How is "e.g." pluralized? Usually I just see "e.g." used regardless of the number of examples given, but I don't know if that's correct or merely a product of widespread ignorance. More rarely, I've seen "ee.g." and "e.e.g." but I haven't been able to verify that either of those is right.
1Adding as a comment because I ain't ruining those lovely identical timestamps: note that both "ee.g." and "e.e.g" are nonsensical. They're like saying "for example example". Don't use them.– MarthaªApr 7, 2011 at 20:45
Just like "for example", "e.g." doesn't need a plural.
If you want to emphasize the plurality of examples, you can say "some examples are...", but that doesn't have a commonly-used Latin equivalent, and thus there is no standard Latin abbreviation for it.
2Considering the e.g. is exemplī gratia, or “for example’s sake”, with example in the genitive singular of exemplum, the obvious way to make it read “for examples’ sake” must of course be exemplōrum gratia, as any student of Latin could tell you — and no one else. I really wish people wouldn’t use Latin when writing English.– tchrist ♦Feb 23, 2012 at 23:34
The author is very keen on abbreviations: he has four e.g.s in the first paragraph. Mar 16, 2021 at 0:55
@Greybeard, yeah, that's not really what was being asked, is it, though? :) Also, no one is allowed to edit this answer or Kelly's, because those identical timestamps need to be preserved.– MarthaªMar 19, 2021 at 18:39
Since e.g., translated from the Latin, means "for example," it doesn't need a plural.
The E.G. part stands for Exemplī Gratiā. This is the Latin way of saying what we say in English as "for the sake of example".
Note that English uses a lot of little words that Latin doesn't. This is because Latin is inflected while English isn't. English still has a plural for nouns, but no cases. Latin has singular and plural, but also five cases.
To take the Latin phrase apart, Exemplī is the possessive (genitive) singular form of the noun exemplum 'example', so in Latin it means "of example". Literally.
And Gratiā is the ablative singular form of the noun gratia 'benefit; sake', so in Latin it means 'for the sake'. Literally.
If you want to pluralize the phrase, you have to decide which noun to pluralize -- is there more than one example, or more than one benefit? Since you're looking for multiple examples, one would use the plural genitive exemplōrum 'of examples', instead of the singular genitive exemplī of example'.
I.e, it should be Exemplōrum Gratiā instead of Exemplī Gratiā. Of course, that would still be e.g.
Of course you might need to pluralize "e.g.," if you are talking about the abbreviation itself. For example, "In this document we have too many i.e.'s and e.g.'s."
As shown, I would add an apostrophe + 's' for the same reason needed in the expression "She earned all A's and B's." Something is needed to clarify that the 's' in question is not part of the abbreviation.
4Good point, though I'm pretty sure this isn't what the OP was asking about.– MarthaªApr 7, 2011 at 20:46
It says here in this book: Latin second declension neuter: exemplum singular; and exempla plural: example, sample, or model.
And the neuter singular adjective gratum, plural grata: pleasing, grateful.
So e.g. might mean: Thank God! I've finally found some real-world agreement.
I hope that I shall ever see no peoples using e.e.g. --JKilmer
2The first thing I think of when I read e.e.g. is some mad cross between electroencephalography and E. E. Cummings. Apr 7, 2011 at 22:11
2There is no exempla here; it’s exempli in the genitive singular. The genitive plural is exemplorum, which I implore you not to use. Don’t use Latin at all.– tchrist ♦Feb 23, 2012 at 23:35
@tchrist. Sure enough, the genitive plural of "exemplum" is "exemplorum", and "e.g." stands for "exempli gratia". However, I haven't found any indication in the posts to the fact that anybody considers "exampla" to be a genitive. Pete Wilson only stated that "exempla" is a plural form, with which I suppose you agree...– PaolaMay 3, 2012 at 16:57