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List of Latin phrases (I)

This page lists English translations of notable Latin phrases, such as veni vidi vici and et cetera. Some of the phrases are themselves translations of Greek phrases, as Greek rhetoric and literature reached its peak centuries before the rise of ancient Rome.

This list covers the letter I. See List of Latin phrases for the main list.
Latin Translation Notes
I, Vitelli, dei Romani sono belli Go, oh Vitellius, at the war sound of the Roman god Perfectly correct Latin sentence usually reported as funny by modern Italians because the same exact words, in Italian, mean "Romans' calves are beautiful", which has a ridiculously different meaning.
ibidem (ibid.) in the same place Usually used in bibliographic citations to refer to the last source previously referenced.
id est (i.e.) that is (literally "it is") "That is (to say)" in the sense of "that means" and "which means", or "in other words", "namely", or sometimes "in this case", depending on the context. The abbreviation may be followed by a comma or not, depending on the style of the writer (or the grammatical sense of what follows.[1]) The comma is more apt to be dropped before a simple expression with no punctuation of its own, and is more likely to be retained for multiple items.[2] I.e. is often confused with e.g. (exempli gratia, "for example").[3] Some writing styles give such abbreviations without punctuation, as ie and eg.[a]
id quod plerumque accidit that which generally happens A phrase used in legal language to indicate the most probable outcome from an act, fact, event or cause.
idem (id.) the same Used to refer to something that has already been cited; ditto. See also ibidem.
idem quod (i.q.) the same as Not to be confused with an intelligence quotient.
Idus Martiae the Ides of March In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March refers to the 15th day of March. In modern times, the term is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC; the term has come to be used as a metaphor for impending doom.
Jesu juva (J.J.) Jesus, help! Used by Johann Sebastian Bach at the beginning of his compositions, which he ended with "S.D.G." (Soli Deo gloria). Compare Besiyata Dishmaya.
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (INRI) Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews
From Vulgate; John 19:19. John 19:20 states that this inscription was written in three languages—Aramaic, Latin and Greek—at the top of the cross during the crucifixion of Jesus.
igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum Therefore whoever desires peace, let him prepare for war Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari; similar to si vis pacem, para bellum and in pace ut sapiens aptarit idonea bello.
igne natura renovatur integra through fire, nature is reborn whole An alchemical aphorism invented as an alternate meaning for the acronym INRI.
igni ferroque with fire and iron A phrase describing scorched earth tactics. Also rendered as igne atque ferro, ferro ignique, and other variations.
ignis aurum probat fire tests gold A phrase referring to the refining of character through difficult circumstances, it is also the motto of the Prometheus Society.
ignis fatuus foolish fire Will-o'-the-wisp.
ignorantia juris non excusat (or ignorantia legis non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat) ignorance of the law is no excuse A legal principle whereby ignorance of a law does not allow one to escape liability.
ignoratio elenchi ignorance of the issue The logical fallacy of irrelevant conclusion: making an argument that, while possibly valid, doesn't prove or support the proposition it claims to. An ignoratio elenchi that is an intentional attempt to mislead or confuse the opposing party is known as a red herring. Elenchi is from the Greek elenchos.
ignotum per ignotius unknown by means of the more unknown An explanation that is less clear than the thing to be explained. Synonymous with obscurum per obscurius.
ignotus (ign.) unknown
illum oportet crescere me autem minui He must become greater; I must become less In the Gospel of John 3:30, a phrase said by John the Baptist after baptizing Jesus. Motto of Saint John the Baptist Catholic School, San Juan, Metro Manila.
imago Dei image of God From the religious concept that man was created in "God's image".
imitatio dei imitation of a god A principle, held by several religions, that believers should strive to resemble their god(s).
imperium in imperio an order within an order 1. A group of people who owe utmost fealty to their leader(s), subordinating the interests of the larger group to the authority of the internal group's leader(s).
2. A "fifth column" organization operating against the organization within which they seemingly reside.
3. "State within a state"
imperium sine fine an empire without an end In Virgil's Aeneid, Jupiter ordered Aeneas to found a city (Rome) from which would come an everlasting, never-ending empire, the endless (sine fine) empire.
impossibilium nulla obligatio est there is no obligation to do the impossible Publius Juventius Celsus, Digesta L 17, 185.
imprimatur let it be printed An authorization to publish, granted by some censoring authority (originally a Catholic Bishop).
in absentia in the absence Used in a number of situations, such as in a trial carried out in the absence of the accused.
in absentia lucis, tenebrae vincunt in the absence of light, darkness prevails
in actu in act In the very act; in reality.
[Dominica] in albis [depositis] [Sunday in Setting Aside the] White Garments Latin name of the Octave of Easter.
in articulo mortis at the point of death
in bono veritas truth is in the good
in camera in the chamber In secret. See also camera obscura.
in casu (i.c.) in the event In this case.
in cauda venenum the poison is in the tail Using the metaphor of a scorpion, this can be said of an account that proceeds gently, but turns vicious towards the end—or more generally waits till the end to reveal an intention or statement that is undesirable in the listener's ears.
in com. Ebor. In the county of Yorkshire Eboracum was the Roman name for York and this phrase is used in some Georgian and Victorian books on the genealogy of prominent Yorkshire families.
in Christi lumine pro mundi vita in the light of Christ for the life on the world Motto of Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
in Deo speramus in God we hope Motto of Brown University.
in dubio pro reo in doubt, on behalf of the [alleged] culprit Expresses the judicial principle that in case of doubt the decision must be in favor of the accused (in that anyone is innocent until there is proof to the contrary).
in duplo in double In duplicate
in effigie in the likeness In (the form of) an image; in effigy (as opposed to "in the flesh" or "in person").
in esse in existence In actual existence; as opposed to in posse.
in extenso in the extended In full; at full length; complete or unabridged
in extremis in the furthest reaches At the very end. In extremity; in dire straits; also "at the point of death" (cf. in articulo mortis).
in fide scientiam To our faith add knowledge Motto of Newington College.
in fidem into faith To the verification of faith.
in fieri in becoming In progress; pending.
in fine (i.f.) in the end At the end. The footnote says "p. 157 in fine": "the end of page 157".
in flagrante delicto in a blazing wrong, while the crime is blazing Caught in the act (esp. a crime or in a "compromising position"); equivalent to "caught red-handed" in English idiom.
in flore in blossom Blooming.
in foro in forum In court (legal term).
in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire A palindrome said to describe the behavior of moths. Also the title of a film by Guy Debord.
in harmonia progressio progress in harmony Motto of Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia.
in hoc sensu or in sensu hoc (s.h.) in this sense Recent academic abbreviation for "in this sense".
in hoc signo vinces by this sign you will conquer Words Constantine the Great claimed to have seen in a vision before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
in hunc effectum for this purpose Describes a meeting called for a particular stated purpose only.
in ictu oculi in the blink of an eye
in illo ordine (i.o.) in that order Recent academic substitution for the spacious and inconvenient "..., respectively."
in illo tempore in that time At that time, found often in Gospel lectures during Masses, used to mark an undetermined time in the past.
in inceptum finis est lit.: in the beginning is the end or: the beginning foreshadows the end
in limine at the outset/threshold Preliminary, in law, a motion in limine is a motion that is made to the judge before or during trial, often about the admissibility of evidence believed prejudicial.
in loco in the place, on the spot That is, 'on site'. "The nearby labs were closed for the weekend, so the water samples were analyzed in loco."
in loco parentis in the place of a parent Assuming parental or custodial responsibility and authority (e.g., schoolteachers over students); a legal term.
in luce Tua videmus lucem in Thy light we see light Motto of Valparaiso University. The phrase comes from the book of Psalms 36:9 "For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light."
in lumine tuo videbimus lumen in your light we will see the light Motto of Columbia University, Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School and Ohio Wesleyan University. Also, it is the motto of the South African University of Fort Hare.
in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum into your hands I entrust my spirit According to Luke 23:46, the last words of Jesus on the cross.
in medias res into the middle of things From Horace. Refers to the literary technique of beginning a narrative in the middle of, or at a late point in, the story, after much action has already taken place. Examples include the Iliad, the Odyssey, Os Lusíadas, Othello, and Paradise Lost. Compare ab initio.
in memoriam into the memory Equivalent to "in the memory of". Refers to remembering or honoring a deceased person.
in natura in nature
in necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas in necessary things unity, in doubtful things liberty, in all things charity "Charity" (caritas) is being used in the classical sense of "compassion" (cf. agape). Motto of the Cartellverband der katholischen deutschen Studentenverbindungen. Often misattributed to Augustine of Hippo.[citation needed]
in nocte consilium advice comes over night. Literally: the night brings advice, source of the English expression "Sleep over it" I.e., "Tomorrow is a new day." Motto of Birkbeck College, University of London.
in nomine diaboli in the name of the devil
in nomine Domini in the name of the Lord Motto of Trinity College, Perth, Australia; the name of a 1050 papal bull
in nomine patris, et filii, et spiritus sancti in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit invocation of the Holy Trinity
in nuce in a nut in a nutshell; briefly stated; potential; in the embryonic phase
in odium fidei in hatred of the faith Used in reference to the deaths of Christian martyrs
in omnia paratus Ready for anything. Motto of the United States Army's 18th Infantry Regiment
in omnibus amare et servire Domino In everything, love and serve the Lord. The motto of Ateneo de Iloilo, a school in the Philippines
in omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book Quote by Thomas à Kempis
in ovo in the egg or in the embryo An experiment or process performed in an egg or embryo (e.g. in ovo electroporation of chicken embryo).
in pace ut sapiens aptarit idonea bello in peace, like the wise man, make preparations for war Horace, Satires 2/2:111; similar to si vis pacem, para bellum and igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
in pace requiescat in peace may he rest Alternate form of requiescat in pace ("let him rest in peace"). Found in this form at the end of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe.
in pari materia upon the same matter or subject In statutory interpretation, when a statute is ambiguous, its meaning may be determined in light of other statutes on the same subject matter.
in partibus infidelium in the parts of the infidels "In the land of the infidels"; used to refer to bishoprics that remains as titular sees even after the corresponding territory was conquered by Muslim empires.
in pectore in the heart A cardinal named in secret by the pope. See also ab imo pectore.
in personam into a person Directed towards a particular person
in posse in potential In the state of being possible; as opposed to in esse.
in propria persona in one's own person For one's self, for the sake of one's "Personhood"; acting on one's own behalf, especially a person representing themselves in a legal proceeding; see also litigant in person, pro se legal representation in the United States (abbreviated pro per).
in principio erat Verbum in the beginning was the Word (Logos) Beginning of the Gospel of John
in re in the matter [of] A legal term used to indicate that a judicial proceeding may not have formally designated adverse parties or is otherwise uncontested. The term is commonly used in case citations of probate proceedings, for example, In re Smith's Estate; it is also used in juvenile courts, as, for instance, In re Gault.
in rebus in the thing [itself] Primarily of philosophical use to discuss properties and property exemplification. In philosophy of mathematics, it is typically contrasted with "ante rem" and, more recently, "post res" structuralism. Sometimes in re is used in place of in rebus.
in regione caecorum rex est luscus In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. A quote of Desiderius Erasmus from Adagia (first published 1500, with numerous expanded editions through 1536), III, IV, 96.
in rem to the thing Legal term indicating a court's jurisdiction over a piece of property rather than a legal person; contrast with personal (ad personam) jurisdiction. See In rem jurisdiction; Quasi in rem jurisdiction
in rerum natura in the nature of things See also Lucretius' De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things).
in retentis among things held back Used to describe documents kept separately from the regular records of a court for special reasons.
in saecula (saeculorum), in saeculum saeculi roughly: down to the times of the times forever (and ever), liturgical
in saeculo in the times In the secular world, esp. outside a monastery, or before death.
in salvo in safety
in scientia opportunitas
(Dog Latin)
In Knowledge, there is Opportunity Motto of Edge Hill University.
in scientia et virtue In Knowledge, and Virtue Motto of St. Joseph's College, Colombo. Sri Lanka.
in se magna ruunt great things collapse of their own weight Lucan, Pharsalia 1:81.
in silico
(Dog Latin)
in silicon Coined in the late 1980s for scientific papers. Refers to an experiment or process performed virtually, as a computer simulation. The term is Dog Latin modeled after terms such as in vitro and in vivo. The Latin word for silicon is silicium, so the correct Latinization of "in silicon" would be in silicio, but this form has little usage.
in situ in the place In the original place, appropriate position, or natural arrangement.
in somnis veritas In dreams there is truth
in spe in hope "future" (My mother-in-law in spe", i.e., "My future mother-in-law), or "in embryonic form", as in "Locke's theory of government resembles, in spe, Montesquieu's theory of the separation of powers."
in specialibus generalia quaerimus To seek the general in the specifics That is, to understand the most general rules through the most detailed analysis.
in statu nascendi in the state of being born Just as something is about to begin
in toto in all Totally; entirely; completely.
in triplo in triple In triplicate.
in umbra, igitur, pugnabimus Then we will fight in the shade
in utero in the womb
in utrumque paratus prepared for either (event)
in vacuo in a void In a vacuum; isolated from other things.
in varietate concordia united in diversity The motto of the European Union and the Council of Europe
invidiae prudentia victrix prudence conquers jealousy
in vino veritas in wine [there is] truth That is, wine loosens the tongue (referring to alcohol's disinhibitory effects).
in vitro in glass An experimental or process methodology performed in a "non-natural" setting (e.g. in a laboratory using a glass test tube or Petri dish), and thus outside of a living organism or cell. Alternative experimental or process methodologies include in vitro, in silico, ex vivo and in vivo.
in vivo in life/in a living thing An experiment or process performed on a living specimen.
in vivo veritas in a living thing [there is] truth An expression used by biologists to express the fact that laboratory findings from testing an organism in vitro are not always reflected when applied to an organism in vivo. A pun on in vino veritas.
incepto ne desistam May I not shrink from my purpose! Westville Boys' High School and Westville Girls' High School's motto is taken directly from Virgil. These words, found in Aeneid, Book 1, are used by Juno, queen of heaven who hated the Trojans led by Aeneas. When she saw the fleet of Aeneas on its way to Italy, after the sack of Troy by the Greeks, she planned to scatter it by means of strong winds. In her determination to accomplish her task she cried out "Incepto Ne Desistam!"
incertae sedis of uncertain position (seat) A term used to classify a taxonomic group when its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.
incredibile dictu incredible to say A variant on mirabile dictu.
intus et in cute Inwardly, under the skin [intimately, without reservation] Persius, Satire 3:30.
Index Librorum Prohibitorum Index of Prohibited (or, Forbidden) Books A list of books considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church.
indigens Deo being-in-need-of-God, beggar before God From Augustine, De Civitate Dei XII, 1.3: beatitudinem consequatur nec expleat indigentiam suam, "since it is not satisfied unless it be perfectly blessed."
indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus I too am annoyed whenever good Homer nods off Horace, Ars Poetica 358
indivisibiliter ac inseparabiliter indivisible and inseparable Motto of Austria-Hungary before it was divided and separated into independent states in 1918.
Infinitus est numerus stultorum. Infinite is the number of fools.
infirma mundi elegit Deus God chooses the weak of the world The motto of Venerable Vital-Justin Grandin, the bishop of the St. Albert Diocese, which is now the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
infra dignitatem (infra dig) beneath one's dignity
ingenio stat sine morte decus The honors of genius are eternal Propertius, Elegies Book III, 2
iniuriae qui addideris contumeliam You who have added insult to injury Phaedrus, Fables 5/3:5.
inopiae desunt multa, avaritiae omnia To poverty many things are lacking; to avarice, everything Publilius Syrus.
insita hominibus libidine alendi de industria rumores Men have an innate desire to propagate rumors or reports Titus Livius, (XXVII, XXIV); Michel de Montaigne, (Essays).
instante mense (inst.) in the present month Used in formal correspondence to refer to the current month, sometimes abbreviated as inst; e.g.: "Thank you for your letter of the 17th inst."—ult. mense = last month, prox. mense = next month.
Instrumentum regni instrument of government Used to express the exploitation of religion by State or ecclesiastical polity as a means of controlling the masses, or in particular to achieve political and mundane ends.
Instrumentum vocale instrument with voice So Varro in his De re rustica (On Agriculture) defines the slave: an instrument (as a simple plow, or etc.) with voice.
intaminatis fulget honoribus Untarnished, she shines with honor From Horace's Odes (III.2.18). Motto of Wofford College.
integer vitae scelerisque purus unimpaired by life and clean of wickedness From Horace. Used as a funeral hymn.
intelligenti pauca Few words suffice for he who understands
inter alia (i.a.) among other things A term used in formal extract minutes to indicate that the minute quoted has been taken from a fuller record of other matters, or when alluding to the parent group after quoting a particular example.
inter alios among others Often used to compress lists of parties to legal documents
inter arma enim silent leges in a time of war, the law falls silent Said by Cicero in Pro Milone as a protest against unchecked political mobs that had virtually seized control of Rome in the 60s and 50s BC. Famously quoted in the essay Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau as "The clatter of arms drowns out the voice of the law". This phrase has also been jokingly translated as "In a time of arms, the legs are silent."
inter caetera among others Title of a papal bull
inter mutanda constantia Steadfast in the midst of change Motto for Rockwell College in Ireland and Francis Libermann Catholic High School in Ontario, Canada
inter spem et metum between hope and fear
inter faeces et urinam nascimur we are born between feces and urine Attributed to Saint Augustine
inter vivos between the living Refers to property transfers between living persons, as opposed to a testamentary transfer upon death such as an inheritance; often relevant to tax laws.
intra muros within the walls Not public; source of the word intramural. See also Intramuros, Manila.
intra vires within the powers Within one's authority
invenias etiam disiecti membra poetae You would still recognize the scattered fragments of a poet Horace, Satires, I, 4, 62, in reference to the earlier Roman poet Ennius
inveniet quod quisque velit Each shall find what he desires Attributed to Petronius[19] or Prudentius. Motto of Nature in Cambridgeshire:[20]
Inveniet quod quisque velit; non omnibus unum est, quod placet; hic spinas colligit, ille rosas.
("Each shall find what he desires; no one thing pleases all; one gathers thorns, another roses.")
invicta Unconquered Motto of the English county of Kent and the city of Oporto
invictus maneo I remain unvanquished Motto of the Armstrong Clan
Iohannes est nomen eius John is his name Motto of the Seal of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
ipsa scientia potestas est knowledge itself is power Famous phrase written by Sir Francis Bacon in 1597
ipse dixit he himself said it Commonly said in Medieval debates and referring to Aristotle. Used in general to emphasize that some assertion comes from some authority, i.e., as an argument from authority, and the term ipse-dixitism has come to mean any unsupported rhetorical assertion that lacks a logical argument. A literal translation by Cicero (in his De Natura Deorum 1.10) of the Greek «αὐτὸς ἔφα», an invocation by Pythagoreans when appealing to the pronouncements of the master.
ipsissima verba the very words themselves "Strictly word for word" (cf. verbatim). Often used in Biblical Studies to describe the record of Jesus' teaching found in the New Testament (specifically, the four Gospels).
ipsissima voce in the very 'voice' itself To approximate the main thrust or message without using the exact words
ipso facto by the fact itself By that very fact
ira deorum wrath of the gods Like the vast majority of inhabitants of the ancient world, the ancient Romans practiced pagan rituals, believing it important to achieve a state of pax deorum (peace of the gods) instead of ira deorum (wrath of the gods): earthquakes, floods, famine, etc.
ira furor brevis est Wrath (anger) is but a brief madness
ita vero thus indeed A useful phrase, as the Romans had no word for "yes", preferring to respond to questions with the affirmative or negative of the question (e.g., "Are you hungry?" was answered by "I am hungry" or "I am not hungry", not "Yes" or "No).
ite, missa est Go, it is the dismissal Loosely: "You have been dismissed", literally "Go. Mass is over". Concluding words addressed to the people in the Mass of the Roman Rite.[21]
iter legis The path of the law The path a law takes from its conception to its implementation
iucunda memoria est praeteritorum malorum Pleasant is the memory of past troubles Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum 2, 32, 105
iugulare mortuos to cut the throat of corpses From Gerhard Gerhards' (1466–1536) [better known as Erasmus] collection of annotated Adagia (1508). It can mean attacking the work or personality of deceased person. Alternatively, it can be used to describe criticism of an individual already heavily criticised by others.
iuncta iuvant together they strive also spelled juncta juvant; from the legal principle quae non valeant singula, iuncta iuvant ("What is without value on its own, helps when joined")
iura novit curia the court knows the law A legal principle in civil law countries of the Roman-German tradition that says that lawyers need not to argue the law, as that is the office of the court. Sometimes miswritten as iura novat curia (the court renews the laws).
iure matris in right of his mother Indicates a right exercised by a son on behalf of his mother
iure uxoris in right of his wife Indicates a right exercised by a husband on behalf of his wife
iuris ignorantia est cum ius nostrum ignoramus it is ignorance of the law when we do not know our own rights
ius accrescendi right of accrual Commonly referred to as "right of survivorship": a rule in property law that surviving joint tenants have rights in equal shares to a decedent's property
ius ad bellum law towards war Refers to the laws that regulate the reasons for going to war. Typically, this would address issues of self-defense or preemptive strikes.
ius cogens compelling law Refers to a fundamental principle of international law considered to have acceptance among the international community of states as a whole. Typically, this would address issues not listed or defined by any authoritative body, but arise out of case law and changing social and political attitudes. Generally included are prohibitions on waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity, war crimes, piracy, genocide, slavery, and torture.
ius in bello law in war Refers to the "laws" that regulate the conduct of combatants during a conflict. Typically, this would address issues of who or what is a valid target, how to treat prisoners, and what sorts of weapons can be used. The word jus is also commonly spelled ius.
ius primae noctis law of the first night The droit de seigneur
iustitia fundamentum regni justice is the foundation of a reign Motto of the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office of the Czech Republic
iustitia omnibus justice for all The motto of Washington, D.C.
iuventuti nil arduum to the young nothing is difficult Motto of Canberra Girls Grammar School
iuventutis veho fortunas I bear the fortunes of youth Motto of Dollar Academy


  1. ^ Assertions, such as those by Bryan A. Garner in Garner's Modern English Usage,[4] that "eg" and "ie" style versus "e.g.," and "i.e.," style are two poles of British versus American usage are not borne out by major style guides and usage dictionaries, which demonstrate wide variation. To the extent anything approaching a consistent general conflict can be identified, it is between American and British news companies' different approaches to the balance between clarity and expediency, without complete agreement on either side of the Atlantic, and with little evidence of effects outside journalism circles, e.g. in book publishing or academic journals.

    There is no consistent British style. For example, The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors has "e.g." and "i.e." with points (periods);[5] Fowler's Modern English Usage takes the same approach,[1] and its newest edition is especially emphatic about the points being retained.[6] The Oxford Guide to Style (also republished in Oxford Style Manual and separately as New Hart's Rules) also has "e.g." and "i.e.";[7] the examples it provides are of the short and simple variety that often see the comma dropped in American usage as well. None of those works prescribe specifically for or against a comma following these abbreviations, leaving it to writers' own judgment.

    Some specific publishers, primarily in news journalism, drop one or both forms of punctuation as a matter of house style. They seem more frequently to be British than American (perhaps owing to the AP Stylebook being treated as a de facto standard across most American newspapers, without a UK counterpart). For example, The Guardian uses "eg" and "ie" with no punctuation,[8] while The Economist uses "eg," and "ie," with commas and without points,[9] as does The Times of London.[10] A 2014 revision to New Hart's Rules states that it is now "Oxford style" to not use a comma after e.g. and i.e. (which retain the points), "to avoid double punctuation".[11] This is a rationale it does not apply to anything else, and Oxford University Press has not consistently imposed this style on its publications that post-date 2014, including Garner's Modern English Usage.

    By way of US comparison, The New York Times uses "e.g." and "i.e.", without a rule about a following comma – like Oxford usage in actual practice.[12] The Chicago Manual of Style prefers "e.g.," and "i.e.,". However, it says of this entire class of expressions, including long phrases like "in other words" and "for example", that they are "traditionally" or "usually" followed by a comma, not that they must be, nor does it draw any dialectal distinctions on the matter[13] (despite usually making American versus British assertions throughout). The AP Stylebook preserves both types of punctuation for these abbreviations.[14]

    "British" and "American" are not accurate as stand-ins for Commonwealth and North American English more broadly; actual practice varies even among national publishers. The Australian government's Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers preserves the points in the abbreviations, but eschews the comma after them.[15] Editing Canadian English by the Editors' Association of Canada uses the periods and the comma;[16] so does A Canadian Writer's Reference.[17] The government publication The Canadian Style uses the periods but not the comma.[18]

    Style guides are generally in agreement that both abbreviations are preceded by a comma or used inside a parenthetical construction, and are best confined to the latter and to footnotes and tables, rather than used in running prose.


  1. ^ a b Burchfield, R. W.; Fowler, H. W., eds. (2004). "e.g." and "i.e.". Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd ed.). Oxford U. Pr. pp. 240, 376.
  2. ^ Strauss, Jane; Kaufman, Lester; Stern, Tom, eds. (2014). The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (11th ed.). Jossey-Bass/Wiley. Use a comma before and after certain introductory words or germs, such as namely, that is, i.e., e.g., and for instance, when they are followed by a series of items.
  3. ^ "Word Fact: What's the Difference Between i.e. and e.g.?". IAC Publishing. August 19, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Garner, Bryan A. (2016). "e.g." and "i.e.". Garner's Modern English Usage (4th ed.). pp. 322–323, 480. This is an internationalized expansion of what was previously published as Garner's Modern American Usage.
  5. ^ Ritter, Robert M., ed. (2003). "e.g." and "i.e.". Oxford Style Manual. Oxford University Press. pp. 704, 768.. Material previously published separately as The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors.
  6. ^ Butterfield, Jeremy; Fowler, H. W., eds. (2015). "e.g." and "i.e.". Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4th ed.). Oxford U. Pr. pp. 248, 393. Both should always be printed lower case roman with two points and no spaces."
  7. ^ Ritter, Robert M., ed. (2003). "3.8: e.g., i.e., etc.". Oxford Style Manual. Oxford U. Pr. pp. 69–70.
  8. ^ "abbreviations and acronyms". Guardian and Observer style guide. Guardian Media Group/Scott Trust. 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "Abbreviations". The Economist Style Guide. Economist Group. 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  10. ^ ", eg," and ", ie,". The Times Online Style Guide. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Waddingham, Anne, ed. (2014). "4.3.8: Other uses [of the comma]". New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide (2nd ed.). Oxford U. Pr. p. 79.
  12. ^ Siegal, Allan M.; Connolly, William G.; Corbett, Philip B.; et al., eds. (2015). "e.g." and "i.e.". The New York Times Manual of Style (2015 ed.). New York Times Company/Three Rivers Press. E-book edition v3.1, ISBN 978-1-101-90322-3.
  13. ^ "6.43: Commas with 'that is,' 'namely,' 'for example,' and similar expressions". The Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.). University of Chicago Press. 2010.
  14. ^ "e.g." and "i.e.". Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law (2009 ed.). Associated Press/Basic Books. pp. 95, 136.
  15. ^ "6.73". Style Manual for Authors, Editors and Printers (5th ed.). Australian Government Publishing Service. 1996. p. 84.
  16. ^ "4.22: Latin Abbreviations". Editing Canadian English: The Essential Canadian Guide (Revised and Updated (2nd) ed.). McClelland & Stewart/Editors' Association of Canada. 2000. pp. 52–53.. States no rule about the comma, but illustrates use with it in §4.23 on the same page.
  17. ^ Hacker, Diana; et al. (2008). "M4-d: Be sparing in your use of Latin abbreviations". A Canadian Writer's Reference (4th ed.). Bedford/St. Martin's. pp. 308–309. This is a Canadian revision of an originally American publication.
  18. ^ "12.03: Words commonly misused or confused". The Canadian Style (Revised and Expanded (2nd) ed.). Dundurn Press/Public Works and Government Services Canada Translation Bureau. 1997. pp. 233–234.
  19. ^ Baehrens, Emil, ed. (1882). "Excerpta ex Petronio, 74". Poetae Latini Minores. IV. p. 88.
  20. ^ "Introduction". Nature in Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust/Cambridge Natural History Society. December 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "Ite Missa Est" from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Additional sources