"En sommes-nous sûrs ?"

Translation:Are we sure of this?

January 30, 2013



Dear lord, "en" sure is a tricky word.

May 5, 2013


Or,a powerful word,:-)

May 7, 2013


It looks like the portuguese "de, dessa, disso".

January 16, 2015


@angelo000 if I could give you more than 1 lingot for that statement... I think I would give you 20.

March 4, 2019


In French, it is similar in the way that when you want to say, "I want some (of it)" you have to say, "j'en veux" - meaning I want some (with "en" replacing the "of it". So instead of being able to say, "Are we sure?", you need to keep what English lost which is the thing of which you are sure. So you have to say, "Are we sure about this?"

January 12, 2014


The way you have explained this is fantastic, just one question - why does the "en" have to come before "sommes-nous"? Is it something to do with the sentence being inverted to make it a question?

January 2, 2015


Yes - when sentences are inverted, the order of the objects changes.

November 2, 2015


Thank you so much for this! A lot is lost, or implied, in English in comparison to other languages. Since I can't think in French I really need triggers like this.

November 1, 2015


This 'EN' is complicated...need to pay close attention to get the real meaning of it. Could someone make an easy explanation of 'EN' and its variety of meaning?Please! Thanks in advance!

July 18, 2013


"of it/them", basically the complement of a word involving "de": j'en ai 3, I have 3 of them.
j'en suis sûr, I am sure of it.
ils s'en rendent compte, they realize it (the expression is se rendre compte de qqch).
ça en vaut la peine, it's worth the pain of it

May 27, 2017


Where is the "it" or "this" in the sentence? I just put "Are we sure?".

January 30, 2013


'En' acts in this capacity

February 10, 2013


en takes the place of phrases that come after the preposition "de" so an example would be je veux du vin -- j'en veux. in the latter of these two sentences en = du vin. so in the case of this sentence en sommes nous surs? en = of this

August 13, 2015


That's what I wrote too. I'm guessing that it's just an idiom?

February 9, 2013


Terrible audio

June 19, 2014


To me it sounds something like /somenes/

February 10, 2015


Is 'en' here an adverbial pronoun or a preposition. Im guessing the later(since we ARE in the preposition lesson) but its use here seems to indicate this is more of an idiom than the general use of it as a preposition.

April 6, 2013


"En" is a pronoun with a basic meaning "of this/that" or "of these/those". It is used extensively in French. It always goes with a verb as here. Literally "Of this are you sure?"

It's not to be confused with "en" as used in "en France" (in France) or "en marchant" (while walking) which is a different word.

I think Duolingo should have given a better explanation of the word here.

May 10, 2013


That made sense to me, thanks!

February 12, 2015


what about "est-ce que nous en sommes sûrs? "

January 1, 2014


If you rearrange the phrase, "En sommes-nous sûrs?", you will find that the declarative phrase was, "Nous sommes en sûrs." And that's why we should say, "Est-ce que nous sommes en sûrs?".

February 15, 2014


Actually, JeanPaul_G's version is the correct one. The declarative phrase would be "Nous en sommes sûrs". (source: native :) )

"Nous sommes en + something" isn't actually incorrect per se, but in this case en would be a preposition and the phrase would mean "We are in + something".
Nous sommes en France = We are in France,
Nous sommes en cours = We are in class.

October 4, 2014


Thank you for the clarification.

December 9, 2014


En sommes-nous surs. En = of that. Sommes-nous = are we. Surs= sure. It's not "en-sommes", it is "en sommes-nous".....

October 4, 2014


is "sommes-nous en surs" also correct?

July 11, 2013


No, sorry.

July 13, 2013


Can someone please explain to me, what is "en" when to use it.. and also, how did "en somme-nous surs" became "are we sure of this".. i don't understand at all :( thank you in advance !

February 7, 2014


Rearrage literal ...Of this are we sure.... to Are we sure of it...

October 6, 2018


Anyone else having trouble with Duo Lingo accepting this as a spoken phrase? I've tried 30 or so times and it has not accepted my spoken version of it once. I'm by no means fluent or speak with a perfect accent, but it's getting ridiculous.

April 9, 2016


I also can't get Duo to register that I'm saying this correctly! Haha I did about 30 retries as well before giving up and turning off my microphone.

April 19, 2016


I turned off the mike months ago. I was having to speak the French with big gaps between the words to get duo to swallow it. Not really a useful exercise.

December 4, 2017


Mikes390384...me too....tooooooo frustrating...I just keep repeating after DL's audios to translate from choosing the tiles below it. I'm saving $$$$ to taking lessons (after I've got a solid grip on all the verb tenses) to work mainly on pronunciation! Aug. 18, 2018

August 18, 2018


can it be translated as are we sure about this?

July 1, 2013


Yes, as well as "are we sure about it."

July 16, 2013


Is it grammatical to reconstruct the sentence as , Sommes-nous en surs ? , then the direct translation could be 'are we in surety ' ?

July 16, 2013


No, that is not correct. It has been a long time since I have taken a class in grammar and I have forgotten about placement of objects, prepositions, etc., in relation with verbs. All I can say is that the sentence in the exercise "En somme-nous surs" is correct. Another way of translating the sentence could be "Are we sure about it." The French would still be the same.

July 16, 2013


Thanks !

July 17, 2013


Is there any french speaker who can explain what is the main role of "en"? so tricky

March 3, 2014


Why not "Are we safe?"

June 14, 2014


Could you also avoid the "en" and say "Somme-nous sûrs"?

June 18, 2014


"Somme-nous surs?" is an incomplete sentence in French. You have to say, " en somme-nous surs?" to be understood. In English we can get away with, "are we sure?" and is considered a full sentence, even though it is not in a literal sense, as 'of it' or 'of this/that' is implied already.

June 21, 2014


The way that I heard it explained is that 'en' can replace a phrase beginning with 'de'.

June 20, 2014


I think the best explanation to this is the rule of "Object Inversion".

August 11, 2014


so how we express "we are sure of this." in affirmative sentence?

January 22, 2015


It's weird because "En sommes-nous sûrs?" could also mean in English "are we safe?" Yes I know it's totally different but some sentences in the french language could mean more than one meaning so you should let the learner understand that (one sentence = more than one meaning). and thanks for your good job at duolingo.

March 5, 2015


c'est quoi la deferance entre "En sommes-nous sûrs ?" et "sommes-nous sûrs ?"

January 4, 2016


« En sommes-nous sûrs ? » => "Are we sure about it/this ?"

« Sommes-nous sûrs ? » => "Are we sure ?" (or "Are we safe ?" - in the sense of being reliable, you could see that in a mafia movie, one character speaking about his own team to his boss : « Sommes-nous sûrs ? Bien sûr que nous le sommes ! » "Are we safe ? Of course we are !")

September 13, 2016


thank you jytou

September 14, 2016


It is much more common to hear something like "est ce qu'on est surs?"

February 26, 2017


Why not only "sommes-nous" insted of "en sommes-nous"?

March 26, 2017


Read the thread, it is explained quite clearly . You question was particularly addressed by jytou in a response to senna47 only 3 or 4 posts above yours.

March 26, 2017


Would it still be understandable if one say "Nous en sommes sûrs?" (with raising the voice at the end of the sentence to imply a question)

June 14, 2017


In fact, you will hear many French people saying it that way, instead of Duo's correct version, especially in casual talk, but I would refrain from using it in a more formal environment. The only thing is that it becomes ambiguous with the affirmation: « Nous en sommes sûrs! » ("we are sure of it"). So you have to realize that the tone is crucial here.

June 14, 2017


I agree. Here is an upvote!

June 15, 2017


Why not " are we sure about them"

July 8, 2018


Are the following also correct? 1) "Est-ce qu'on en est sûr?" 2) "En est-on sûr?" and 3) with"sûrs" because "on stands for "nous"?

October 16, 2018


Both 1 and 2 are correct with the extra “s” as you guessed.

October 17, 2018


Merci pour votre explication.

October 17, 2018


Sommes nous en sûr Couldn't that be correct?

March 1, 2019
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