Wow! That sure is a beautiful car you’ve got there!
① Sure + Be Verb
So of course we’re talking about are, am, is, was, were, been and being. The important thing to remember is that Sure comes BEFORE the Be verb
Why do we use it? Well it gives more impact, more emphasis. It’s also a really friendly and casual way of talking. This way to use ‘sure’ is probably more common in American and Canadian English, but it is starting to be used more in other English speaking countries due to globalization.
It is cold today
It sure is cold today
Can you feel the difference? ‘It sure is cold today’ sounds like something you would hear people saying in natural conversation.
Boy! It’s a hot one today, huh?
Boy! It sure is a hot one today, huh?
Boy is used like 'wow.' It's often used as 'boy oh boy.'
They are pretty flowers.
They sure are pretty flowers.
I can just imagine seeing this in a movie like 'Forrest Gump.'
You can also use it in the past tense
It wasn’t the best timing in the world.
It sure wasn’t the best timing in the world.
They weren’t the cheapest, but I bought them anyway.
They sure weren’t the cheapest, but I bought them anyway.
② Sure + Can
Same as before, the word sure is added to give it more emphasis. It also makes the sentence seem smoother and easier on the ear. Maybe I’ve watched too many Hollywood movies, but I think it sounds kind of cool - don’t you think?
Now one thing I must tell you is that with CAN, you can put SURE both before and after it. However, it depends on the sentence.
KEY POINT 1 - If there is a verb after can, then you can use both patterns.
KEY POINT 2 - If there is no verb, then you must use I sure can.
He sure can sing.
He can sure sing.
As a short response you can say
He sure can.
But you can’t say
He can sure. ❌
I sure can!
This is adding extra punch - Of course I can - I sure can!
He can throw a ball fast
He sure can throw a ball fast
And we can also say
He can sure throw a ball fast
That’s because we have the verb ‘throw’ after ‘can.’
She can make a good apple pie.
She sure can make a good apple pie.
And in the past tense
He could run fast when he was a kid.
He sure could run fast when he was a kid.
I could do with a beer!
I sure could do with a beer!
So that’s a useful expression.
‘Could do with something’ means you really want or need something.
My car sure could do with a wash!
③ Sure + General Verb
We can also use Sure with any other verb. It’s particularly common with verbs such as look, smell, feel, think and hope.
Well, it looks delicious.
Well, it sure looks delicious.
That sounds like a great movie.
That sure sounds like a great movie.
I hope not.
I sure as hell hope not.
When we introduce the word ‘as hell’ it makes it even stronger. It’s a SLANG expression so be careful how you use it. You’ll see this a lot in movies and dramas.
I think so.
I sure think so.
I sure as hell think so.
It looks hot outside.
It sure looks hot outside.
It sure as hell looks hot outside.
Using the word 'sure' in this way gives your English a nice natural 'ring' to it. If you follow the 3 simple patterns outlines above, it's really quite simple to give your English a boost. Please watch the VIDEO LESSON on YouTube!
Thanks for reading!
boy oh boy!
easy on the ear
could do with
～ がぜひ欲しい・～ 必要だ・～ があればありがたい
ring to it