2016 - 11:10 pm

          You are using ‘lust’ in a figurative manner. It’s not the same. Anyway, Why do you even care?

      • Terri -  October 26, 2015 - 2:32 pm

        The Dictionary cas lust an overwhelming DESIRE or craving. Exodus 20:14,17 (from 10 Commandments), “Do not committ adultrey…Do not COVET your neighbors house. Do not COVET your neighbors wife…” In the dictionary, COVET means to DESIRE WRONGFULLY,
        Matthew 5:28 says “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with LUST IN HIS EYE HAS ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTRY WITH HER IN HIS HEART.” Job 31:11-12 sums lust up, ” for lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished…” Desire and lust is the same, you can’t have one without the other, they our sin, God said it, so it’s true!

      • Lesley -  October 27, 2015 - 11:52 am

        Spelling, people! On a site such as this, I’m surprised by the grammatical errors. Just sayin’….

        • Gramps -  October 30, 2015 - 4:13 am

          Lesley, your one too talk, butt its okay – I’ll let ewe of

        • Gen X -  April 9, 2016 - 11:28 am

          Oh get over yourself!… This is a discussion, so people r writing with passion… Does your “PASSION” worry about spelling mistakes?… Well?

      • Lenae -  October 29, 2015 - 5:45 am

        Um…Vivi, that’s not really right, if you don’t mind me saying.

        This is the definition of lust:

        1. intense sexual desire or appetite.
        2. uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.
        3. a passionate or overmastering desire or craving
        4.ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish:
        an enviable lust for life.
        5 pleasure or delight.
        desire; inclination; wish.

        So it’s not just a sexual desire.

    • distraida -  October 20, 2015 - 11:29 am

      Dear John,

      Whether or not desire is a sin is going to depend on what you desire. Desire means ‘to want’ As in I desire pancakes. It is not a sin to want pancakes. “I desire to touch her forbidden places.” will be a sin unless you are speaking of your wife.

      Lust means you feel great desire to do sinful things with someone who is not your spouse. So as you can see, whether desire is a sin depends on how you use it, or how you feel it. Lust almost always refers to sex. Which is a sin if you’re not married to the person you are having sex with.

      There is another time when desire could be a sin as well. To covet means to desire greatly as well. “I desire a red bike.” is not a sin. “I desire Distraida’s red bike so much that I would be willing to steal to get it.” is coveting the red bike and is a sin. Remember there is a difference between “I desire a red bike just like Distraida’s.” and “I desire Distraida’s red bike.” You can’t have my red bike :) :) :) If your thought is, “I would kill to have a car like that!” it’s probably coveting.

      I hope this helps. I have no training in theology, I just have a degree in English. If you really need help determining what is sin, your best bet is to go to church and ask your preacher.

      Yours Truly,

      • John Dear -  October 22, 2015 - 1:07 am

        You took an innocent English questions and segwayed way into religion. Please try to stay on topic. There are venues more suitable for your type of discussion.

        • Rathkeale -  February 8, 2016 - 3:47 pm

          Thank you for this comment. A reminder about what is appropriate was needed here.

          • elgato -  March 23, 2016 - 11:48 am

            Ok, really? Distraida’s comments were on the mark. The fact that the syntax has to do with religion does not make the post religious and off topic. I would suggest that a reminder of appropriateness in commentary should be considered by the responder in this case, rather than the poster. A dash of tolerance may be in order as well.

      • Maxim -  October 22, 2015 - 3:41 am

        Dear Distraida,

        Thank you very much for detailed explanation!
        Could you please also tell me if the word “wanderlust” then means something forbidden or making a sin?

        Truly yours,

      • purita fleschhut -  October 22, 2015 - 5:08 am

        Distraida, Jimmy Carter once said – “to lust after your wife is a sin”. We are no theologians but what do you think he means by this?

      • jade -  October 22, 2015 - 7:17 am

        cool i will make sure that will never happen

      • Blue! -  October 22, 2015 - 7:22 am

        I have two degrees in English AND a background in theology. You did just fine.

      • AldoP -  October 22, 2015 - 12:07 pm

        Hi i’am Italian.I think lust means desire intensily something or someone but it is impossible to get that thing.Is it possible?

      • Cristina -  October 22, 2015 - 2:09 pm

        Distraida, that was very nice of you to take the time a reply with such a good and educated explanation. thank you

      • Stacy -  October 22, 2015 - 9:23 pm

        Hi John,
        Distraida has given you the best explanation of the two terms. Reading anything beyond that may be a bit confusing and blurred. Try to form your own personal examples of what was said and it should become clearer.

      • ladykoch -  October 24, 2015 - 9:34 am

        Very good definition of the difference between the meaning of the words, by someone educated in the English language. Theology expert not needed here, whatsoever.

      • Shirley -  October 25, 2015 - 6:30 am

        I believe you did quite well explaining this.

      • Terry -  November 1, 2015 - 8:57 pm

        Pray and ask God…He will prick your heart and your conscience if you are truly His when you are faced with any sin…

    • Anonymous -  October 20, 2015 - 11:52 am

      Desire and Lust is like Jealousy and Envy. Envy is when the jealousy is soo much that it becomes sin. Lust is when the desire is soo much that it becomes sin. Envy creates hatred, which could lead to sins like murder. Lust fullness creates craving which could lead to sins like stealing, or rape.

      • MaryS -  October 21, 2015 - 5:07 pm

        No – sorry. But you are mistaken. These terms are not the same kind, only “too much”. Envy is wishing you had what another has. Jealousy is resentment against a person for what he has. So, I envy my sister’s good looks, but jealousy makes me hate her for having such good looks. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting good looks, though it becomes sinful if it becomes an obsession. Still, that would not be jealousy. Jealousy is the ill will toward my sister, and is always sinful.

        Similarly, desire and lust are not the same thing. Desire can be directed toward the good: I desire to be holy. Nothing wrong with that! Even to desire your spouse can be wholesome. Desire only becomes sinful when it is directed at something you shouldn’t have, or becomes an obsession.

        Lust usually refers to sex, but can refer to any forbidden craving. Sex outside of marriage is driven by lust. But even sex with your spouse can be lust, if your goal is only to gratify yourself – when you are “using” that person. That is lust. Lust is a “taking”. Contrast that with real love: a total gift of self to your spouse.

      • Jasmine -  October 25, 2015 - 3:57 pm

        Youre so truu and cleverrr wow lol lmao ayye wut? Haha, cool.

    • Ed -  October 20, 2015 - 3:13 pm

      John, lust is an emotional hunger for something that goes beyond it’s proper boundaries. Desire is a similar hunger that remains within its boundaries. For example, I have desire for my wife. I find her attractive, and want a deeper relationship on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. I also want my wife to be blessed by that relationship. I might have a lust for a girl that is NOT my wife. That lust is similar in that I might desire similar physical relations as my wife, but it is selfish. It does not respect her as a person, but rather turns her into an object of desire instead of a person to be desired. As such, it goes beyond proper boundaries.

      Desire is not a sin. God desires you, and that boundary is proper.

      Biblically, here’s a simple differentiation that helps me:

      Desire = I want her.
      Lust = I want that.

      Lust reduces the object to a goal, or a thing to be obtained. The person is lost, and the relationship is at best superficial.

    • Daniel James Moreland -  October 20, 2015 - 8:35 pm

      1 John 2:17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. ” I am in the opinion that since this passage from the new testament is also translated as 17 And the world passeth away , and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. There is reason to think that lust is craving , or possibly desiring , but loving the world , or coveting is what I understand as the act of dying to the life of God because to make something that you can not own a desire only hurts or kills what could be eternally rewarded like doing the will of eternal God. I hope this helps , also I may be so bold as to suggest that being grateful for even simple things is not desiring them but like it is written in Philippians 4:8King James Version (KJV)

      8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
      Again I hope this helps , ,

    • Fabian Stanley -  October 21, 2015 - 12:00 am

      John, my simple explanation of how desire is different from lust.

      Desire is more an emotional craving to have and possess a person/thing/experience, after which I may not want to have it again at the same level of earnestness. For instance, it is my desire to travel to the USA and Australia at least once in my lifetime, after which I believe I will be satisfied and happy.

      Lust, on the other hand is more like a raging, passionate craving that is more likely to have physical manifestations, and stems from my human inability to keep my desires reasonable and in check.

      In that sense, “sin” is our human violation of the boundaries or “quota” that God has designed for us. For example, if you are married, it is assumed that marriage entitles you to a limit/quota of one wife only, for your lifetime. If, in your married state, you were to harbor and/or express a craving (lust) for another woman, then that would be considered overstepping your boundary or going over your allotted limit. This is where the idea of “sin” has its roots.

      I hope I was able to help. Thank you for the opportunity to reach out. God bless.

      • Laurie -  October 22, 2015 - 6:03 am

        I’m sorry to be a stick in the mud, but lust has nothing to do with taking a trip, or visiting family, etc.

        Wouldn’t you agree that those could probably be considered a very normal want. As a matter of fact the idea may have come from the Lord himself. We do not know how he works, but he works!

        • Christopher -  October 26, 2015 - 10:21 am

          Laurie, I believe that you are actually wrong; lust can be related to taking a trip, visiting family, etc.

          E.g. I lust to take a trip to beat-up my brother because he did something mean to me when I was younger.

          I could also say “I desire to…”, but that would mean I wanted to beat-up my brother only one time (to make up for the mean thing he did to me). However, saying “I lust to…” means that I would want, or I would not have a problem, to do this more than one time; punishing him more than he actually ‘deserves’, for example.

    • James McFarlane -  October 21, 2015 - 5:22 am

      Lust should best be understood as a self generated desire for something illicit, or more specifically, for something God does not want you to have.

      Desire is not sin. Eve did not commit sin until she acted on the desire Satan planted in her. First by disbelieving God, second by determining that she would forge her own identity outside of the boundaries set by God, and finally by eating of the fruit.

      Desire itself is not sin. The desire to care for one’s self and one’s family, the desire to eat food, the desire to have sex are all normal, healthy and created by God. They become Lust (and a sin) when we take them outside the boundaries established by God.

      Hope this helps!

    • Ahlen Tigger -  October 21, 2015 - 5:40 am

      Desire is a compelling reason to inquire, lust is a compulsion to exploit.

      • ..?kNOw1 -  October 23, 2015 - 11:21 pm


    • Cameron Lengerich -  October 21, 2015 - 7:55 am

      I believe when your desire for something becomes so great that it’s positioned over your love for God, then that is a sin.

      This is not saying we can’t enjoy things. We all have hobbies and other things that interest us, but we must be certain not to focus on those as much as we focus on God.

      • Freydis Kretschmer -  October 21, 2015 - 7:19 pm

        At which point it becomes idolatry…

      • nathan -  October 24, 2015 - 10:29 pm

        Well put.

    • Meadow Elizabeth Lasgaer -  October 21, 2015 - 2:01 pm

      Desire is not a sin. Lust is a sin. To desire something is to want with intent. There is no sin in that. This is how goals of any kind begin. Lust, however, is desire corrupted by selfish greed. It’s a type of gluttony. The long & short of it is this: to desire is to decide to pursue something that one wants; lust is to be consumed with a desire to the degree that nothing else matters but satisfying that greedy desire.

      For example, there’s nothing wrong with wanting, or “desiring”, to have some pizza. To be so consumed with this desire that one devours (not eats, but devours) pizza to the point of being sick, because they’ve allowed their desire for pizza to consume them with greedy over indulgence, would be sinful gluttony, a type of lust.

      The same is true of the attraction of one person to another. If a man deems a woman to be beautiful & desires to get closer to her as a result, this is not a sin. This could ultimately lead to marriage! If, however, that same man sees a woman’s beauty & he allows his desire for her to consume him to the point that he cares nothing for her beyond satisfying his all-consuming desire, then healthy desire has turned to sinful lust, from which many horrible sins can occur. I hope this helped you. God bless you!

    • Justin -  October 21, 2015 - 2:56 pm

      You are creating a false dichotomy. They are the same word. Lust is simply a strong desire. The greek word that is used for lusting after a woman in your heart is used for an overseer desiring the office.

      Desire/lust is amoral in of itself. It depends on what your lust (i.e. strong desire) is directed towards. (e.g. your wife vs another woman)

      Does that make sense? Did I actually use i.e. & e.g.? Correctly? ;)

    • Vicki B, -  October 21, 2015 - 5:52 pm

      Hi John,

      Desire means that you have a want for something or someone, e.g., a new pair of shoes or a friendship with a co-worker, respectively. Desire isn’t necessarily wrong, depending on the object. Lust, on the other hand, denotes an intense desire for something or someone. When Yahshuah (Jesus) taught that lusting in our hearts for a woman is the same as committing adultery with her, he understood that when lust is nursed, it has the potential to become a reality.

      A passing thought can breed a persistent thought.
      Persistent thought breeds desire.
      Desire breeds lust.
      Lust breeds action to obtain.

      We can have lust for riches too, which is just as much a sin as lusting after a woman (or man). If we don’t deal with lust, i.e., extreme desire, at the “passing thought” stage, it can surely end up being a snare to sin.

      Hope that helps! Shalom!

    • Alice -  October 23, 2015 - 12:10 pm

      Lust does not refer to the degree of sexual desire. It refers to the use of the desired person, not for his or her own benefit (as would be expected with sharing love in a covenant marriage) but simply for one’s own benefit and often reduces the desired person to that of an object for one’s personal gain. It is that objectification that is considered wrong in the Bible.

    • LaMour -  October 23, 2015 - 7:38 pm

      There is no sin–only stupidity to perceive something as a sin. The Bible, especially the New Testament, and more specifically the Catholic, is written by people who desired control and fear of people’s mind.

    • jb -  October 24, 2015 - 6:50 am

      Actually in the new testament the Greek word epithumeo is translated both lust and desire.

      It is used to describe the Holy Spirit’s yearning for righteousness and the sinful nature’s yearning for unrighteousness. (Galatians 5:17).

      It’s also used to describe a man’s sinful desire for a woman who isn’t his wife (Matthew 5:28) and a righteous man’s desire to see the things of God (Matthew 13:17).

      So lust and desire can interchanged. It might be more important to determine who is doing the desiring, and what they’re desiring.

    • Crystal -  October 25, 2015 - 7:45 pm

      A desire is not always a sin. But lust, which is fueled by certain desires, is indeed sinful. Any desire that is not of God is such. Rebuke/renounce any lustful thoughts/desires you’re having in the name of Jesus, and pray for God to strengthen & edify you as you pursue holiness. Rid yourself of things and close doors that you know may weaken your flesh, such as porn, ect. There is nothing in Christ that you can’t conquer. Lust can be a tough one, trust me I know, but the more I pursue God, the more my mind & heart are centered on His righteousness and the stronger I am against fleshly desires. Hoped I helped answer your question!


    • Jane -  October 26, 2015 - 2:42 am

      Lust is more sexual, whereas you can desire many things including inanimate objects. Lust infers an unhealthy, all consuming want of something, an obsession. A desire is more measured. Lust is desire in excess

    • Corey -  October 28, 2015 - 2:14 am

      Ok John, here it is for ya. Desire and Lust are confined by the elements that form them in your Context Clues, e.g., the way you use it determines its meaning.

      I.e., Queer used to mean “Weird” and Gay used to mean “Happy”, once upon a time. These words were adopted and used to describe someone with a homosexual preference/lifestyle.
      (I do not use this example to offend anyone, merely stating a fact).

      That being said, it is my belief that swear words are not sinful in nature simply because those 4 letters exist in a specific order. E.g., “Crap” is/can/does/will mean the exact same thing as its more provocative counter part, yet one is deemed sin while the other is not.

      Even more still that would mean (in my opinion) that these sinful words’ sole existence would be to even farther promote, or otherwise entrap us in sin.

      Doesn’t really make much sense to me. There simply are multiple ways to say the exact same things in a more colorful context within the English language as it exists today.

      Also, take into consideration that The Bible is not only translated from another language entirely, but is also translated from the translators’ perspectives of what that other language had supposedly meant. AND AGAIN, some words and/or phrases may not exist in other languages, or may possibly have no way of being explained in quite the same way, if it can be.

      If you’re worried about some religious aspect, I think the fact that you’re even concerned with this puts you in good standings. It’s said that God can “see what’s in your heart” and knows of your true intentions. The exact definitions of some English words have no standing in that fact. You should just as well know within yourself if something is right or wrong, i.e., your personal context clues can be used even in the absence of sentences and words, or even languages altogether. Just as it is said that children are innocent; they lack the entirety of a perspective that allows them to understand the weight behind their sinful actions. (I.e.) “Forgive Them Father, For They Know Not What They Do.”

      If you want my personal 2¢, I can drop it on both:

      God – I think it unwise to accept what another human (potentially even more fallible or evil than oneself) tells me of what My God is, and accept that as 100% fact. I would go so far as to say that it would be foolish to blatantly follow preachings, or holy books/people simply because they’re self proclaimed as the Righteous and Infallible Holy Word of The Lord Thy God. Religion has already been used, the Word Of God, for personal gain of things such as power and money.

      Did a man write it? Did a man speak it?
      Did you question it? Cause men make mistakes. Men also lie, cheat, steal, and kill. Which is equally as important to know.

      I think the “Faith” part comes in when you want a relationship with God and you instill within him the Trust, the “Desire/Lust”, and the Faith (synonymous, i.e., words that mean the same thing) that he will guide you in the direction that you need to go.
      Even if you don’t know all the answers, nobody does. (Not even the fraggin’ Pope!).
      You may know it’s a ’69, yellow, convertible Mustang and the boy next to you may know it’s a yellow car. You both are correct, even if one is more so than the other. The boy doesn’t yet acquire the knowledge you do, which is just more detailed/elaborative. Just as you may still carry on with your life not knowing every screw, thread, or minor imperfections within the entirety of the vehicle. But do you need to know it’s a 69 convertible Mustang, or even it’s exact detail in order to know that it’s a yellow car?
      Maybe if you did you’d be trying to change something you didn’t like, otherwise unknown to your liking, instead of hitting the road for the destination God has mapped for you…

      If you’re contemplating right(s) and wrong(s) on an event/thought, you will figure it out. Many Biblical instances back up my belief that honest ignorance of God’s law IS indeed excuse of that law. If you don’t figure it out, and you just honestly cannot make heads or tails of it, that’s your innocence and you will not be charged with the weights of a sin that you do not knowingly commit against the knowledge of it being sinful.

      Desire/Lust – It’s not the words that are meant to be understood as sin; Rather it is specific actions, or Choices, that are carried out with the knowledge of their wrongful nature. (I.e.) When you have an understanding that the choices you have played out [or are currently, or will be, play(ed/ing) through] are morally irresponsible, or even just down right wrong for you to act on.

      Words are malleable, fragile even. Their meanings and intangibilities are easily molded into our imaginative and ever-flourishing Lust for the existence of endlessly, exchangeable expressions that we instinctively seek to animate within our shared and curious existence; Systematically fulfilling our profound Desire of either adopted, or self realized perspectives that are derived to take life as a perception formed and projected from the abundance of our word’s, our phrases, and even our own innermost, personal conscience’s Context Clues.

      That’s my idea at least. Doesn’t hurt to have your own, even an opposing one.

      And that’s phat, and stupid, and dope!!
      That should be the gist of it. Long read, so at least hope it’s semi-entertaining or helpful.

      Good luck to you John, may the force be with you.

      • Corey -  October 28, 2015 - 2:17 am

        That very first “e.g.” Was improperly used, should have been “i.e.”

        • Corey -  October 28, 2015 - 2:33 am

          And the i.e. After it should be e.g.
          Switch em!! Lmao. Saw another as well but you can fix it in your head.

      • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 4:02 pm

        queer still means the same as it always did. Gay also now means lame because of its misapplication to queerness. Homosexuals were often exuberant and unrestrained with their emotions and celebratory expressions, which was very gay. But after the word “gay” became applicable to homosexuality, it gained an entirely new meaning, that of “lame”, or “weak”, or “gross” or just plain “stupid” or “queer”. All of these now hold the same meaning as the word “gay”, it has become a catch all term for general dysfunction.

        Not trying to offend anyone, just stating facts.

    • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 3:47 pm

      Don’t listen to these people. Desire and lust can be synonymous depending on the connotation. The best distinction of connotation, is that lust connotes greater intensity and often specifically in regards to sexuality but not necessarily, where as desire is more generally synonymous with “want”. Desire does not have to be an intense want. Any want is a desire. Not all desires are lust, but all lust is desire.

      • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 3:48 pm

        and now the word “desire” no longer looks like a real word to me anymore…that is what happens…..”Obey” ~ Bill Cosby

  19. stephanus -  October 20, 2015 - 3:38 am

    Although at the time I hated Latin as a subject at school,six decades ago!, in retrospect hardly a day goes by without my giving thanks for having been taught it.

  20. Kath -  August 29, 2015 - 6:21 am

    I was taught in law school that e.g.means “for example” and i.e. Means “specifically.” We used those terms in citations included in briefs. We were also taught that because i.e. and e.g. are Latin they must be written in italics. I have followed suit for the past forty years in all types of writings. It has been frustrating, however, to attempt to use these terms with spell check constantly reading the period at the end of the abreviations and without the ability (to my knowledge) to italicize in messages. Comments?

    • Vicki B, -  October 21, 2015 - 5:53 pm

      I hear you. The struggle is real.

  21. Khadeeja -  August 11, 2015 - 5:18 am

    Bravo I didn’t know

  22. Avi -  June 7, 2015 - 8:53 pm

    I was taught to remember the difference by thinking i.e. stands for “in essence” and e.g. stands for “example given”.

    • Akin kuyoro -  June 12, 2015 - 7:32 pm


    • V. Rodionov -  June 13, 2015 - 12:57 pm

      OK for “rule of thumb.

      Back to the source” i.e.” and “e.g.” are abbreviations for Latin expressions.
      “i.e.” for “id est”: in English – “that is”.
      “e.g.” for “exempi gratia”: in English – “for sake of example”.

      • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 4:17 pm

        thanks for the cliff notes…..you would think everyone here commenting actually read the article… but for those queer folk who desire their lust to be more immediately gratified, might skip to the end of the comments and thus you have provided the essential pith of the entire premise….(i.e. you condensed the entire discussion into a concise exposition, which if considered from any other perspective, would seem entirely redundant and perhaps a tad arrogant and obnoxious)….but never mind what all those cis-minded jerks (e.g. rational minded, diligent, intelligent people) think!

    • Brenda -  July 12, 2015 - 5:37 pm

      Yeah, me too. I was taught that e.g was “Example given” & i.g meant “In example” I’ll have to teach myself a short cut because I won’t remember & I don’t like looking like I don’t know how to use punctuation.

    • Victoria -  September 16, 2015 - 3:21 pm

      Thinking of “i.e.”‘ as shorthand for “in essence” and “e.g.” as shorthand for “example given” is very helpful. Thank you, Avi!

    • Debi -  October 19, 2015 - 6:52 am

      Thanks! I like this one best as a way to remember.

      • Sarah -  October 20, 2015 - 5:26 pm

        I already knew this, but in different words.

  23. MsKDW -  June 6, 2015 - 5:34 pm

    Great examples of how to remember the difference Grammargirl. Also good points med by all!

  24. Linda Nichols -  May 13, 2015 - 12:07 am

    What are the differences and meanings of lay, layed, laid, & lain?

    • Laurie Cox -  May 14, 2015 - 10:47 pm

      Lay is the present tense meaning to put or place in a horizontal position. Laid is the past tense of lay. It is a transitive verb. Lie is the present tense meaning to be in a horizontal position. Lay and lain are past tenses. It is an intransitive verb, meaning it has no object.
      Layed is not a word.
      Lay the blanket on the bed.
      She laid the pile of books on the table.
      I will lie down on the towel on the beach. I lay down on a towel. She has lain on the lanai for hours.
      Hope this helps.

      • Azmil B. Salla -  June 1, 2015 - 8:55 am

        Layed is not a word

      • Sonia Lopez de Romero -  July 25, 2015 - 6:56 am

        Very helpful and informative, thanks!

      • Lorraine Kavanagh -  September 18, 2015 - 7:09 am

        I’ve struggled to remember this.. tY… At 82 my school day memory is blurry. LOL

      • Meher Anwar -  October 19, 2015 - 2:09 am

        This is very very interesting and informative. I would like to have more words and their meanings .


      • Ahlen Tigger -  October 21, 2015 - 5:45 am

        Too much detail, not enough substance.

      • Prof. -  May 11, 2016 - 2:54 pm

        I think lay is a present continuous tense

    • Jigs -  May 16, 2015 - 3:26 am

      Lay means putting something down, no such word as layed, laid is the past tense and past participle of lay, and lain is the past participle of lie as in lie down. Past tense of lie is lay.

      I just hope this is a bit of help as far as I remember my English Writing subject in college ages ago.

      • Claudia -  May 23, 2015 - 5:18 pm

        That’s correct

      • Eileen T. -  May 24, 2015 - 2:47 pm

        Jigs, Laurie Cox. You both seem to remember a lot more than I seem to. So, I’ll ask you:
        1) What’s the difference between past tense and past participle?
        2) Why do we have so many letters which are silent?
        3)Why not just spell things as they sound?
        Why don’t we have an upside-down punctuation at the start of a sentence as the Hispanic languages have?
        This way, when someone begins a sentence, they will know whether it’s a question, an exclamation or a simple sentence.
        Ps. This is NOT a pop-quiz. Lol

        • Druid -  May 27, 2015 - 6:29 pm

          American language question mark at the end Ida sentence is an indication to the SPEAKER of the phrase to inflect the voice as a question. Some languages, particularly ancient languages, don’t use punctuation/ by the Spanish language needs to preamble a question with a special mark; I’ll leave that to the historian s among us.

        • tunner21 -  June 2, 2015 - 2:29 pm

          i’ve wondered that myself with the english language. there are so many silent letters that are unnecessary. why can’t we just spell the words the way they sound to minimize complication? i’m no english language expert. so i’m hoping someone can shed light on this.

          • Paul -  June 14, 2015 - 10:27 am

            There are spelling rules from Saxonish and Anglish (Germanic languages of the Saxons and Anglos) as well as Norman French. After the linguistic blending and institution of more regularized spelling, especially since Johnson’s Dictionary, the spelling system is maintained 1) because it is hard to institute a new, agreed on system and 2) we would lose our ability to read older texts if too much reform took place.

          • Rus -  October 17, 2015 - 5:18 pm

            The spelling of English isn’t simplified to be pronounced the way it is spelled because the pronunciation of the Brits differ from that of Aussies, from the Kiwis from the Yankees and from the South Africans. If we allow phonetic spelling, then which country’s pronunciation should be favoured?

        • Mamasama -  August 29, 2015 - 7:36 pm

          I’m not Laurie, but perhaps I can bring a bit of help.
          Past tense and past participle are both past forms of verbs, but I think the term you’re thinking of for “past tense” is “past simple” which is used if something was done, is completely over, and the importance is that it’s done: I saw it. Past participle is used for more situations and implies a “time” factor: I have seen it; I will have seen it; I had seen it, I would have seen it. (In each case, you almost always want to know the “when” that goes along with the action.)
          English has a bunch of silent letters partially because English comes from a wide variety of languages — Anglo (thus the name English), Saxon, Germanic, Latin and other “romance languages, etc. Also, because languages evolve over time, words that might have been pronounced one way in 1300 may be spelled the same (or not) but spoken differently. There’s also the role that dialects play with languages. In a large country, like the US, a word may be said differently in one physical area of the country than the same word in a different area. Tricky stuff!
          Spelling things the way they sound, phonetically, would work IF we didn’t have so many words! Not to tease you, but it’s true! The language borrowings and the evolution of language both work against phonetics in English. English often tries to keep the spelling it borrowed rather than change the spelling to fit how the word is said — take a peek at some of the names of places in areas of America with a strong Native American language base to see efforts to simplify by phonetics! Eeek! In contrast, Spanish doesn’t run into that problem because the language more often adjusts the word to fit the phonemics, not the other way around.
          As for the punctuation question — can’t help you there. It would make it nicer for reading aloud to know that a long group of words is going to be followed by a question mark so your voice doesn’t suddenly “inflect up” on the very last word! Maybe we can start a petition to add a new punctuation mark to our language, too!
          Hope this helps a little! ;)

          • Mazie Moore -  October 20, 2015 - 7:35 pm

            I was taught a simple way to have the correct tense for a verb. Use the three following sentences:
            Today I _____.
            Yesterday I ____.
            Many times I have____.
            Then use what sounds right.
            E.g., today I eat. Yesterday I art. Many times I have eaten.
            Also: today I go. Yesterday I went. Many times I have gone.
            This has worked for me for over 50 years. Hope it helps.

    • Aaliyah -  May 19, 2015 - 9:33 pm

      I don’t know

    • Bob ho -  June 10, 2015 - 12:07 am


      • Seve -  June 10, 2015 - 10:59 am

        Me TooOooOoOOOOooOOo!!

      • Sarah -  October 20, 2015 - 5:27 pm

        ME THREEEE!! >:OO

    • Akeem -  June 10, 2015 - 1:11 am

      Present tense and past tense

    • Kurt locker -  June 15, 2015 - 8:11 am

      Seems to me it’s conjugation. The same word in different tenses.

      (I) ride
      (You) ride
      (We) rode
      Have ridden
      Riding (to a store)
      And the like

  25. Nasir Uddin -  May 11, 2015 - 8:24 am

    It’s is great to know the origin of the word and the correct use of it

    • Roy Foster -  May 11, 2015 - 4:24 pm

      It’s great to know the origin of a word and its correct use.

      • Andeberhan -  October 19, 2015 - 7:59 pm

        i need english lealing

    • Teistan -  May 27, 2015 - 4:45 pm

      Your grammar is wrong: it’s is should be it is or it’s

      • Harold Clements -  June 10, 2015 - 8:17 am

        While meaning well, I’m afraid that YOU are mistaken…using the contraction “it’s” for “it is” makes no sense here. While the ” ‘s ” is normally used to show possession, for the subject “it” we use “it’s” (no apostrophe). This is an exception to the rule…as most of us know, English is famous for these exceptions.

        • Harold Clements -  June 10, 2015 - 8:20 am

          Correction: that last “its” should have no apostrophe…so much for spellcheck!

        • Mcj -  July 15, 2015 - 2:26 pm

          It’s funny cause I think Teistan was referring to the beginning of Nasir Uddin’s comment: “it’s is great..”

        • Mamasama -  August 29, 2015 - 7:41 pm

          We’ve such an “exceptional” language! LOL ;)

          • Ahlen Tigger -  October 21, 2015 - 5:48 am

            Oh, come now.

        • Tunde -  October 19, 2015 - 6:29 am

          You are correct, thank you for the explanation.

          • Come down -  October 21, 2015 - 6:01 pm

            To me and we can make it easier

  26. Graham -  May 7, 2015 - 10:43 pm

    Something I have noticed on message walls is that someone usually gets a little bit “picky” and pounces on an unfortunate scribe seemingly just for the sake of it .

    • Nolan -  October 24, 2015 - 2:44 am

      Replying to Graham but can easily be seen as unnecessary. Expected and accepted.
      Offering, by chance it helps, for understanding a differing point of view.
      Proper grammar is critical, especially if the subject is of importance or is difficult to interpret.
      I principally offer help to those who write on message walls, forums or similar places and have written grammatically incorrect in the hope that I am educating, i.e., perhaps the proper grammar was not known to the writer, perchance spectators may not have known.
      Often, and unfortunate, I am seen as “picking” on them. When this happens I must apologize for offense, offer a gesture of goodwill and present a humble image in the hopes that I helped the grammar violator or, at least, helped somebody who witnessed the grammar abuse.
      I am my nephew’s tutor and as such I must, in principle, demonstrate the value of offering help even if ridicule is inevitable. He will grow to be a leader and benevolent in moderation to all things so I must be these things for him. Difficult but gets easier with focused practice. I’m divulging this personal info to give meaning into interested importance.
      However, I have seen others correct individual’s grammar and I question the “picky” person’s motives after seeing how the grammar correction was offered. Frequently, these “picky” grammar-pouncers are not trying to help but instead inflate their own ego. Immature, in my opinion, and breeds reluctantcy in those who would otherwise assist.
      May you always be curious and have the wisdom to be willing to see things from a view other than your own.

  27. Goru E. Edwin -  May 5, 2015 - 9:17 pm

    It is an interesting study.Keep it up

    • Abigail -  May 9, 2015 - 6:30 am

      I hate you guys

      • Olivia -  May 13, 2015 - 3:55 am

        I hate you too

        • Sadiq -  May 15, 2015 - 2:51 am

          I don’t hate but, LOVE.
          Thanks a lot for your explaination

        • Cerri -  May 17, 2015 - 4:08 pm

          S͛o͛ o͛n͛ s͛a͛m͛e͛ w͛a͛v͛e͛ a͛s͛ a͛b͛y͛: c͛u͛r͛i͛o͛u͛s͛. I͛.E

      • Naya -  May 15, 2015 - 4:13 pm

        Take your boredom somewhere else

      • Cerri -  May 17, 2015 - 4:05 pm


        • Nolan -  October 24, 2015 - 3:05 am

          @Naya in defense of Cerri
          I agree and ask the same question. Why?

  28. SenbonSecret -  May 5, 2015 - 5:15 am

    There are actually a great lot of people who don’t know how to fully use these terms correctly or are constantly getting them mixed up, which is why a lot of government agencies prefer they be left out of any formal written documentation.

    • bluebird cv -  May 5, 2015 - 8:07 pm

      When I worked for the Federal Government, we used a semi-colon before the i.e. and e.g. and then a comma afterward if they were used in the middle of the sentence.

      ; i.e., ; e.g.,

      • Brucevich -  June 7, 2015 - 9:48 am

        Try using : ergo, meaning : therefore. Insted of (i.e. or e.g.) easier to type anyway!

        • John Dear -  October 22, 2015 - 1:19 am

          ergo replaces neither i.e. nor e.g. It has a different meaning

          • Lenae -  October 29, 2015 - 5:48 am

            Yeah but ppl don’t know what it means…right?

  29. Tyla L -  May 5, 2015 - 12:20 am
  30. Sam Nger -  May 4, 2015 - 10:04 pm

    Good to know their Latin origins!

  31. Lordy, Lordy! -  May 4, 2015 - 8:18 pm

    My goodness… I need a cool name like everyone else ( e.g. Cool Chick, Mystery to all, police ) !

    • Anonymous -  October 23, 2015 - 10:42 pm

      Hey whattttttttttt

  32. Lordy, Lordy! -  May 4, 2015 - 8:15 pm

    Jeepers, I need a clicks name like everyone else!

  33. Versace -  May 4, 2015 - 6:55 pm

    I like this lesson because my teacher taught us

  34. GrammarGirl -  May 3, 2015 - 3:48 am

    I’ve always remembered this by renaming i.e. as “in essence” to give more of a description, and e.g. as “example given” to be followed by specific examples. It’s always worked for me! I could never remember te Latin terms, so I made my own terms.

    • I -  May 4, 2015 - 3:28 pm

      That really helped me remember that better.

    • Versace -  May 4, 2015 - 6:54 pm

      You are the best

      • Fatima -  May 10, 2015 - 2:26 am


    • Lyn -  May 5, 2015 - 3:30 am

      A good simple was to remember the difference. Thanks

    • Marty -  May 5, 2015 - 11:40 am

      Thank you, that makes it very simple to remember….

    • Lena -  May 6, 2015 - 7:44 pm

      Great, I love your “own terms”. Thanks for sharing

      • Lena -  May 6, 2015 - 7:46 pm

        Sorry, the above remarks I was referring to the reply from grammargirl.

    • Nalin -  May 8, 2015 - 4:03 am

      Thanks! That’s very cool

    • ChasNTN -  May 9, 2015 - 6:15 am

      Thanks GrammerGirl, I like your example.

    • Wilerkis -  May 12, 2015 - 9:58 pm

      Do you have a podcast called…?

    • Ketsey -  May 13, 2015 - 8:06 am

      Great tip to help remember the difference. Thank-you.

    • June -  May 16, 2015 - 6:41 pm

      Helps a lot. thank you.

    • Imlynnadok -  May 26, 2015 - 2:42 am

      Thank you GrammarGirl for “in essence” & “example given”.
      Not sure if these are mnemonics or not but they’re good reminders for me.

    • Marjorie -  June 2, 2015 - 12:50 am

      Love your suggestion on way to remember .
      Thank you !

    • D'Janee Brooks -  June 3, 2015 - 12:46 pm

      I like how you did that to remember the difference. I probably wouldn’t remember the Latin words either.

    • Grammar slayer -  June 13, 2015 - 10:48 am

      Thanks Grammar Girl. I’ve always had a problem remembering grammar rules, but have been told by composition teachers that I had natural aptitude. However, someone down the line taught me wrong. Don’t remember ever hearing about e.g., but was told i.e. meant in example, so have been using it wrong for years!

    • Nolan -  October 24, 2015 - 3:44 am

      Very clever and easy to remember.
      I’m willing to say “your terms” could, over time, be used widely in schools and education programs as the example word association.
      I wonder if you could coin it and perhaps profit, other than knowing you are helping countless english speakers. Maybe you can see your name in places like the Wiki, dictionaries and informational/resource websites. Or I’m possibly being over grateful and just talking nonsense unknowingly. Your first fan. lol

  35. Ross -  April 2, 2015 - 5:38 pm

    Convent school. Knew this.

  36. Mi -  April 1, 2015 - 6:22 pm

    Wow! I used e.g. Earlier today… Correctly! Yey!

  37. Jen -  March 31, 2015 - 9:50 pm

    Wow. I used I.e earlier today…incorrectly. I’ll be ready next time. Thank you

  38. Jessica -  March 29, 2015 - 8:01 am

    Now I learned the difference between i.e and e.g and use it correctly.

  39. Yvette -  March 24, 2015 - 8:14 am

    I try to learn something new every day, and I just did! This was impactful for me.

  40. Reverence -  March 21, 2015 - 6:35 am

    I’ve always known “i.e” and “e.g” to mean “that is” and “for example” respectively, but never knew they were from Latin words. Today, I get to know what they actually stand for. We surely learn everyday!
    #idest #exempligratia

    • Francesca -  May 7, 2015 - 9:40 pm

      Always amazes me how English is made up of 65-70% Latin

  41. VineRoyale -  March 20, 2015 - 2:07 pm

    Wow!!!! How did I miss this one???

    Well, I know now. Now to remember.

    Thanks for the lesson!

  42. woody -  December 23, 2014 - 4:48 am

    it’s good to know.

  43. Cool Chick -  December 11, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    I didn’t know i.e and e.g were part of the English language.

    • Person -  December 23, 2014 - 7:54 pm

      If you read the above it says it befuddles the speakers and writers of the English language. It doesn’t say that ie and eg are English in origin.

  44. Tappingtoes01 -  December 8, 2014 - 1:27 pm

    Personally, anybody who doesn’t know how to use these simple English terms should go back to living under a rock

    • Pookie -  December 9, 2014 - 5:39 pm

      Even if I had lived “under a rock”, I would have learned better manners than you, and would have been less of a word snob. Get over yourself “tappentoes”!

      • Freydis Kretschmer -  October 21, 2015 - 7:54 pm

        Some people just want to try to make others feel small, insignificant or stupid because they feel like that themselves and hope that if they can make another feel badly it will somehow raise their low self worth…never worked for me! Thank God!….Let us be kind to each and everyone, lift each other up!

        • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 4:23 pm


    • Cool Chick -  December 11, 2014 - 2:35 pm

      I have never lived under a rock. :(

      • Cool Chick Responder -  December 18, 2014 - 5:54 am

        Haha, I see what you did there

      • LuzRodriguez -  April 12, 2015 - 9:12 am

        Nether do I but I think is interesting

      • Nolan -  October 24, 2015 - 3:55 am

        @Cool Chick
        Lol. Love the wit. Very satisfying response to, either, a jerk or someone suffering from boredom.
        And I have never lived under a rock.

    • Shine -  March 20, 2015 - 8:54 pm

      Technically they are the abbreviations of Latin expressions. We just use it in English. LOL. I didn’t know this until I read this today. The article never said these abbreviations were from English terms. They were from Latin. So should I go back to living under a rock or nah?

    • Una... -  March 25, 2015 - 3:27 pm

      Spoken like a true caveman… (e.g. mistakes and all)

    • GoodWill -  October 17, 2015 - 12:02 pm

      Yeah, living under a rock would be a hard place to be in, but that doesn’t apply to everyone… Whoops, let me rephrase that slang: “But it DOES NOT apply to everyone!”

    • Nolan -  October 24, 2015 - 4:42 am

      I challenge you to find a useful reasoning for your response!
      In your response, should “doesn’t” be used or “does not”?
      In your response, i.e. and e.g., are not English terms, let alone simple.
      In Fact, portions of the Federal Government have expressed these “Latin terms” be removed from use in English documents due to confusion and you’ll find that Government agencies refrain from use of such terms.
      In your response, you obtusely suggested those in ignorance of the correct use of these terms, “should go back to living under a rock.” If you are referring that people seek refuge in caves, and refrain from pursuit of knowledge, then perhaps the ignorant one, is in fact, you.
      Surprising to see such immaturity in a place where people seek knowledge.

      • Astrochronic -  May 12, 2016 - 4:22 pm

        not surprising to see this level of pretentiousness and arrogance in a place where people seek knowledge though…wow get over yourself, Nolan.

  45. Bill C -  December 6, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    (scratching head) whatever happened to “i.e.g.”, which I understood to refer to “in erse grotum” and mean “in other words”?

    • Cool Chick -  December 11, 2014 - 2:33 pm

      I never knew i.e.g exsisted. That may be because I’m a fourth grader.

    • Kit Snicket -  March 12, 2015 - 8:27 pm

      I would just like to draw attention to your username. Does it involve a demonic dorito?

  46. Alberto Polanco -  November 27, 2014 - 9:57 am

    Can someone give an example of the way you would use i.e. and e.g. in formal writing with the parentheses, “remember that in formal writing, e.g. and i.e. are often set off in parentheses and followed by a comma.”

    • AnonymousUser -  December 11, 2014 - 1:12 pm

      I like citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, lemons, and limes)
      I think this is what they meant

      • Mmmkay -  May 5, 2015 - 7:20 am

        I like citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons and limes).

        • thing -  October 19, 2015 - 6:08 pm


          • bing -  October 19, 2015 - 6:08 pm


        • ling -  October 19, 2015 - 6:09 pm

          hi dudes

          • Uptownfunk -  October 19, 2015 - 6:10 pm

            Hi guys

          • Come down -  October 21, 2015 - 6:08 pm

            Hey there were a few

  47. Shu -  November 24, 2014 - 3:02 pm

    very interesting

    • Sumedha -  November 25, 2014 - 12:02 am

      Indeed! :D

  48. Pauline Capstick -  November 23, 2014 - 9:59 pm

    Correct meanings only stump me when I look athem

    • Swagerman -  November 24, 2014 - 11:12 am

      Yolo. YOLO all over this place!

  49. Pauline Capstick -  November 23, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    Just one of those things, that until you think about ,or look at, you just did it.
    Then you question it

  50. Paul Olaru -  November 23, 2014 - 5:07 am

    I’d consider “I.E.” as “I Explain”, which has a similar meaning if not the same.

  51. Anu mitali -  November 17, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    Thanks a lot.

    • Pontius Polite -  December 11, 2014 - 6:41 am

      You’re welcome.

  52. Anu mitali -  November 17, 2014 - 8:30 pm

    Thanks a lot.i was in darkness about it.

    • Pontius Polite -  December 11, 2014 - 6:41 am

      You’re welcome.

  53. Anu mitali -  November 17, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    Thanks a lot.i was in darkness about this.now i have got the point.

    • Pontius Polite -  December 11, 2014 - 6:42 am

      Excellent! You’re very welcome.

  54. Lorena -  October 11, 2014 - 1:32 am

    I was taught that i.e. is for “in example” and only 1 example should be given; e.g. is for “examples given” and multiple examples are given.

    • Jim -  October 23, 2014 - 7:37 am

      It is fun to be proven wrong, isn’t it? I suppose that’s why we read these things.

      • Gavin -  November 5, 2014 - 2:53 pm


      • fucker -  June 29, 2016 - 11:52 pm

        jim, it’s not that fun to be proven wrong.

  55. Devious -  September 19, 2014 - 7:02 am

    More like pathetic than sad…

    • Andrei Herzlinger -  October 10, 2014 - 8:27 am

      I was taught that e.g. is the abbreviation of “example given”!
      Was easy to recall.

  56. Mystery to all -  September 11, 2014 - 4:37 pm

    sad :-(

  57. Mystery to all -  September 11, 2014 - 4:18 pm

    Does no one read this? I’m lonely

    • von Guelden -  November 23, 2014 - 11:11 pm

      Take a walk outside, you silly goose! You won’t meet many people by surfing the web all day :)

    • Freydis Kretschmer -  October 21, 2015 - 7:57 pm

      Hope you feel better…its a year later…

  58. Mary Jane Curvin -  August 23, 2014 - 12:30 pm


    • hey girl -  August 26, 2014 - 6:30 pm

      hey girl what’s ya phone #

      • Sophie -  September 10, 2014 - 6:19 pm


        whats yo numba?

      • Mystery to all -  September 11, 2014 - 4:39 pm

        why do you need her Phone #? I’m confused. But, still, it’s a mystery. ;-)

      • police -  September 14, 2014 - 4:48 am


      • Mary Jane Curvin -  September 14, 2014 - 12:30 pm

        01371 831100

        • It's ok -  October 12, 2014 - 12:33 pm

          I don’t have any friends either.

          • Antony M A -  November 4, 2014 - 2:20 am

            Luckily I learned the correct meanings of i.e and e.g when I did a Latin course simultaneously while in college

          • jim cook -  December 7, 2014 - 4:49 am

            Funny… I learned most of English and how she be used by the time I was in the fourth grade. I naturally assume everyone in The United States did too. Life shows me how wrong I am.

          • Isobel -  May 4, 2015 - 6:34 pm

            I’m glad you learned how English be used. :) She is very useful.

        • Leo Lee -  November 24, 2014 - 6:52 pm

          Wow, fancy girl. you gave your phone # just because someone asked.

          • Kingsley Keinde Adebisi -  May 11, 2015 - 9:12 am

            These are little but big things in our grammar that we do not take cognizance of. Great lesson as I applaud this.

          • John wick -  May 21, 2015 - 4:57 am


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