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Abbreviations are shortened forms of normal words. You can use abbreviations if you're trying to make your sentences easier to read or in place of longer, cumbersome words.

In this article, we'll talk about some common ways abbreviations are used.

Abbreviations for Titles and Degrees

Some of the most common ways abbreviations occur in the English language are in titles. Words like doctor, mister, and missus are often abbreviated to Dr., Mr., and Mrs., respectively.

Here are some other common title abbreviations:

  • Miss = Ms.
  • Senior = Sr.
  • Junior = Jr.

College degrees are also often abbreviated. For instance, MBA is an abbreviation for Master of Business Administration.

Here are other common abbreviations:

  • Bachelor of Science = B.S.
  • Bachelor of Art = B.A.
  • Master of Science = M.S.
  • Doctor of Philosophy = Ph.D.

Latin Abbreviations

There are a number of Latin abbreviations that are common in English writing. Here are the most common:

  • e.g. stands for exempli gratia and means "for example"
  • i.e. stands for id est and means "that is"
  • etc. stands for et cetera and means "and so forth"
  • a.m. stands for ante meridian and means "before noon"
  • p.m. stands for post meridian and means "after noon"

Other Common Abbreviations

Here are some other common abbreviations:


Jan., Feb., Mar., Apr., Jun., Jul., Aug., Sep., Oct., Nov., Dec. ("May" is only three letters long, so is not abbreviated.)


Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat., Sun.


U.S. (United States), U.K. (United Kingdom), E.U. (European Union), U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates)


mm. (millimeters), cm. (centimeters), m. (meters)

mg. (milligram), g. (gram), kg. (kilogram), lbs. (pounds)

Note: You will sometimes see abbreviations without the full stops. This is a stylistic choice.

Common Questions about Abbreviations

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