adjective: sure-fire


The other day, one of my students was asking me about the adjective “sure-fire” and how to use it properly, so that’s what I’d like to write about today. The word “sure-fire” is used to describe a way of doing something that is guaranteed to work. For example:

One sure-fire way to get fired is to punch your boss in the face.

If you have the hiccups, you should hold your nose and drink water at the same time. It’s a sure-fire way to get rid of them.

Do you know any sure-fire ways to make a lot of money quickly? I really need some money to pay for my school.

I just bought a book about how to lose weight. They claim it’s a sure-fire method to lose at least ten kilos.

Generally speaking, the adjective “sure-fire” is placed in front of a noun (usually “way” or “method”). It’s possible to say, “This method is sure-fire.” or “That way is sure-fire.”, but it doesn’t sound very natural. The most natural way is to put “sure-fire” in front of the noun. Also, it’s important to note that the situations are usually positive but can also be negative, as in the first example about getting fired. In this sentence, it sounds like the person is making a joke about how to get fired.

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