Bien sûr

Bien sûr
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Essential French Expression

Meaning of course
Literally very sure
Register normal
Pronunciation French sound files [byeh(n) sur]
IPA   [bjɛ̃ syʀ]

Usage notes: When you want to say "of course," the French expression you usually need is bien sûr. It’s most commonly used in response to a question or statement.

Par exemple…

– Tu aimes ton nouveau petit frère ?
– Bien sûr !
  – Do you love your new baby brother?
– Of course!
– Patientez, s’il vous plaît.
– Bien sûr.
  – Please wait.
– Of course.

In addition, bien sûr can be used to join two clauses or ideas:

Par exemple…

Je cherche un architecte ; il doit bien sûr pouvoir commencer cette semaine.   I’m looking for an architect; of course, he’ll have to be able to start this week.
Viens dîner chez nous ce soir, tu peux bien sûr amener ton copain.   Come have dinner at our house tonight; and of course you can bring your boyfriend.

Bien sûr can also be used ironically:

Par exemple…

Je m’étais enfermé dehors, et bien sûr la pile de mon portable était à plat.   I’d locked myself out, and of course my cellphone battery was dead.
Le film commence dans cinq minutes, et Thomas n’est pas encore là, bien sûr.   The movie starts in five minutes, and of course Thomas isn’t even here yet.

Bien sûr can be emphasized with que oui, or negated with que non.

Par exemple…

– Tu aimes la vue ?
– Bien sûr que oui. 
  – Do you like the view?
– I certainly do. 
– Ne veux-tu pas sortir ?
– Bien sûr que non.
  – Don’t you want to go out?
– Of course not.

Bien sûr can also be used with que in front of a subordinate clause:

Par exemple…

Bien sûr que tu viens avec nous.   Of course you’re coming with us.
Bien sûr qu’il a réussi à l’examen.   Of course he passed the test.


  • assurément – assuredly, most certainly
  • bien entendu – of course, certainly
  • certainement – certainly
  • certes – certainly, admittedly, of course
  • en effet – indeed
  • évidemment – obviously
  • forcément – necessarily, inevitably
  • naturellement – naturally, of course
  • sûrement – surely

 Related lessons

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Bien sûr

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