2

Can you use "e.g." after you have listed something?

I've been busy trying to figure out training, WHMIS e.g.

11
  • 1
    The answer is never to use e.g. — ever. Use English not Latin, and use words not abbreviations.
    – tchrist
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:04
  • 1
    e.g. is considered an acceptable form of English. :) Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:06
  • 1
    ... 1,080,000,000 Google results proves ... er ... Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:16
  • 1
    Once again, a question immediately down-voted without pausing to realize that there is more to it than first appears. Most know that e.g. appears at the beginning of a list of examples... but there is no real reason it should not appear at the end, just as "for example" may appear at the head or at the tail of an example or examples.
    – bobro
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:27
  • 1
    Be bold. Use it thusly. Why conform?
    – pazzo
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:47

4 Answers 4

1

Exempli gratia is Latin for 'for example,' in English I have seen after a list people write for example; but, I have never seen e.g. placed at the end of a list; I guess e.g. is far too august of an abbreviation to ride on the caboose.

4
  • 1
    I would not bat an eyelash at seeing "eg" at the end of a list, or using it that way myself. Insisting that it can only come first is P-ist nonsense.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 3:36
  • Garners Modern American Usage says: " [it[ introduces representative examples. I guess keeping the reader in suspense until he sees Latin for example at the end could be literary device! Nonetheless, when we write according to our very own rule that is not Standard English.
    – Abe
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 6:29
  • There is no such thing as "Standard English".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 12:12
  • And you haven't said how you'd handle this: "Unfortunately this stuff (bicycle geometry measurements) is not all that well standardized. Seat tube length, eg, may be to the center of the BB or to the bottom, depending on whose system you're using."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 4, 2015 at 12:14
0

It's very simple. Use "e.g." (or "eg") when you might otherwise say "for example". Use "etc." when you might otherwise say "and so forth".

It's hard to conceive of a case where "etc." would not be last in a list, but there is no similar/mirror restriction on "e.g.".

1
  • 1
    Downvoters, so how would you have phrased this: "Unfortunately this stuff (bicycle geometry measurements) is not all that well standardized. Seat tube length, eg, may be to the center of the BB or to the bottom, depending on whose system you're using."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 12:09
0

To try to integrate all the responses into a single answer: yes, you __could_ put e.g. after a list -- but that's an uncommon usage and is likely to interrupt the reader rather badly while they work through exactly this debate, and unless that's your intent you _shouldn't _ use it this way.

Correct, but still wrong.

"Real Writers Rewrite To Avoid The Problem."

-1

I think you are looking for "etc.", which you do put at the end of your list. It means "and other things", "and so on". Informally, you could say it means "and stuff like that".

E.g. means "for example" and is put before your example or list of examples.

It is good form to use e.g. in cases where space and text is limited. E.g., in these online forums.

11
  • I completely know how to use it. However, an english teacher I know used it at the end of a sentence just after listing something. I found that really odd and I was wondering if there were any rules for this. Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:25
  • 2
    There is no logical reason other than tradition for putting e.g. before an example or examples rather than at the end. After all, you can do the same with "for example". So, I agree with you that it's odd as far as tradition, but I think it's perfectly fine.
    – bobro
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:30
  • 1
    The evidence we have is that e.g. stands for exemplii gratia- for the sake of example. There is no evidence that this is "intoductory", other than the bogus circular logic that it must be introductory because it's traditionally placed prior to the example or examples.
    – bobro
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 22:54
  • 1
    @bobro That makes no sense. Introductory here means that it stands at the head of the list, before the items themselves, and the fact that that is where it is used is exactly why it is said to be introductory. Your argument is like saying the only evidence that -ness is a suffix is that it's always suffixed to derivational stems—well, yes, that's the whole definition of a suffix. There's nothing circular about it. Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 0:51
  • 1
    @CoreyPorter your teacher probably committed a typo. A list can and often ends with "etc". It happens to everyone. Did you ask your teacher? What did that person say?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 1:54

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.