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Abbreviations are short forms of many lengthy phrases or long words. It becomes easier for you to read challenging and sophisticated words. For instance, TTYL means Talk To You Later. Here, TTYL is the short form for Talk To You Later. Most ordinarily used short forms are Doctor, Mister or Miss. Some other common short forms used on various social media platforms are Laugh Out Loud, I Don't Know, and many more.

Abbreviations are also referred to as Acronyms. However, there's a small difference between them. It is best used when you are writing short-hand. Here, you will learn more about different rules of Short Forms or Abbreviations. Also, you will learn some common abbreviations in English that you can use frequently.


What do you mean by Abbreviations?

Abbreviations mean using the short term words for long-form phrases or words. You can pick up words from the phrases to use in the form of abbreviations. Sometimes, you can also read abbreviations as words itself.

In simpler terms, an abbreviation may be reduced or compressed words and phrases. Many abbreviations begin with an Uppercase letter and finally ends with a full stop. 


Abbreviations: Rules

Some rules for creating abbreviations and commonly used abbreviations are as follows:

Rule Number 1: You can also use short forms for titles and professions. For example, you can use Dr Sharma instead of Doctor Sharma. It is one of the most common abbreviations that you will use.

Rule Number 2: If an individual says a short form in the 1st time, he or she should place the words within the parenthesis after using the term. For example, if you are writing the National Institute of Technology, you will have to write NIT in brackets. These are also common abbreviations that you will come across in your colleges.

Rule Number 3: You will have to use proper nouns in Uppercase. For common nouns, you need not have to use it in Uppercase. For instance, SBI has to be in capital letters that stand for State Bank of India.

Rule Number 4: Use short forms for words that you are familiar with. For example, you can use TV for Television, IAS for Indian Administrative Service, etc.

Rule Number 5: You can also use short forms for a few Latin words. For instance, you can use “e.g.” instead of “example.” When working in offices or writing assignments in college days, these abbreviations for common words will be helpful to you.

Rule Number 6: If you are using the whole date, you can also use short forms for months or days. For instance, Aug 22, 2020. The rules are followed based on the English abbreviations list. You can research more about it on the online platforms.

Rule Number 7: You can use the short form for a time. An individual can use the Uppercase letters to write the short form for a time. For example, PM for Post-Meridiem and AM for Ante Meridiem.

Rule Number 8: You can use short forms for all the time zones. For instance, CST stands for Central Standard Time. Also, some abbreviations of time zones denote most of the countries.

Rule Number 9: You can also use short forms for all the scientific words or measurement units. For instance, you can use KG for Kilogram. Similarly, you can use mph for meter per hour. You can check the list of common abbreviations that includes “gm” for “grams,” “ml” for “millilitres,” and many more. Also, when you are doing maths, these abbreviations in maths play a major role.

Rule Number 10: No need of periods (.) for a few abbreviations to point dates. 400 BC, 400 AD are such examples.


There are basically four types of short forms used in English 


An initialism is developed from the 1st few letters of the words. You will have to pronounce the evert letter separately. For example, when referring to the Chief Operating Officer, you can use the abbreviation COO instead of pronouncing the entire word. You just take the first letters of the words. Also, some business studies abbreviations fall under this rule that includes BKPR for Bookkeeper, CIO for Chief Information Officer and many more.


When you take the first letters from a set of words, it becomes an acronym. For example, when you are pronouncing the Indian Space Research Organization, you can just take the first letter of the word, and it becomes ISRO.


When you omit the first and the last letter of the word, it becomes shortened. There are two different types of shortenings:

Type 1: These words are the real words that are used daily. For example, you use a words site instead of a website, app instead of the application. We use these words to communicate in real-time. 

 Type 2: These words are not real words. These words are used to make it easier when you speak. For example, you use Sat for Saturday and Feb for February. 


When you omit a letter amidst the word, they form Contractions. You don’t have to put full stops when you are writing contractions. The initial letter will be in Uppercase only when the word is starting with an uppercase letter. For example, you can write “Dr” instead of “Doctor.” This is Type 1 Contraction. Also, you can write “he’s” instead of “he is.” This is a Type 2 Contraction. You can also go through the abbreviation list, as mentioned below in the picture.

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Source: Google

Do you like saving time? Have you ever thought about what it would be like to use shorter forms of certain difficult words? Well, then abbreviations are a perfect thing for you to understand! Abbreviations are shortened versions of words and phrases. 

Abbreviations are all around us. What is important to note about abbreviations is that many of them are non-standard or informal, which means that several abbreviations do not mean the same. Some of them are not even recognized as real words. With this in mind, it's important to avoid using abbreviations if you're writing something formal, like a written assignment in school.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the importance of Abbreviation?

Ans: Here are some important points for you to note to understand its importance:

  1. Short forms give a fast and easier way to indicate things.

  2. It helps you in saving time and effort.

  3. It becomes easier for you to include those short forms in your writing.

  4. It also helps in making the reading process easier.

Q2. State five important rules of Abbreviation.

Ans: The five important rules are:

Rule number 1: When you are using a short form and it comes at the sentence’s end, you will have to use a period. If you are using it for interrogative and exclamatory sentences, then you must use the symbols.

Rule number 2: The short form of “number” is “No.” Sometimes an individual also can use symbols to write down their addresses or numbers.

Rule number 3: You can also write short forms of the city, town, state or country names. You can even use the short form for the directions. For example, TX stands for Texas.

Rule number 4: You cannot use short forms for time or space. For example, you cannot use the word “nite” to quote “night.” They are useless and can create misunderstandings.

Rule number 5: You must use the lowercase words for denoting the plural terms—for example, CDs, PCs, etc.

Q3. What does CBI stand for?

  1. Central Bureau of Investigation

  2. Centre Body of Investigation

  3. Criminal Bureau of Investigation

  4. Civil Bureau Institution

Ans: Central Bureau of Investigation