"Il va sûrement venir."

Translation:He is surely going to come.

March 24, 2013

81 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Koolkaren
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In previous questions, 'sûrement' was translated as 'certainly'. Now, here, it is 'probably'. These are certainly (not probably :) ) very different concepts. Can the French word 'sûrement' really be used for both 'certainly' and 'probably'?

June 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/super_moi
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Because "probably" translates to "probablement" in French (4 syllables), to make it quicker we broadened a little bit the meaning of "sûrement". Depending on how much emphasis we put in the word, the degree of certainty can vary quite a lot and definitely embraces some situations where you would rather use "probably".

November 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

All this confusion to save one syllable? Goodness. You chaps are lazier than we are. :)

November 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/super_moi
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Actually, it's to save 2 syllables! In French, sûrement would be pronounced "SUR-MENT".

November 21, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Oh, well. That's perfectly OK then. Two whole syllables saved. AND you confused the #$%^ out of the English, which is always a bonus. :)

November 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/austinshmaustin

Well, in English we sometimes use "surely" when there is a degree of uncertainty. "Surely you can't be serious." "Surely no one would be that stupid."

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

For Austin

Interesting point. This sounds very parental - a classic loaded question. There is uncertainty, but you know up front what the 'right' answer is. Lots more communication going on than just probability.

I have noticed when watching 7de Laan, the local subtitled Afrikaans soap, that 'seker' (is jy seker? are you certain/sure?) is often used to mean 'probably' .... I wonder if there aren't more examples of this in other languages.

Guys? Any other offers?

:)

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/framericaine128
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Yes, someone please explain this!

July 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/noranovak

Agreed! Need help here.

September 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sedb
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That's what she said ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).

April 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/nmrchts

She's a pro.

March 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shavonne_5

"He is going to certainly come." is not a correct translation?

March 24, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, Shavonne.

He is certainly going to come. (Position of 'certainly'.)

In the UK, we would probably say 'definitely' rather than 'certainly'. No good reason - it's just what we would say. :)

PS A: Is he going to come? B: Yep. A: Definitely? B: Absolutely. ... and I still haven't used 'certainly'. :)

November 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/alphabeta
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Sounds unnatural in English; place the adverb before the first (non-auxiliary) verb. "He is certainly going to come".

May 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/BenEvans101

Thats what i said. Apparently it is a british v american use of english. Should certainly be marked correct!

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/austinshmaustin

I'm not sure why this was down voted. You are correct.

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RockyRogue

That means that he will certainly come. It means that he will come, and he will be certain as he does it.

October 31, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Bardickan

One admittedly specific case where this could work would be if there was a second action that WASN'T certain. You can use this form to contrast the two. This is mostly used in spoken English, since it needs an certain tone of voice to make sense.

Example: "He is going to certainly come, though whether he will stay, we don't know."

That said, if you're a non-native speaker then you're better off sticking with "He is certainly going to come", as that always makes sense. This is a nuanced example that is used on rare occasions.

June 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/austinshmaustin

Split infinitive construct is technically incorrect or at least informal. Your example should still be, "He is certainly going to come, though whether..." or, "He certainly is going to come, though whether..."

If someone was going to come while being certain, it should be, "He is going to come certainly."

October 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GabeDC
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In this context, the split-infinitive construction is awkward, no question. But in general, splitting an infinitive is not wrong—that's an old English teacher's myth (derived from the fact that in many non-English languages, infinitives are single words and thus can't be split the way they can in English)—right up there with its supposedly being wrong to end a sentence with a preposition. Changing such constructions to reflect better phrasing is great, but doing so mechanistically just to fix a supposed error is overstepping.

July 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/maxmo74
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He's going to come surely was accepted. He's going to come for sure not accepted. That must be a mistake...?

July 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/joLee18
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I would report it

July 11, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Katja...S
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Yes, I noticed the same problem in 2 sentences... In the other one "for sure" is accepted as well as surely and in the other the opposite.

October 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Joao_Guerreiro
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same problem here

October 27, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Doseofrich

That's what she said

January 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mortonte

Le Petit Robert dictionary defines surement (in part) as 'De facon tres probable'. But 'very probable' and 'probable' are different by degree. I think DL is on thin ice here.

September 27, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/bladerunner1948

I had enough trouble with the naked waitress. And now this!

December 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ArdeJohnson

It told me "He's definitely going to come" is wrong.

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/littleraskol

Yeah this really doesn't make a lot of sense. That is the most natural way of expressing this idea to me as a native US English speaker anyway.

July 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jtmendgen

Same here. I put "He will definitely come" which is exactly the same as their answer except they use certainly instead of definitely. There's no reason they shouldn't be interchangeable translations.

July 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AwesomeAquila

this statement made me giggle. I need to get my mind out of the gutter

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jkitts

"He is going to surely come" is incorrect but I don't understand why.

May 10, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/M.Z.
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You are splitting the infinitive and you are not placing the adverb in the right place; as alphabeta mentions in another comment, the adverb comes before the verb.

Better: He is surely going to come.

September 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/neverfox

If only splitting the infinitive was actually a real problem in English...

October 4, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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Splitting the infinitive is fine in modern usage - it's only a problem for someone with a Victorian copy editor.

October 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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I notice I got down-voted for this, and my only response is to quote (i think) Raymond Chandler's reply to a literary critic:

"When I split an infinitive I'm going to goddam split it so it stays split"

This is a personal bug-bear of mine - split infinitives are NOT a grammatical error and, except for during a brief period of academic debate in the 19th century, never have been.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally410

Absolutely. Some of the most memorable speeches, literature, etc, have been so because of the inspired use of split infinitives. Everyday articles and books can be transformed by beautifully crafted split infinitives :-)

July 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

For Sally and PH:

Many, many moons ago, an 11-year old asked one of my fellow teachers where 'Bolligose' was.

Did he mean Betelgeuse?

No, he meant Bolligose - as in -

to Bolligose - where no man has gone before.

Unforgettable.

:)

July 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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Thank you, it's nice to hear another voice in the wilderness.

"It's 5 year mission: boldly to go where no man has gone before" just sounds wrong.

July 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ErylLiddel

I used the word definately instead of surely, which "surely" is better than probably

March 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/fantastiquee

Definately isn't a word.

March 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/TheJackalope231

It should be spelled "definitely".

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hockeygurl1

Ok. This program can be sometimes odd...

May 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TerjeKlevenip

"He is going to come, for sure" was rejected. Can anyone explain why?

December 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LatecomerLaurie
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(American English speaker) I think "for sure" is somewhat colloquial.

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/rkent

I put "he is surely going to come" and it was marked correct. Then, however, Duo gave me another correct solution as "He is probably going to come.", which means something entirely different. Is this really the case that this french statement can be translated in very different ways in English?

January 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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One of the definitions offered by Dictionary.com for surely:

(in emphatic utterances that are not necessarily sustained by fact) assuredly: Surely you are mistaken.

When surely is used this way there is a tinge of uncertainty. It is less than certainly because it is unsupported by fact, but more than maybe. When the speaker says certainly he is saying he has very good reasons to support his belief. When he says surely he is saying that he has great confidence in his statement. Surely is the more subjective of the two terms. There is a slight difference, for which reason Duo will accept probably even though that is less positive than surely in its import.

In English, surely is different but not entirely different from probably. Surely is similar to but not identical to certainly.

F.W.I.W. Larousse treats sûrement as meaning certainly and does not seem to favor Duo's use of probably as a likely definition. Larousse doesn't mention probably at all. Neither do a couple of other less authoritative French/English dictionaries.

You are correct to be concerned about the definitions Duo attributes to sûrement but on less solid ground with respect to the English usage.

January 10, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/rkent

Extremey well thought out response @northernguy. Your points highlight the delicate nature of language, and the subtleties of translation. I think the crux of it is that context is key.

January 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/northernguy
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Thx. Of course, in ordinary conversation little attention would be given to the subtle nuances of sûrement just like English speakers don't dwell on the precise use of surely, probably and certainly.

January 18, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/minifrob

Suûement means surely, not probably! Probably is probablement.

March 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/mendala
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what is the difference with my response which was incorrect and yours which was right? I said, he is going to certainly come. and your answer, he is going to come certainly.

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/LatecomerLaurie
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(American English speaker) I think the best word order here would be "he is certainly going to come"

October 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/200709709
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what's the use of "va"? why not just Il sûrement venir?

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/ph516503
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Va puts the sentence into the future tense - he surely IS GOING to come. In fact, I'm not sure it would make sense without it, as venir is the infinitive, and you would need to conjugate it.

If you left out "va" you would need to write it as "il vient surement" - "he surely is coming".

You could argue that this doesn't substantially change the meaning of the sentence.

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/FoxtrotCha

For sure, no but surely ok??

February 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Frau-M
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"surely" suggests uncertainty. "Surely he will come" expresses hope,expectation, but not certainty, although the distinction does not always seem clear. Is that also the case with "surement"?

March 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/heidewitschka

What is wrong with the translation "He will come for sure." If " He will come surly" is given as correct answer????

April 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LindaB_Duolingo

Hi, Heidi

I see no problem with 'for sure'. It's casual usage - not usually written, or used in formal situations, but it's OK. Go for it. (<- also casual)

PS When you wrote 'surly', did you have a particular man in mind? (You know it means grumpy, bad-tempered, right?)

Have a sunshine day. :)

July 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sally410

Brought a gentle giggle into my day!

July 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dctiel
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I wrote, "he is sure to come" meaning he is definitely coming. Would this be acceptable?

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrewrussky

Why not definitely ?

January 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam_Prov16.9
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"Il va surement venir." ..."Il est en retard! Bon nuit!"

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/steven229159

Boy, the adverb section is a bit racy for my tastes ...

February 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/guiausfra

Why can't it be "He will definitely come"?

February 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dannythedinosaur

what is wrong with he is sure to come?

March 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mlle.lisse

I wrote "He is definitely coming". Isn't that another way of saying this phrase?

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/YuriFrench

But nobody came...

April 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/StirlingNa

Same thing

June 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EmmaK63

This is very american English I think - in UK we'd say he'll definitely come...same translation?

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/evanesempe

I am serious...and don't call me Shirly.

October 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/acityingermany

we can't say 'definitely'?

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DarkMartio

And don't call me Shirley.

November 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/cleoricks
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"He is sure to come" was not accepted

December 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AntwiTeddy

He will surely come.not correct

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/minaoshiroi

I cannot progress if I dont't get my English right. I translated it as "he is coming for sure." and it was incorrect. Also Probably is a 50-50 chance of him coming but certainly/surely sounds promising that he is coming.

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/charleshoDuo

That's what she said

June 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulHanson8

Has anyone else noticed that you can say the words in any order? It is only sound pattern matching to the individual word sounds, not the order. It also scores a pass if it matches some number less than 100%.

April 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MarshaChechik

Surely and definitely seem to be same

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnVineyard

But it sounded like "souvent"!

August 25, 2018
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