Abbreviations, contractions and acronyms

Što više skraćenica znate bolje ćete razumevati engleski jezik. A i akronimi su važna stavka u učenju jezika.


These are formed by omitting letters from the end of a word:

  • Medical Sciences ⇒ Med Sci
  • Doctorate of Philosophy ⇒ DPhil
  • ante meridiem ⇒ am
  • post meridiem ⇒ pm

Don’t use full stops after any abbreviations.



These are formed by omitting letters from the middle of a word:

  • Mister ⇒ Mr
  • Doctor ⇒ Dr
  • The Reverend ⇒ The Revd
  • Saint ⇒ St



These are formed from the initial letters of words (whether the result is pronounceable as a word or as a series of letters):

  • British Broadcasting Corporation ⇒ BBC
  • Master of Arts ⇒ MA
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ⇒ AIDS
  • Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences ⇒ MPLS
  • Planning and Resource Allocation Committee ⇒ PRAC
  • Pro-Vice-Chancellor ⇒ PVC

When using an acronym that may be unfamiliar, spell it out in full the first time it is mentioned, with the acronym following in brackets; thereafter, use the acronym alone:

  • The decision was made by the Planning and Resource Allocation Committee (PRAC). There are several meetings of PRAC every term.



Whether you consider ‘St’ to be an abbreviation or a contraction, don’t use a full stop after it:

  • Saint Ebbe’s Street ⇒ St Ebbe’s St


Specific abbreviations

People’s initials:

  • use a space to separate each initial (eg J R R Tolkien, C S Lewis)


  • when discussing large numbers in text, it is fine to use k/m/bn as shorter ways of spelling out 1,000/1,000,000/1,000,000,000 (or writing out “one thousand”/”one million”/”one billion”) as long as you are consistent throughout the document

Names of universities:

  • awarding bodies in lists of qualifications can be abbreviated to shorter forms if it is clear what university you are referring to: Camb, Oxf, UCL etc. Use English names, not Latin ones, as not all universities have a Latin name (eg Oxf instead of Oxon)

Latin abbreviations:

  • if you are using Latin abbreviations, make sure you know what they mean and when to use them (and do not use full stops after them)
  • eg [exempli gratia] – means “such as”; use with examples which are not exhaustive (and do not follow with a comma): Oxford offers many language courses, eg Russian, French, Spanish [those are some, but not all, of the language courses offered]
  • ie [id est] – means “that is”; use with definitions or lists which are exhaustive (and do not follow with a comma): Catch a Blackbird Leys bus, ie numbers 1 or 5 [those are the only buses which go to Blackbird Leys]
  • ibid [ibidem] – means “the same”; use when making a subsequent reference/citation to a publication or other source mentioned in the immediately preceding note (ie no references to anything else have appeared in between): For a fuller explanation of telepathy, see Brown [Speaking with the Mind, Chicago (1945) p 125]; also in Brown is further information on cats and telepathy [ibid, p 229]

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