Are you sure? Did you know that “sure” can mean different things? You can use this word to express agreement OR disbelief. Watch this vocabulary lesson now to learn how!
What does the word ‘SURE’ really mean in English? video
Hi. James, from EngVid. How are you doing? Are you sure you’re good? You don’t sound good. Well, let’s take a look at the word “sure”. What does “sure” mean?
When we look at the word “sure” in English, it basically means “assured”. It’s a small word for “I believe”, right? So are you sure about something? You believe something. But I wanted to give you a different lesson, not the dictionary lesson. I want to give you a lesson based on — it’s not the slang use, but the colloquial use, which means the common people use for the word “sure”. And there are basically four different types of “sure”. They sound similar, but you can count on me, I’m sure they’re different. All right? So let’s go to the board.
Mr. E is at a fair or a carnival. And in the West, when we go to a carnival, it’s — you know, like a fair. There are clowns and games you can play. This is called a “strongman” game. When you hit it, a little thing moves up, and it tells you how strong you are, right? So you can go from zero percent all the way to 100. And 100 would make you like a Superman or superhero, right? And zero, well, it means you’re kind of weak — not very good.
So what we’re doing here is we’re going to show you how sure your sures are. I’m sure that’s right. All right? Let’s go to the board.
Now, let’s start with the basic one. No. 1 sure. I know you’re going, ” ‘Sure’ means you’re certain” But when we generally use it, we say “sure” as in, “Yeah. No problem”. So I might say to you, “Do you want a coffee?” And you go, “Sure”. You don’t have to say “yes”; you can say “sure”. Yes. It has the idea of “I’m certain”, but it means more like this, “Yes. Yes I want one”. All right?
What’s the next one? It’s this crazy one where it’s like I have a problem because I can’t speak properly because you say, “Sure, sure”. And you go, “Why ‘sure, sure’?”. “Sure” means “yes”. This is a little bit different than the yes — simple yes. It means maybe I’m busy writing, and you ask me some questions, and I go, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sure, sure”. It basically means, “Yeah, go ahead”. And not just “yes”, but “go and do everything. Complete it. Don’t bother me anymore. I’m busy. I’ve already said yes. And I’m saying yes. Now, you have the go ahead — two words — to complete it. You don’t have to ask me anymore. Sure, sure. That’s it. We’re done. Finish it. Don’t come back and keep asking me questions on it”. All right? So you might get “Sure. That’s a good idea”. Like, “Sure, sure. Finish it”. Okay? That’s two.
Now, what about No. 3? “I’m sure”. You should learn “I’m sure” for a reason. “I’m sure” means, well, No. 1, “I’m 100 percent certain on something”. So you go, “Is this the correct way to Toronto?” You go, “I’m sure. I’m sure it is”. It means “I believe 100 percent it’s correct”. There’s another reason for using “sure”, and it works like this. When somebody doesn’t believe you’re correct on something, and they say, “Are you sure about that?” You say, “I’m sure”. “Sure” isn’t enough because you’re just saying “yes”. Remember? I know in the dictionary it means “to know” or “to have knowledge or belief”. But you need to actually make it stronger and refer with, “I’m sure this is correct”, which means there is no doubt, or there is no question in my mind about what I’m saying. All right? So we’ve taken this word, and we’ve made it stronger — given permission. Right? We’ve made it very strong.
But what about this one? If you watch enough television — and I’m sure you do. I said “sure” again. I believe, right? I’m sure you do. I really believe you do. You’ll hear this one, “Sure. She’s the prettiest pig in all of Canada”. Right? And what does that mean? Well, this is the word “sarcastic”. When somebody is being sarcastic, it means they’re not really — they don’t really believe what they’re saying, or they’re making fun of something. By saying something positive, they’re actually making fun of it. So in this case, they’re saying, “Sure”. And it means the opposite of, “I’m sure” “I don’t believe” Right? “Sure, you work for the queen of England. I don’t believe you”. “Well, I’m sure you do. You have the credentials”. It means, “I do believe you”. Okay. Anyway.
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