Punctuation after abbreviations like e.g.

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Nicola Bigwood
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Punctuation after abbreviations like e.g.

Post by Nicola Bigwood » 13 Feb 2018, 15:39

In British English, abbreviations like i.e. and e.g. usually include full stops (aside from some house style guides which exclude them, like the UK Government website). A comma usually precedes them when they are followed by a list:

She will go out tomorrow, i.e. not today.
He has eaten lots of food today, e.g. bread, cheese, ham.

This is demonstrated also on the Oxford English Dictionaries website in the grammar section explaining the difference between i.e. and e.g. (URL: en.oxforddictionaries. com/usage/i-e-or-e-g)
- and also in the dictionary section for the definition of e.g.

These sentences do not include commas after the abbreviation, though. For instance, British English would not say:
She will go out tomorrow i.e., not today.
He has eaten lots of food today e.g., bread, cheese, ham.

The exception would be in a longer sentence where e.g. is not being used to introduce something but is just 'another word' in the sentence, like it is in this one. For instance:
A comma is not required after e.g., unless the sentence as a whole requires one.
is correct in British English.

Is there a difference for American English? I'm curious because I had a comment on a review about a comma always being required after e.g. so I wanted to check whether this was standard American usage, and whether I need to follow American conventions instead in future.

The differences in all the varieties of English are always fascinating! :D

Thanks!

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DustinPBrown
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Post by DustinPBrown » 14 Feb 2018, 09:41

Your suspsicions are correct. US standard is to have a comma before and after the abbreviation, at least from what I've always been taught.

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ayoomisope
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Post by ayoomisope » 17 Feb 2018, 10:35

Nicola Bigwood wrote:
13 Feb 2018, 15:39
In British English, abbreviations like i.e. and e.g. usually include full stops (aside from some house style guides which exclude them, like the UK Government website). A comma usually precedes them when they are followed by a list:

She will go out tomorrow, i.e. not today.
He has eaten lots of food today, e.g. bread, cheese, ham.

This is demonstrated also on the Oxford English Dictionaries website in the grammar section explaining the difference between i.e. and e.g. (URL: en.oxforddictionaries. com/usage/i-e-or-e-g)
- and also in the dictionary section for the definition of e.g.

These sentences do not include commas after the abbreviation, though. For instance, British English would not say:
She will go out tomorrow i.e., not today.
He has eaten lots of food today e.g., bread, cheese, ham.

The exception would be in a longer sentence where e.g. is not being used to introduce something but is just 'another word' in the sentence, like it is in this one. For instance:
A comma is not required after e.g., unless the sentence as a whole requires one.
is correct in British English.

Is there a difference for American English? I'm curious because I had a comment on a review about a comma always being required after e.g. so I wanted to check whether this was standard American usage, and whether I need to follow American conventions instead in future.

The differences in all the varieties of English are always fascinating! :D

Thanks!
Your knowledge of British English grammatical rules is outstanding.I really appreciate your insights.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot

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