The Difference Between Sure and Surely


Hello English learners! Today, I am going to discuss the difference between sure and surely.

Sure is most often used as an adjective. An adjective describes a noun.

The word sure means that the person is certain or it is an affirmation.

Here are some examples:

  • He is sure to do well on the exam.
  • She is sure that the car was stolen from her house.
  • May I borrow your car? Sure!

Now, when the word sure is used as an adverb, it has the same meaning as surely.

However, this can only be used in informal situations.

For example:

  • This soup sure is good!

Note: I would never say this to the President of the United States or any formal situations.

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The word surely is an adverb.

Most of the time, the letters –ly indicate that the word is an adverb.

An adverb is a word that modifies or describes a verb or an adjective.

To help you remember the job of an adverb, think that it ADDS to the verb.

The word surely means a good possibility or chance that it will happen. You are certain that something will happen.

The emphasis is using this word as an adverb. Be careful and you won’t get confused.

Here are some examples:

  • It will surely rain today.

Compare this to

  • I am sure that it will rain today.

The word sure in the sentence is an adjective. You could replace “sure” with other adjectives like happy, sad or mad and the sentence would still make since.

The word surely also means that it is possible to achieve something.

Be careful when using this word because it can be condescending. It is a way of putting emphasis on a task that should not be too difficult.

For example:

  • Surely, you are capable of cleaning up your own room. (This is not difficult to do so don’t pretend you are too tired to do this.)

That is it for sure versus surely. Be sure to check out other posts on the blog!

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