Writing Tips

Our best writing tip? Edit for clarity and brevity with WordRake. It’s an automated in-line editor that checks for needless words, cumbersome phrases, clichés, and more.

Download a 7-Day Free Trial

Two Abbreviations Many Lawyers Misuse

The Difference between I.E. and E.G.

“i.e.” and “e.g.”


These Latin abbreviations are not interchangeable: “i.e.” means only “that is” or “in other words”; “e.g.” means only “for example” (or, for the literati or anyone living two thousand years ago, “id est” and “exempli gratia.”)


The Rule: use “i.e.” when you want to clarify, “e.g.” when you want to illustrate.

So if the phrase following the abbreviation does not illustrate, i.e., if it does not offer an example, use “i.e.”


I did not find a case directly on point, e.g., i.e., where a corporation was subject to personal jurisdiction based on a name change alone.


Most lawyers make the opposite mistake; they write “i.e.” when they mean “e.g.,” e.g.:


Such femur fractures can be caused by a variety of osteoporosis drugs, i.e., e.g., Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, and Reclast.




Always a comma before.

Never a space between.


Sometimes a comma after. (But a comma after is always acceptable, so I would do it automatically.) You may italicize either, but you don’t have to.


“I.e.” and “e.g.” are easy to confuse, but if you remember one thing, the rest follows: “e.g.” means “example.”

Writing Tips in Your Inbox

About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

Download a 7-Day Free Trial

How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.