How To Use “I.E. & ETC.” In A Sentence

Latin and Greek words already rule over Maths and English language. There are many terms that we subconsciously use in these languages that belong to Latin or Greek. It is also said that Latin is one of the mother languages from where English was born. One example of the same is i.e., etc.

These two abbreviations are used in so many places but when it comes to forming sentences, we see that people fumble while using the same. Let’s dig into the history of these words, what they mean and how to write the same. Read more to find out!

What Do I.E. and ETC Mean?

When it comes to i.e., it means ‘id est’ in Latin. When translated roughly into English, it means ‘in other words’. Sometimes i.e. is also used as a short form for the term ‘that is’. There is also this fact that some people use i.e. as the words ‘in essence’. They do sound good and match up with the short forms but they weren’t designed for the same purpose.

Etc. is another abbreviation used for the Latin term ‘et cetera’ which means ‘and others’. I don’t think I need to explain this in detail as to where it is used because even school kids use this abbreviation when they run out of examples.

As to why they exist, I hope you know what LOL or LMAO means. You might think that anyone who doesn’t know as to what this is belongs to the older generation. Something very similar to this happened way back when English was born. Latin was the only language allowed to speak and to keep up with trends, people used to shorten terms from Latin and incorporate the same in English.

You can even say that i.e., etc., e.g., are the original short forms and LOL, LMAO and ILYSM are just the Gen Z way of keeping up with this tradition.

How Do They Work?

When it comes to ‘i.e.’ there are 4 ways that you can use this abbreviation and these are as follows:-

  • To denote the word ‘that is’ or ‘in other words.
  • Not to use it for giving examples.
  • Use the same only in informal documents and handwritten letters.
  • Always use the same in the middle of sentences and not in the beginning.

As for ‘etc.’ there are ways that you can use this term. These ways are as follows: –

  • To mean ‘and so forth’ or ‘and others of the same class’.
  • Do not use the term for examples, along with the word ‘such as’ or introductory phrases.
  • Do not use the term more than once.
  • Do not use and before this term.

Final Words

I hope that you understood these vintage abbreviations. Both of these terms are used widely but only a few people out there know the true meaning of them. If you were using them at the wrong places, it’s your turn to use both i.e. and etc. correctly.

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