sure and certain

what is the different between certain and sure and when we use both of them.hope you give some examples

I’m sure/certain to be late for class.
Are you sure/certain about that?

I suppose only that ‘sure’ is a bit more informal.

thanks for your reply but you said suppose and I want to know exactly the different between them.And I need also to know the cases we can use both of them and cases we should use one of them
thanks a lot and waiting for your reply

Yes, good question, waelsaeed. I often hear “you can be sure and certain aboout this”, but I never know the difference between the two words.

thanks Molly and hope we can find someone here knows the different between them and can tell the cases we should use both of them

Let’s hope. They seem to have gone quiet. :frowning:

Hi Waelsaeed

“Molly” is a British man who claims not only to be an ESL teacher, but also that he is a teacher trainer. So, what “Molly” is actually telling you here is that he neither has nor is willing to give you a better answer than what Mister Micawber has already given you. “Molly” is not interested in helping you. “Molly” is more interested in insulting other native speakers of English or people who disagree with him. Of that I am sure/certain.

Getting back to your question, take a look at the definitions and sample sentences that are given in the Cambridge Dictionary for the words sure and certain: … hword=sure … rd=certain
The Cambridge Dictionary lists definitions for the word certain that mean “particular”, “named” and “limited”. Those usages of the word certain would not be synonymous/interchangeable with sure.

There are also some fixed idioms in which only sure is used, for example:

A collocation that comes to mind is “sure footing”. Basically, I would use that to mean “little or no danger of losing one’s footing/stumbling”. I would not replace the word sure with certain in this case.

In American English, the word “sure” is also used informally to mean “certainly”. Not only do we frequently use the word sure to give an affirmative response, but we also use sure like this:

  • It sure was cold yesterday!

When sure and certain are interchangeable (as they often are), I agree with Mister Micawber that certain tends to sound a little more formal.

If you still have questions after looking at the information above, then it might be better to make your question(s) more specific. You could post a specific sentence or sentences here, and then people could let you know whether sure and certain would be interchangeable or not in your sentence(s).

This is getting beyond the joke, Amy. If you have the proof to back your assertions, bring it here. if not, kindly shut up.

Thanks Amy for your explanation and thanks for the links you gave me they are really great and sorry for being a reason for this problem with Molly and for me I don’t think he doesn’t want to help me for it is only my first topic and I haven’t made him bored with my silly questions yet
thank you so much for both of you


Haw! This is the first time I’ve seen Molly at a loss for words!

And here’s to her losing even more (or all) of them!

You seemed lost for words on the “need versus need to” thread. Did you ever go back there?

Now if someone were to say, MrP, you’re really a Nigerian female, in what circumstances might I say, Where’s your proof?

If I were a Nigerian female, of course.


Back only a few minutes and already MrP is Molly struck. What is this obsession he has with me? :?

Interesting how he keeps telling me how concerned he is for the welfare of students here and how my posts and damaging to said students, but you don’t see him getting at the likes of Jamie for posts.

“As thick as thieves” and “clique” seem to come to mind here. :lol: