Du travail à l'hôpital de XXX ? C’est-à-dire que je ne suis pas à sec... Désolée.

The use of "c’est-à-dire" does not seem logical here. After all, the speaker wants to say:

Du travail à l'hôpital de XXX ? C'est pas comme si j'étais à sec... Désolée.

2 Answers 2


C'est à dire, or Comment dire... is often used when you're embarassed, like you pretend you're looking for the best words to say something embarassing...

Here it's a way to say I'm embarassed to say how bad it is to work there so I won't, instead I tell that I'm not that poor that I would go to work there, you'll make the conclusions you want... in of course a more subtil way.

I guess in english you would maybe say Well ... :

Work at hospital XXX ? Well... it's not like I were dead broke !

  • 1
    That last line isn't idiomatic English; it should be "It's not like I'm dead broke." However, I'm not sure I'd translate this that way. What about "I'd have to be broke!"
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 21:13
  • I'm not an english specialist, I used were because there's a not written if after like. english.stackexchange.com/questions/71661/… . But yours does sound better. About the translation "I'd have to be broke" it sounds more direct, less subtle, but it might be how english would say. Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 8:24

According to the dictionnary Larousse :

"C'est-à-dire" is an adverb used to give/introduced an explanation, a restriction or a correction/rectification.

"C'est-à-dire" is also used here to get listen that what we will say is the consequence of what someone else said or did or the explanation we have to tell about.

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