If you’re starting a sentence with “I.e.” should the initial “I” be capitalized?
I can’t think of a proper use of “i.e.” at the start of a sentence - can you give an example?
I think it could be done. It would be like starting a sentence with a conjunction. I.e., it would be incorrect formally, but probably acceptable as informal usage. (The second sentence in this message should really end with a comma.)
If you want to start a sentence with a Latin phrase, you should spell it out, not use the abbreviation. The abbreviations are reserved for interior use.
Exempli gratia, if you want to begin a sentence with the Latin for “in other words” you write “id est,” while if it occurs as an introduction to a subordinate clause “i.e.” is fine. If you want to begin a sentence with the Latin for “for example” you write “exempli gratia,” while if it occurs midsentence you write “e.g.” And so on.
I would say it falls under the same kind of logic that has you writing out numbers when they begin a sentence (“Four score and seven years ago…”).f
I feel like I have seen e.g. capitalized but can’t remember where. I.e. makes less sense without being clunky (although both are).
Why not just use ‘For example’?
Because “id est” means “that is”, not “for example”.
It is generally not considered good style to do this, but if you must use it to begin a sentence (such as for a quotation), the regular rules of capitalization apply.
I don’t know where Carl Pham’s idea about spelling out the Latin phrases out comes from, as I’ve never seen it. Practically no one even knows the underlying Latin for “e.g.” or “i.e.” anymore. It’s not like “etc,” which people read out loud as et cetera.
I find it hard to imagine how a sentence could be started with “Id est” WHEN it couldn’t be “i.e…”
The problem with starting an article , chapter , or true paragraph with “In other words”, is lack of definition of what the original words are. The “Other words” must come second, or else they would be “the words” and not " other words"
Thanks. Any suggestions for a good grammar site?
Note that your question is more closely to related to style than grammar. Grammar is what is correct as far as parts of speech and sentence structure. Style is a set of guidelines for good, clear writing. You can use perfect grammar and still not write well.
Good, but not free.
Here’s a list of free online style guides but the page is full of ads.
So he can start his sentence with “that is.” Or “in other words.”
“I.e.” is an adverb, used to show relation in manner, quality, or degree. I.e., it can be used anywhere one would use “namely.”
Certainly, one can start a sentence with an adverb.
I would have thought that “i.e.” was a clause, since it contains a nominative-case pronoun (“i[d]”) and a verb (“e[st]”), just as “R.S.V.P.” is a sentence (containing two verbs in French).
In any case, its normal usage is to link two words, phrases or clauses in much the same way as a conjunction does, saying that the second is the equivalent of the first. It always refers back to something (the “i[d]”), so I don’t think it could ever by a person who has said nothing for it to refer back to. It would be as if somebody opened their mouth, and started speaking with “Secondly …”: that’s an adverb, but where is the first thing that it refers back to?
My thinking as well. The idea is to communicate with the person reading your writing. So it should be something they understand or are likely to understand. i.e. I feel that is more important than being “correct”.
Same goes for using foreign language phrases in a book written in English. People who know English do not necessarily know French, German , etc. phrases. If you must use foreign language phrases in a book written in English, please translate into English using parenthesis, after using the word or phrase. Then all readers will understand what you are trying to communicate!
People can say more than one sentence at a time, and the second refer to the first. You do it yourself right here.
**Proper use of “i.e.” **
Not after C.
No, that would be “e.g.”.
The general answer to questions like this is to re-write your sentence so it doesn’t start with i.e. or any other awkward expression.