grammatical word: sure

We Sure Can cover cropped

The word “sure” is generally an adjective that has the same meaning as “certain”. However, today I want to write about it as a grammatical word expression because of a certain way we use it as an adverb.

Sometimes in conversations when people reply to someone else’s statement or question, they want to emphasize the response to show some excitement or enthusiasm. We can use the word “sure” to do this. For example:

A: Can you help me with the ABC project tomorrow?

B: I sure can! What time do you want me to help you?


A: It’s a really nice day today, isn’t it?

B: It sure is! I love weather like this!


A: I hope you had a good time at the party last night.

B: I sure did! Thank you so much for inviting me!


A: Will you be going to the conference this weekend?

B: I sure will! I hope I’ll see you there!


A: I’m making Thai food for dinner tonight. Does your husband like spicy food?

B: He sure does! In fact, he loves it!

So, as you can see from the examples, the word that follows “sure” will change depending on the original question or statement. Please be careful to pay attention to which word you have to use. Generally speaking, it is the first word that the person uses: “will”, “can”, “did”, “do”, etc.

The reason why we use “sure” to emphasize the answer is because we want the other person to know that we are truly interested in what they are talking about. In English, if you simply say: “Yes, I can.”, “Yes, I will.”, “Yes, I did.” or “Yes, I do.”, it is considered to be a rather boring answer and indicates that we are not truly interested in the conversation. By using “sure” in the response, the other person will know for sure that you are interested.

By the way, using “sure” in this way is only used in non-formal situations. If you want to sound more formal, you can use the word “certainly” instead.


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