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cf. / cp. for reference

Feb 14, 2012
cf., an abbreviation for the Latin word confer (the imperative singular form of conferre), literally meaning «bring together», and hence "compare". Used interchangeably with «cp.» in citations indicating the reader should compare a statement with that from the cited source. It is mainly used in scholarly contexts, such as in academic (mainly humanities, physics, chemistry, and biology) or legal texts. It is translated, and can be read aloud, as «compare».

e.g.: While cars are required by law to stop at all stop signs (Vehicle Code section 1234 («Cars must stop at stop signs»)), pedestrians are not (cf. Vehicle Code section 4321 («Pedestrians need not stop at stop signs»)).
e.g.: These results were similar to those obtained using different techniques (cf. Wilson, 1999 and Ansmann, 1992).

cf. is sometimes used in place of "see", as in:
e.g.: The Australian language Dyirbal has a remarkable gender system; cf. Dixon (1972).

cp., an abbreviation from the word "compare". Used interchangeably with «cf.» in citations indicating the reader should compare a statement with that from the cited source.
e.g.: These results were similar to those obtained using different techniques (cp. Wilson, 1999 and Ansmann, 1992).

cf. List of Latin abbreviations