My professor tells me that the word i.e should be written with a brace and quotations outside it For example: "(i.e)"

is that the correct way?

  • 1
    In my opinion both the quotation marks and the parentheses are wrong to the point of being nonsensical, unless the professor is talking about some really specific and obscure context that I've never seen.
    – nnnnnn
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


It is not required, perhaps it is your professor's style.

i.e., should be written with a period after each letter and should always be followed by a comma.

  • I agree about the full stops after each letter, but a comma should only be used where it would still make sense if "i.e." were replaced with "that is". E.g., a comma doesn't make sense in the phrase "i.e. should be written...".
    – nnnnnn
    Aug 9, 2019 at 15:22

There seems to be at least one professor at Bristol University who would disagree with both the OP's prof and cowls:

[The abbreviations] 'eg’, ‘etc’ and ‘ie’ should be preceded with a comma but contain no other punctuation University of Bristol - University style guide and templates

Larry Trask, at the University of Sussex, has another ersatz-rule:

There are a number of Latin abbreviations which are sometimes used in English texts. Here are the commonest ones with their English equivalents:

e.g. for example

cf. compare

i.e. in other words

v. consult

viz. namely

etc. and so forth

sc. which means

et al. and other people

ca. approximately

The rule about using these Latin abbreviations is very simple: don't use them.

Guide to Punctuation - Larry Trask - University of Sussex

The correct way is the one I use, but I'm not telling you what that is (it may change anyway); you'd better do what your own prof tells you - he marks your papers, after all. (I will say that I've never seen his preferred style elsewhere though.)

The Wikipedia article makes sense:

Style conventions in English

In modern English there are several conventions for abbreviations, and the choice may be confusing. The only rule universally accepted is that one should be consistent, and to make this easier, publishers express their preferences in a style guide. ...

Periods (full stops) and spaces A period (full stop) is sometimes written after an abbreviated word, but there are exceptions and a general lack of consensus about when this should happen.

  • +1 for "I've never seen his preferred style elsewhere".
    – Charles
    Apr 22, 2014 at 14:19

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