Helpful Abbreviations for Speedy Note-taking in English

Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand, a more common method of writing a language..


1. Frequently used abbreviations

approx. = approximately
b/c = because
b/4 = before
bk. = book, born
C = (e.g. 21C for ‘twenty-first century’)
c. = approximately, roughly, about (abbreviation for the Latin ‘circa’)
cf. = compared to, in comparison with
cp. = compare
def. = definition
diff. = different, difference
ea. = each
e.g. = for example
fr. = from
etc. = and the rest, and so on
gen. = general
i.e. = that is, that means, in other words
impt. = important
NB  = important, notice this, note well
nec. = nessesary
no. = number
pt. = point
p. = page (pp. = pages)
re. = regarding, about
sim. = similar
s/t = something
T. = theory, theoretical
tho’ = though
thro’ = through
w/ = with
w/o = without
viz. = namely, that is to say
v. = very
vv. = extremely
vs. = against

2. Frequently used numbers and symbols

2 : to, two, too
4 : for
8 : anything ending in ‘ate’
+ : and, also, as well as, in addition to, plus
– : minus, without
=  : equals, is the same as, results in
≠  : does not equal, is not the same as, does not result in
≈ : is approximately equal to, is similar to
< : is less than, is smaller than
> : is greater than, is larger than
↑ : increase, rise, growth
↑↑ : rapid increase
↓ : decrease, fall, shrinkage
↓↓ : rapid decrease
∴ : therefore, thus
∵ : because
→ : leads on to, produces, causes
X : no, not, incorrect
Xx : definitely not, disproved
? : uncertain, possibly, unproven
✓ : yes, correct
✓✓ : definitely, certain, proven
# : number
✳ : special, important, notable (when added to a word or phrase)
/ : per (e.g., £50/day instead of ‘fifty pounds per day’)
! : not, isn’t
@ : at
∝ : proportional to

3. Other commonly used abbreviations

A = answer
adm. = administration
adj. = adjective, adjourned, adjustment
abr. = abridged
abbr. = abbreviation, abbreviated
acad. = academic, academy
aka. = also known as
app. = appendix
assoc. = association
biol. = biology
bibliog. = bibliography
bot. = botanical, botany
cap. = capital, capitalise
chap. = chapter
chem. = chemical
co. = company
colloq. = colloquial, colloquialism
conf. = conference, confer
cont. = containing, content, continental, continue, continued
com. = commercial, commission, common, communication, community
cr. = credit
crit. = criticism
diag. = diagram
disc. = discovered
dist. = distinguished
div. = dividend, division
distr. = distribution, distributed
econ. = economics, economy
esp. = especially
est. = established, estimate
ex. = examined, example
excl. = excluding
f. = feminine, feminism, frequency
gen. = gender, general
govt. = government
hist. = historian, historical, history
illus. = illustrated
inc. = including
info. = information
lang. = language
m. = male
no. = number
orig. = original, originated
p. / pp. = page / pages
para. = paragraph
poss. = possible, possibly
prin. = principal
prob. = problem, probable, probably
Probs = problems
prob. = produced by, producer, production
pt. / pts. = part, point / parts, pts
Q. = question
ref. = refer, reference
reg. = region, registered, regular, regulation
rev. = review, revision
sci. = science, scientific
sect. = section
sp. = special, species, specific
st. = study, student
univ. = universal, university
usu. = usually
vers. = version
yr. = year

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Helpful Abbreviations for Speedy Note-taking in English

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