In today’s lesson we’ll have a look at the adjective sûr, meaning sure, certain and safe. This word can cause some confusion because it changes to the preposition sur (on, on top of) when the -u is written without the circumflex accent.
sure, certain, safe
The French adjective sûr comes the Old French seür, which in turn comes from sēcūrus in Latin (secure, safe, untroubled, free from care).
For our first few example sentences, sûr simply translates to “sure”. This adjective would be sûre in the feminin form. The adjective certain (certaine in the feminine form) would also work for these sentences.
Je suis sûr que tu vas réussir dans la vie !
I’m sure you’ll be successful in life!
Tu vas réussir is an example of the near future tense, which is formed by combining a conjugated form of aller (to go) with an infinitive to mean “going to”. This lesson explains the French future tenses in detail.
The following example sentence makes use of the French subjunctive mood, which is used to express wishes, emotions and doubts. This lesson explains the subjunctive in detail. This post on French Today’s website answers the question “What are French moods?”.
Je ne suis pas sûr qu’il aille à Paris l’an prochain.
I’m not sure he’s goin got Paris next year.
The French expression sûr et cerain means to be absolutely sure or quite certain. This example sentence uses the verb marcher (to walk, work, function), which we covered in this lesson.
Ne t’inquiète pas. Je suis sûr et certain que ça va marcher !
Don’t worry. I’m sure it will work!
The adjective sûr can also be used to means “safe” in reference to a city or place.
J’habite dans un quartier tres sûr.
I live in a safe neighborhood.
The expression sain et sauf means “safe and sound”. Sain means “healthy” or “well” while sauf means “safe”.
Il est rentre chez lui sain et sauf.
He returned home safe and sound.
Sur = on, on top of
This final example sentences uses the preposition sur, meaning “on”. One of the uses of the circumflex (little hat) accent is to distinguish homophones. This lesson covers the French accent marks in detail.
Le chat est sur le lit.
The cat is on the bed.
Et voilà ! You now know how to use sûr in French! We now invite you to check our our lesson covering the adjective feignant, which means “lazy”.