Sûr et certain

Sûr et certain
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French Expression

Meaning absolutely certain
Literally sure and certain
Register informal
Pronunciation French sound files [su ray sehr ta(n)]
IPA   [sy ʁe sɛʁ tɛ̃]

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…

Je suis sûr et certain que Nikki aime le violet.   I’m absolutely certain that Nikki likes purple.
Elle est sûre et certaine qu’il vient demain.   She’s 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.

Par exemple…

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?

 Related lessons

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Sûr et certain

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