What is Latin for "that is"?

Answer

"Id est" is the Latin phrase meaning "that is." The phrase is short for "that is to say." People use this Latin phrase when they want to explain an idea in additional words or specify a reference.

Often, people abbreviate "id est" with the letters "i.e." This shows up in many forms of academic writing. The following sentence is a prime example of its use: "The first president of post-Soviet Czechoslovakia (i.e. Vaclav Havel) presided over the division of his country into Slovakia and the Czech Republic." In this sentence, "i.e." specifies the name of the first post-Soviet president. Some writers confuse "i.e." with "e.g." This is a mistake. The latter abbreviation is short for "exempli gratia," which means "for example" in Latin.

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