Steps to Properly Abbreviate Words

An abbreviation is the shortened form of a word or phrase. It usually consists of letters or a group of them, from the word or phrase itself. The modern English language contains several words with the same abbreviations, leading to confusion. However, as a general rule, one must only incorporate those which are universally accepted and consistent with a general style guide compiled by most publishers.

If you are planning to abbreviate your own organization, or any other word, then you must know that the pattern is not going to be difficult. There is a set guide to abbreviate words and we have provided that guide below. Simply scroll down and learn how you are supposed to abbreviate words in the correct manner.


  • 1

    Make sure you use abbreviations only where necessary. If you are writing a formal piece, abbreviated words can cause greater confusion and displeasure as your teacher, professor or boss may not entirely like them.

    All will depend on the type of audience you are serving. Still, it is important that you use abbreviations which are commonly known or understood.

  • 2

    Some of the abbreviations are common titles. For instance Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Joan are conventionally used abbreviations which cannot be treated in any other way, as writing Mister will lead to more confusion.

    Similarly the equivalent female titles are Mrs, Miss, and Ms, all derived from mistress. These are all English titles; so if you are writing or addressing in French, usually M. and Sr. are the abbreviations used for Monsieur and Senor. Note that titles will be abbreviated with a capital letter. If you are referring to a person’s designation, it will also begin with a capital letter i.e. (that is) – Prof. Jones, Dr. Angel, Sgt. Doakes, abbreviated forms for Professor, Doctor and Sergeant.

  • 3

    Identify the short forms for organizations, countries and corporations. These can be easily used in formal writing but make sure to use the full name first in order for the reader to understand the abbreviation later on. For instance, United States of America is simply referred to USA, or a limited Liability Company is an LLC.

    In most cases, people only utilize abbreviated words to refer to a sports league or common eating place - as NBA – National Basket Ball Association, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) etc. However, this must only be used when a franchise is known globally.

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