I work for a product company and some of our documents are translated from English to Spanish. I noticed that the translator had translated Latin abbreviations like 'i.e.' and 'e.g.' to Spanish as 'es decir' and 'ejemplo dado'.

My understanding was that they were Latin abbreviations and so they would be used in Spanish as in English as 'i.e' and 'e.g.'.

Am I correct in assuming that these two abbreviations should not be translated and instead must be retained as-is?

4 Answers 4


Latin abbreviations like "e.g." (also v.g. with the same meaning) and "i.e." are commonly used in "standard" (I mean, this is not snob or unusual) Spanish (specially written).

If I had to translate a document/text from English to Spanish I wouldn't dare to replace them by their meaning. So my answer to your question ("Am I correct...") is "yes".

Here is a list of abbreviations (not only derived from Latin) from the "Real Academa Española" (as you can see both cases are in the list): http://www.rae.es/diccionario-panhispanico-de-dudas/apendices/abreviaturas

  • 1
    e. g. (notice that the RAE mandates a space after the period) is not in the list.
    – Gorpik
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 7:38
  • I see i. e. in the list, and ej., but not e. g..
    – Flimzy
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 7:05

Even though those are, indeed, Latin abbreviations, we don't use them in Spanish. I don't agree much with ejemplo dado, anyway; in most cases I would use por ejemplo or, if you want an abbreviation, p. ej.

  • 3
    e.g. is correct in spanish, but uncommon. The usual way is "por ejemplo" or "p.ej.", as @Gorpik wrote, when you are inside a phrase, or just "Ejemplo:" or "ej:" when you are introducing a separated example in the next line.
    – Envite
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 21:35

I simply use por ej. as an abbreviation to por ejemplo or sometimes just ej.


If eg. is a latin abrevation then we don't use them. We would use spanish abrevation maybe? for example we use ejemplo, ej. señor, sr. señorita, srita. posdata, ps. etc. etc.

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