Sûr et certain

Sûr et certain
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French Expression

Meaningabsolutely certain
Literallysure and certain
Pronunciation [su ray sehr ta(n)]
IPA  [sy ʁe sɛʁ tɛ]

Usage notes: "Sure" and "certain" are surely and certainly emphatic enough on their own, but sometimes you just feel like giving it a bit more oomph. This kind of redundancy is informal; it’s similar to the English phrases "positively sure" and "absolutely certain."

Par exemple…

Elle est sûre et certaine que c’est l’Europe. She’s absolutely certain that it’s Europe.
Je suis sûr et certain qu’il vient demain. I’m absolutely positive he’s coming tomorrow.
Ils sont sûrs et certains du bon chemin. They’re absolutely certain of the right path.

  Conseils concis

  • Sûr and certain are adjectives, so as always they must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.
  • Sûr is an adjective in this expression – it has nothing to do with the French preposition sur.

Get in the mood

Like the expressions être sûr que and être certain que, être sûr et certain que calls for the indicative when it is affirmative, and the subjunctive when it’s negative or interrogative.

Je ne suis pas sûr et certain qu’il vienne demain. I’m not positive that he’s coming tomorrow.
Es-tu sûr et certain qu’il vienne demain ? Are you absolutely positive he’s coming tomorrow?

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Sûr et certain

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