Useful Latin abbreviations to include in academic writing

Have you noticed how many abbreviations, initials and acronyms are used everyday? But also, when we are in academic writing, formal emails and other types of writing in the upper registers, more abbreviations appear. Some of them are easy and created in the English language, others are in Latin and are less common. We are going to show you useful abbreviations and expressions for translators and other professionals.


It stands for Curriculum Vitae and it is a document which indicates one’s academic and professional background, skills and more information about a person given to an employer when trying to find a job. Its writing has been adapted and it has lost the usual dots for abbreviations (C.V. > CV). In the United States, the word “résumé” is more typical. 


I.e. stands for id est and it means “that is, in other words”. It is commonly used in academic writing to include explanations to develop an idea. It should not be confused with sc. or e.g., which we will explain next. Here is an example on how to use it:

  • We will be studying the nominal interest rate, the effective rate, and the real interest rate, i.e. the three main types of interest rates. 


Like i.e. , e.g. is a very typical abbreviation in academic and formal writings. It stands for exempli gratia and it means “for example, for instance.” It should not be abused and can be substituted with the expressions mentioned. 

  • I read books of all genres, e.g. thrillers, romance, and even sci-fi books.


Sc. or scil. is the abbreviation for scilicet, which is translated as “it is permitted to know” or “one may know”. It is less used in academic writing but it still appears in scientific journals. Instead of giving an explanation, it is used for clarification: providing an omitted word or removing ambiguity. 

  • It is too hot to eat, sc. it is 40 ºC out here.

et al.

It stands for et alii, et alia, et alibi, which means “and others”, “and co-workers” (depending on gender). Et al. appears in most scientific and academic writings where more than 7 people have participated. It is used to include everyone who is a part of the project without having to include all the names in the citations. For example:

  • Doe, J. et al. discovered how muscle tissue expands during exercise. (John Doe, Steve Jobs, Carla Martín, Irene Muñoz, Thomas Smith, and others have been part of the research).

¿Did you know how to use all of them? Comment below for a part 2 of more Latin abbreviations!

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