For Instance vs. For Example vs. Such As

To introduce examples we use expressions like for instance, for example, such as and in particular. These phrases have essentially the same meaning.

  • James can speak several languages. For example, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
  • James can speak several languages. For instance, he is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
  • He is fluent in languages such as English, French, Spanish and Chinese.
  • PC makers such as Acer and Samsung sell millions of laptops every year.

Note that such as is not followed by a comma. For example and for instance are followed by commas. For example and for instance can begin new sentences. Such as cannot be used to begin new sentences.

In writing, the abbreviation e.g. (Latin exempli gratia) is often used to mean ‘for example’.

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