For Example / That is (to say)

Add examples or clarification

e.g. and i.e.
 

 

For example (e.g.) vs. such as

FOR EXAMPLE / FOR INSTANCE

The expression for example introduces supporting details for the word directly mentioned before it.  Use either a comma or a semicolon before introductory words such as namely, for example, e.g., or for instance when they are followed by a series of items.

1. AN INITIAL PHRASE

Vitamin C is found in colorful vegetables.  For example/ For instance, bell peppers have a lot of vitamin C.

Calcium is found in green leafy vegetables; for example, broccoli, kale, arugula, or spinach have over 160 mg. per serving.

A clause ending in a period or a semicolon comes before the introductory clause. Place a comma after the introductory phrase for example

2. A MID-SENTENCE COMMENT 

Red bell peppers, for example, have a lot of vitamin C.

Red bell peppers, for instance, have a lot of vitamin C

Red bell peppers, like oranges, have a lot of vitamin C.   

Commas set off a phrase that adds  non-identifying, non-essential information. Note the comment can be removed and the sentence still makes sense. 

3. A NON-IDENTIFYING DETAIL

Green leafy vegetables, for example, spinach, contain calcium. 

Colorful vegetables, for instance, bell peppers, contain vitamin C.

 

*Some vegetables contain calcium for example broccoli.

Some vegetables, for example broccoli, contain calcium.

Place the example directly after the word it modifies.

4A AN AFTERTHOUGHT (PHRASE)

Calcium is in green leafy vegetables, for example, broccoli, kale, arugula, and spinach.

Calcium is in green leafy vegetables: for example, broccoli, kale, arugula, and spinach.

A  comma or a semicolon is placed before for example. A comma is placed after it. The example phrase is placed directly after the word it modifies.

4B AN EXPLANATION

Vitamin C is found in colorful vegetables: [colon] bell peppers, purple kale, tomatoes. 

Calcium is found in green leafy vegetables: for example, broccoli, kale, or spinach have over 160 mg. per serving.

An introductory clause may be followed by a colon or a colon and for example, before the exaplanatory list of items.

4C AN APPOSITIVE

Cruciferous vegetables, Brassicaceae, are good for one's heatlth.

appositive (n.) – another name for the word before it

(GREGG 182) (CMOS §6.44)

5. A LIST OF ITEMS IN TECHNICAL WRITING

Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli) have anti-cancer properties.

Nonfinite verbs (e.g., infinitves, gerunds, modals) and birds.

The abbreviation e.g. stands for Latin exempli gratia and means "for example". The abbreviated form is used mostly in technical journals.  It gives examples for something directly mentioned before. (Merriam-Webster  i.e, e.g. 520)

SUCH AS

The expression such as introduces supporting details or the word directly mentioned before it. The word like commonly introduces one example and may mean "similar to".  Commas are not used if the phrase defines the word or words that precede it. 

SUCH AS—INITIAL

—    Such as is not used as an initial phrase.

Vitamin C is found in colorful vegetables.  *Such as, bell peppers contain a lot of vitamin C.

 

SUCH AS—MID

—    Such as does not occur as a mid-sentence comment.

*Red bell peppers, such as, have a lot of vitamin C. 

 

 

 

SUCH AS—AN IDENTIFYING DETAIL

Vegetables such as spinach contain calcium.

Note that "such as spinach"  is an identifying phrase; no commas are used.  

 

Kale, like spinach, containsa lot of calcium. 

Like is often followed by one example and means "similar to". Note that "like spinach"  is not an identifying phrase; it adds extra information. Commas are used. 

4A SUCHAS—AN AFTERTHOUGHT (PHRASE)

Calcium exists in vegetables such as broccoli, kale, arugula, and spinach.

Calcium exists in green leafy vegetables, like broccoli

Note that "such as broccoli…"  is an identifying phrase; no commas are used.  However, "like broccoli"  is not an identifying phrase; commas are used. 

4B AN EXPLANATION

Calcium is found in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, or spinach have over 160 mg. per serving.

 

 

4C AN APPOSITIVE

—    Such as does not occur with an appositive.

 

—    Such as does not occur in an abbreviated Latin form.

 

Style Manual Abbreviations: AP (Associated Press), APA (American Psychological Association), CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style), GREGG (Gregg Reference Manual); MLA (Modern Language Association)

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

After like and such as, we normally use the accusative pronoun. Double Pronouns  (Huddleston 1156)

See Comments  and Restrictive–Nonrestrictive Clauses.

*This is a reduced modifying clause.  It modifies the noun before it.  See Clause Reduction 2
Also see example words used in Bulleted Lists .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That is ( i.e)

Adding Clarification

vegetables
 

 

In other words vs. that is

IN OTHER WORDS

The expression in other words introduces clarifying information for the word or clause directly before it. This is especially important when a sentence can be misread or misunderstoon, as in the examples below.

AN INTRODUCTORY PHRASE TO A CLAUSE

Bears are carnivorous. In other words, stay away from them or you will be "meat". 

We are a green famiy; in other words, our household uses as little energy as possible, and we recycle our used items.

The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 2009. In other words, she came to me for therapy at the time her depression began in 2009.

On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared, in other words, the pain was no longer a problem.

A CLARIFICATION MID-SENTENCE

The marathon organizers will wind up on Market Street, in other words, make preparations for the race.  wind up (v.) – get ready

The marathon runners will wind up on Ocean Beach, in other words, end their race.  wind-up (v.) end

In Florida, he will rent a car, in other words, pay to borrow one. 

In Florida, he will rent his car, in other words, offer it for use.   

A   CLARIFICATION IN TECHNICAL WRITING

Cruciferous vegetables (i.e., Brassicaceae) have flowers shaped like a cross.

Nonfinite verbs (i.e., lacking tense, aspect, mood, number, gender, and person) can function as noun, adjective or adverb.

The abbreviation i.e. stands for Latin id est and means "that is". The abbreviated form is used mostly in technical journals.  It rewords or clarifies a word mentioned directly before it.     

THAT IS

The expression that is or that is to say also adds clarifying information. Note in some of the examples below that the sentences can be misread (have a double meaning) and are in need of additional clarification.

 

Bears are carnivorous. That is to say, they eat meat.  (glossary)

I am a single woman living in a downstairs apartment. Would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me every night. That is, the man who lives upstairs.  (clarify a double meaning)

The patient has no previous history of suicides. That is to say, the patient has not made any previous attempts.  (double meaning)

We pitted the olives.  That is, we removed the pits. (unclear meaning)

 

The male golfers are handicapped, that is, have the advantage in the game.

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example Words

Punctuation

motorcyclist
 

 

"For example" before a clause vs. a phrase

BEFORE A  CLAUSE

A semicolonjoins two independent clauses when the second clause begins with an  adverb introducing an example (for instance, that is, in fact, in other words, etc.) Optionally, parentheses or dashes may be used.

PERIOD

The inner city has narrow streets. For example, two motorcycles can pass by each other, but two cars can't.

The inner city has narrow streets. (For example, two motorcycles can pass by each other, but two cars can't.)  (subordinates the explanation)

SEMI-COLON

The inner city has narrow streets; for example, two motorcycles can pass by each other, but two cars can't.

DASH

The inner city has narrow streetsfor example, two motorcycles can pass by each other, but two cars can't. (adds emphasis but is less formal)

BEFORE A  PHRASE

Use a comma to join an independent clause to a phrase introduced by an adverb for example. A comma is also used after the adverb introducing an example. (for instance, that is, in fact, etc.)

COMMA

The inner city has small narrow streets, for example, Independence Street and Central Street.

 

PARENENTHESES

The inner city has small narrow streets (for example, Independence Street and Central Street).

DASH

The inner city has small narrow streets—for example, Independence Street and Central Street.

 

Also see Semicolons , Parentheses, Dashes. and a comparison Comments.

 

 

 

Other clarification words

BEFORE A CLAUSE

semicolonA semicolon (or a period) is placed before a linking adverb (e.g., for instance, in other workds, that is, in fact, indeed) that joins a  clause.

The inner city has narrow streets; for instance, two motorcycles can pass by each other, but two cars can't.

Motorcyclists disregard stop signs; in other words, a driver will go right through an intersection marked with a stop.

In the city center, cars are not allowed; that is, automobiles must be parked outside the city perimeter.

People need to be prepared to walk a distance; in fact, we hiked four kilometers. 

The Lion fountain is beautiful; indeed, the sculptures are works of art.  

BEFORE A PHRASE

commaA comma is placed before a linking adverb (e.g., for instance, in other workds, that is, in fact, indeed) that joins a phrase.

The inner city has small narrow streets, for instance, Independence Street and Central Street.

Motorcyclists disregard stop signs, in other words, they don't stop!

In the city center, cars are not allowed, that is, prohibited.

People need to be prepared to walk a distance, in fact, four kilometers.

The old fountain is beautiful, indeed, a pleasure to the eye. (emphasis)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listing Examples

Punctuation

 

 

 

Listing examples

CORRECT

Whether punctuation is used, depends on whether the introductory statement is a complete sentence or not.

NONE

The vitamins in kale are beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.

The vitamins in kale include beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.

The introductory phrase and the list form a complete sentence.   

COLON / DASH

Kale is rich in minerals: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

The vitamins in kale are as follows—beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

The introductory clause is complete sentence, which is followed by a list.

COMMAS

Kale is rich in minerals, which include beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.

Kale is rich in minerals, including beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.

Kale is rich in minerals, consisting of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.

A non-essential modifying clause is set off (enclosed with) commas. Note that the sentence still makes sense if this modifying clause is removed.

INCORRECT

Use a colon after an independent clause (a clause that can stand alone as a sentence.). Use a comma to add a modifying clause with examples.

USE NONE

*The vitamins in kale are: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

*The vitamins in kale include: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

USE A COLON

*Minerals such as: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium are in kale.

~Kale is rich in the following minerals: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and calcium.
(not preferred usage)

USE COMMAS

Kale is rich in minerals including: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

Kale is rich in minerals consisting of: beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, calcium.

 

*Incorrect usage, ~ Not preferred usage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

Some vegetables contain calcium for example broccoli.   misplaced modife

Such as, bell peppers contain a lot of vitamin C.    wrong word choice

Before scheduling our services you will need to give us a valid credit card number (e.g., Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.)

SOLUTION

Some vegetables, for example broccoli, contain calcium.

Move the phrase directly after the word for which it gives examples.   

Some vegetables, such as bell peppers, contain a lot of vitamin C.  

A such-as phrase is placed directly after the word it modifies. 

Some vegetables contain a lot of vitamin C, such as bell peppers.  

A such-as clause is placed directly after the clause it modifies. 

Before scheduling our services you will need to give us a valid credit card number (e.g., Visa, Mastercard, American Express)

Do not use etc. in an example list. A few examples are sufficient. It is not necessary to indicate that there are other possible items. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

Advanced

 

 

 

USAGE

like vs. such as

"There is abundant evidence for like to be used when only one item, person, etc., is specified (a writer like Tennyson), and equally abundant evidence for such as to be used in the same way (many large gold coins, such as the doubloon)."

"The choice is often governed by the meaning: if the sense required is 'resembling' then like is preferable. " (Burchfield 750)

 

like vs. s such as. "The fact that opinions vary so greatly on this matter is enough to suggest that standard usage itself varies a good deal." 

Some people use like for resemblance and such as for examples.  Merriam-Webster finds no abiguity in using like in place of such as. (Merriam-Webster 603)

 

PUNCTUATION

Do not use a comma for a nonessential phrase providing more information about something. " Although the information may be helpful to the reader's comprehension, the reader would not be misled if the information were not there."    (AP 87-88)

Commas customary.  Expressions of the that is type (e.g., namely, for example, for instance) are usually followed by a comma. They may be preceded by a comma, an em dash or a semicolon; or the entire phrase they introduce may be enclosed in parentheses of em dashes.   (CMOS §6.44)

Do not use a comma for an essential phrase, "a word or a group of words critical to the reader's understanding of what the author had in mind."  (AP 87-88)

When linking two independent clauses with for example, namely, that is, use a semicolon before and a comma after. Optionally, use a period in place of the semicolon and begin a new sentence.  (GREGG 181-4)

When using e.g. to introduce a list, do not end the list with etc.

Also see Swan 157.13 for example, for instance.

(APA  3.04 "Seriation", 4.03 "Comma")

 

Style Manual Abbreviations: AP (Associated Press), APA (American Psychological Association), CMOS (Chicago Manual of Style), GREGG (Gregg Reference Manual); MLA (Modern Language Association)

 

 

Resources 

 

Style Manual Abbreviations (used in this website)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Good-for-you food

antioxidant food
 

 

Read for Errors

Fruit such as red grapes, blueberries and cranberries are high in antioxidants.

Humans need to consume fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C. For example, in oranges, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

Drinks made from red grapes, for example wine, champagne and grape juice, may also offer health benefits.

Drinks made from red grapes, such as wine, champagne and grape juice, may also offer health benefits.

Cranberry juice like grape juice also has a lot of health benefits.

Juices such as red grape have a lot of antioxidants.

Some juices contain a lot of sugar, for example, orange juice, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.

Eat three servings of low-sugar fruit (e.g. rhubarb, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries) each day.

 

antioxidants (n.) – enzymes that act against the damaging effects of oxidation that kills animal cells.

benefits (n.) –  offers good things

consume (v.) – eat or drink; take in

 

 

 

 

 

Correct or Incorrect?

  1. Select a response correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 11-20" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

1.
Fruit such as red grapes, blueberries and cranberries are high in antioxidants.
     

2.
Humans need to consume fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C.  For example, in oranges, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

       

3.
Drinks made from red grapes, for example wine, champagne and grape juice, may also offer health benefits

     

4.
Drinks made from red grapes, such as wine, champagne and grape juice, may also offer health benefits.

     

5.
Cranberry juice like grape juice also has a lot of health benefits.

     

6.
Juices such as red grape have a lot of antioxidants.

     

7.
Some juices contain a lot of sugar, for example, orange juice, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice.

     

8.
Eat three servings of low-sugar fruit (e.g. rhubarb, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries) each day.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Sparkling Wine

grapes

 

 

Under development

Read

When drinking a bubbly glass of Champagne, many people imagine that the sparkline wine they are drinking comes from a light-skinned grape like Chardonnay. 

In fact, Champagne (sparkling white wine) is mostly made from a dark-skinned, red grape, such as, Pinot noir or Pinot Meunier. 

Due to the gentle pressing of the grapes and their absence during fermentation, the wine remains white (clear) rather than red as one might expect.

There are many sparkling white wines but those from the Champagne region of France; for example, Vallée de la Vesle, Vallée de l’Andre, Montagne de Reimus, and Côte de Blancs, are permitted to be called "Champagne".

Additionally, those spakling wines that had approval to use the term on labels before 2006 may continue to use it and only when it includes the wine's actual origin (e.g. California).

Sparkling wines are produced worldwide, and many producers use special terms to define them—Cava (Spain), spumante (Italy), and cap classique (South Africa).

Many of Champagne's health benefits are due to its trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, and lithium (a natural mood regulator).

absence (n.) – not being present

are due to – are because of

fermentation (n.) – the process of the sugar in fruit changing to alcohol

 

origin (n.) – the place where it comes from, the grapes are grown

trace minerals – basic essential minerals needed by the human body

 

 

 

 

 

Edit for Errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 9-15" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

9.
When drinking a bubbly glass of Champagne, many people imagine that the sparkline wine they are drinking comes from a light-skinned grape like Chardonnay.


10.
In fact, Champagne (sparkling white wine) is mostly made from a dark-skinned, red grape, such as, Pinot noir or Pinot Meunier. 


11.
Due to the gentle pressing of the grapes and their absence during fermentation, the wine remains white (clear) rather than red as one might expect.


12.
There are many sparkling white wines but those from the Champagne region of France; for example, Vallée de la Vesle, Vallée de l’Andre, Montagne de Reimus, and Côte de Blancs, are permitted to be called "Champagne".


13.
Additionally, those spakling wines that had approval to use the term on labels before 2006 may continue to use it and only when it includes the wine's actual origin (e.g. California).


14.
Sparkling wines are produced worldwide, and many producers use special terms to define them—Cava (Spain), spumante (Italy), and cap classique (South Africa).


15.
Many of Champagne's health benefits are due to its trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and lithium (a natural mood regulator).