Quick Tip: Technical Writing: Proper use of i.e. (‘that is’) versus e.g. (‘for example’)

by | Last Updated: Jan 27, 2023 | Blog, Quick tips, Resources

Ever wonder whether to use ‘i.e.’ or to use ‘e.g.’ in a technical document or even an email or blogging? I have. So I thought I’d post this to help anyone else who may have wanted to know the distinction between i.e. and e.g.

Here is the proper use of  i.e. (‘that is’) versus e.g. (‘for example’):


I.e.‘ (id est, ‘that is’) precedes a statement of amplification or explanation.

Examples of usage:

“Reboot the computer (i.e., press the Control, Alt, and Delete keys simultaneously).”
So ‘i.e.’ technically means ‘that is’ and is used like ‘for instance’, or giving an explanation.


E.g.(exempli gratia, ‘for example’) precedes a specific example or examples.

Examples of usage:

“Several groups attended, e.g., the church association, the PTA, and the teachers’ union.”

So ‘e.g.’ technically means ‘for example’ but is used like providing a list of 2 or more examples.


In many contexts, to avoid confusion, the long version use of ‘for example or ‘for instance’ can replace the abbreviated ‘e.g.’ or ‘i.e.’.

In reality many people interchange these abbreviations without really knowing that they are different, so now you can be one of the people using them correctly.

Author | Jeff Kemp

Marketing Automation & CRM Consultant

hire Jeff Kemp | Marketing Automation & CRM Consultant

With 30 years of marketing experience I've been laser targeted on Marketing Automation for 10 years, seven of those as a Salesforce Certified Pardot Account Engagement​ Consultant, and more recently a HubSpot Expert.

Since I've worked with a lot of clients in various industries I've seen several of the same struggles that are common to almost all organizations (as outlined in this article). With each organization and project that I'm involved with I work hard to solve many of those typical problems, plus identifying and solving sometimes unique and complex issues which often involve cleaning up technical debt from legacy systems and helping organizations set up effective lead management systems using best practices and proven methodologies.

I also love dogs :0)

Optimal Business Consulting (OBC) helps organizations to implement, optimize, and maintain their existing or new Pardot (Account Engagement), Salesforce, HubSpot, or WordPress platform. OBC is proud to be a Salesforce Partner. -->More about Jeff & OBC

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