This is related to Can I start a sentence with "i.e."? so I'll use his sentence as an example.

I agree that it should be a parenthetical statement, not a separate sentence (which is was the solution to the previous answer)... But what if it is artificially segregated? Imagine you send this text message:

How do we handle the case when the list is empty?

And THEN you decide you wish to add an example, so you send another text:

I.e., if the filter matched no entries?

What is the correct capitalization? "i.e. If", "i.e. if", "I.E. If", "I.e. If", "I.e. if", etc?

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    It just doesn't matter. Texting is an ephemeral media designed purely to convey information. There R no rlz – Jim Dec 30 '15 at 21:25
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about the rules for capitalization in text messages – Jim Dec 30 '15 at 21:26
  • Did you even read it? It is not a duplicate. – iAdjunct Dec 31 '15 at 16:09

The Chicago Manual of Style has no example like the one you gave. But you can use your "I.e.," in this case like a colon. As such, since you are asking a question, you would capitalize "I" in "If."

I.e., If the filter matched no entries?

But I would not capitalize "if" for a list, a sentence fragment, or a single sentence ending with a period, similar to a colon.


The notation "i.e." is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase "id est" which means "that is." So, you use it in the same way you would use the phrase, "that is." In formal writing, it is written "i.e." (no capitals and a period after each letter). Texting is much more casual, so writing it with a colon "ie:" in a text message as suggested earlier would certainly be acceptable to most people. Since "i.e." is a way of explaining what was previously stated, it must reference what came before it. For this reason, it would be incorrect to begin a sentence with "i.e." unless (as suggested earlier) it is a new line of text that is meant to clarify the previous statement.

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