An abbreviation is the written representation of one
or more words by removing some of its letters, for example:
- instead of sir.
- or avda. instead of avenue.
- USAinstead of United States of America (see Encyclopedia: USA).
- AR instead of Royal Highness.
- SM as Your Majesty.
There are two types of abbreviations: conventional, which
are in common use among most speakers (or in certain fields), and personal,
which each invents according to their tastes or the needs of what they
write. The former are more or less standardized (there may be variants)
and the latter are not. Among the conventional ones we can distinguish
those of general use, used by all speakers of a language, and
those specific to a field of knowledge or activity, such as those used
in encyclopedias, for example.
In the writing of those of general use there are certain norms fixed
- A periodis written after the abbreviation. On the other hand,
the symbols that are representations, by convention, do not have a
period, do not admit changes by beginning the sentence (uppercase)
or plural. Thus in the symbols of:
- the chemical elements(Au, C, Sn).
- the SIunits of measure (g, m, s).
- the cardinal points(N, SW).
- Nor should abbreviations be confused
with abbreviationsor acronyms.
- The plural of the abbreviations can be made by doubling the
letters or adding -s or -es:
- Royal Highness (HR); Royal Highnesses (AA. RR.).
- Doctor (Dr.); doctors (Drs.).
- You can't always substitute a word for its abbreviation. For
- You can write Pérezand Mr. Judge, but
not « A Mrs. came home ».
- It is also written 13, but not « It is the
last page. ».
- Another case is to write 300 kminstead of « three
hundred km ».
- In general, abbreviations are used where justified, to replace a
very repeated structure in the textor in similar texts, and always
keeping a certain coherence with the rest of the writing.
- Also keep in mind that if an abbreviation is formed from the
first letters of a word, these normally do not form a
complete syllable, but the first consonants of the following
syllable are added: example → eg, page → page., etc → etc.
Some of the more common abbreviations are:
- Academy: Acad.
- Adjective: adj.
- Agriculture: Agr.
- Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires.
- General: Gen.
- Grammar: Gram.