How common is it for a native speaker to use "i.e." in their conversation?


  1. How common is "i.e." in everyday conversation? If so,
  2. How do native speakers pronounce it? "id est" or something else?


Posted 2020-07-01T21:14:18.303

Reputation: 379

1By the way, only a small thing, but look up the meaning of "native". It doesn't mean the same as "a native speaker of English". – James K – 2020-07-02T00:07:14.177

@JamesK Yes, it was a good point. You hit the nail on the head. But as this website is for learning English, my mean was a native speaker of English, and not, for instance, a native speaker of French. – Alan – 2020-07-02T08:12:44.793



Not very common. But it would always be pronounced "eye ee" /ai i:/ The Latin phrase is not well known by English speakers.

It is more likely that a speaker would say "that is" instead of speaking "i.e."

James K

Posted 2020-07-01T21:14:18.303

Reputation: 80 781

I would call someone who said "i.e.", "e.g.", "w.e.f." etc a very clumsy communicator. – Michael Harvey – 2020-07-01T21:37:07.073

Although I have heard people triumphantly saying "QED!" after proving something. – Michael Harvey – 2020-07-01T21:38:34.347

1Initialisms in spoken English are not that unusual, particularly in informal contexts. from omg to wtf. – James K – 2020-07-01T21:39:51.940

I sometimes say omfg. – Michael Harvey – 2020-07-02T05:58:05.583