Ce n'est pas là un métier honnête.

Quelle est la signification de cette phrase ?

  • 2
    "This here is not an honest job" would be my guess. Commented Aug 19, 2018 at 0:05

1 Answer 1


Don't forget to say which part of a sentence confuses you :p Guessing, like Con-gras-tue-les-chiens, that it's ...

This is demonstrative in origin, used to indicate "this here" or "that one there", which is where Aerovistae's translation comes into play. It suggests the speaker either looking at or actively discussing a particular métier, and then issuing this opinion. We could be passing by a stock brokerage or something, both glance up at the sign, and you say the sentence you quoted.

Also, demonstratives imply a focus and the focus implies an exclusion of other things. So say I'm talking about honest métiers with you. You jokingly suggest the profession of pickpocket. I could reply with the sentence you quoted, meaning, "No, not that one. Back to the ones I meant!"

That function of focus has, over time, generalized so that doesn't necessarily need an obvious referent but can just mean "here, now, whatever is happening", as in the Collins entry:

Non, là, je ne vois vraiment pas ce qu'on peut faire. No, I really can't see what we can do about this.

Là il exagère! Now he's really going too far!

This is probably the sense intended since the more narrowly demonstrative sense would tend to be expressed as « ce métier-là ».

  • 1
    The following reference (TLFi) might be found a truer explanation of the relations involved: B emploi référentiel, [Particule de renforcement d'un dém., avec le gallicisme de présentation, de mise en relief c'est, ce sont] Ce sont là des erreurs impardonnables; c'est là le fond du problème, la difficulté. J'ai toujours aimé la bonne chère (c'est là mon moindre défaut)
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 16:15
  • You mean the link on "TLFi"? Or is it something else?
    – LPH
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 16:20
  • @user168676 You had just posted the incomplete draft but now it's good. Merci.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 16:25

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