"Dans longtemps, sûrement !"

Translation:In a long time, probably!

April 3, 2013



Duolingo accepted the translation of "In a long time, surely" but offered the alternate translation of "probably." Is "sûrement" a word that conveys probability more than certainty? Is there another word that more adequately conveys certainty?

April 3, 2013


I won't speak about rules, but only my personnal use of the language. "Sûrement" and "Sans doute" (which litteraly translates into "Without a doubt") should carry a huge amount of certainty. BUT, generally, it is really common to say such words to express the uncertainty, like "Is he coming?" "Oui, sans doute" but in fact, there is a doubt. All I can advise you is to respect that Sûrement is stronger than Probablement (probably).

Hope it helps.

April 3, 2013


Just like how we say, "Surely he is coming." But it means we expect him to be coming but worry he may not be.

July 28, 2013


sans doute does not have a high degree of certainty in its present usage, if you want certainty you say sans aucun doute

June 10, 2013


I like this one! "sans aucun doute"

April 11, 2014


That makes sense, thank you!

April 3, 2013


what about the word "certainement"? That is defined as certainly, surely.

April 11, 2014


ouais, surement ;)

March 31, 2016


Makes sense, but this still seems like an overly confusing translation on DL's part.

January 14, 2015

  • 1755

It's easy to blame DL when there are so many mistakes. But this is not one of them. The primary definition of "sûrement" is "most probably". When we look at the French word, we want its meaning to be what we think it must mean, but in fact, we ascribe a meaning that it doesn't have. Then we start playing with synonyms in English for the word we (mistakenly) associate with it. The whole range of words: surely, certainly, and even doubtless often don't convey anything like certainty.

September 15, 2015


As a former native English teacher, I cannot envisage a way in which the sentence: "In a long time, surely!" could possibly used in English.

We would normally say "A long time ago, surely!" or "Long ago, surely!" ... both of which were suggested by DL as possible valid translations.

I wrote "A long time ago, surely!" but was marked WRONG.

July 9, 2014


I was thinking the same thing - went with "For a long time" which was marked wrong. "Not in a long time, surely!" would maybe be a better example.

July 13, 2014


But the sense of the French sentence here is something that won't be happening for a long time in the future, I think. Not sure how best to put it in English but I think the recommended answer "In a long time" is meant to mean "[That's not going to happen] for a long time [yet], surely!". You can't reduce the English sentence in exactly the same way as the French sentence has been reduced, though; if you had to give an equally short sentence in natural English it would probably be "A long way away, surely!"

I could envisage "[That's] a long way away, surely/to be sure!" coming after a discussion of some future hypothetical, say for example after a whole paragraph detailing a world with no war, inequality or hunger. Or something like "That's a long way off, of course."

September 9, 2014


OK - in that case we would say in English "Not for a long time" or "A long time from now" or, as you suggest, "A long way off" (but that's tricky because it has to be understood temporally rather than spatially.)

September 9, 2014


Figuring this was the intended meaning, I wrote "after a long time" which is a more natural construction in English; it was not accepted.

October 28, 2017


Me too.

November 2, 2018


To my not so educated ear/tongue that expression above means "it will happen,if you wait it long . (correct my english,pls,... hope you see my idea) ...Will Orca come to this bay? Or has it ever come here?- dans longtemps,sûrement. Am i right?

October 29, 2015


"In a while" should be accepted if the translation is correct above.

June 11, 2014

  • 1755

"In a while" could be 20 minutes or it could be a year; it all depends on context. Longtemps is specifically a "long time".

September 15, 2015


I don't understand the English translation (I'm native English). What does this actually mean?

March 23, 2015


I think we're all trying to figure that out.

March 25, 2019


'I wrote in the long run, most probably' and that was marked correct

April 17, 2015


Yes. Most probably is closer to certainty than probably and in the long run we're running out of time. It makes sense!

March 7, 2019


Could we translate this as: "eventually, surely" ?

May 17, 2016


Don't you say "for a long time" in English?!

June 18, 2015


"In a long time"? Ce possiblement magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Anglais

February 12, 2016


Wondering whether "Eventually, certainly" shouldn't be accepted; it wasn't for me.

September 21, 2016


Duolingo did not provide the correct choices here. In no French/English dictionary is their a connotation of possibility only that of certainty. Duolingo needs to fix this immediately.

May 7, 2015

  • 1755

Don't be too hasty. The primary definition of "sûrement" is "most probably" according to the Oxford French Dictionary, a resource which I trust. I.e., even though it looks like it would be "surely" and we want to make that mean "absolutely", it does not mean that at all. It means "most probably".

September 15, 2015


What is the proper way to pronounce "sûr" and "sûrement"? Because I have NEVER gotten the speech part of anything containing those words correct.

July 6, 2015


Who says "surely" these days?

November 12, 2015


We seriously need to find out what 'Dans lontemps' actually means :) Curious to hear an example of its usage in real life.

February 12, 2016


I'm not sure if it's English, but the meaning is during long time

February 12, 2016


'Dans lontemps' sounds like 'Donald Trump'

February 17, 2016


Your fear must have really big ears ;) Completely understandable, of course!

March 31, 2016


This lacks context so much...

July 13, 2017


So one cannot say within a long time?

March 13, 2018


"A long time from now" would be a better English translation. "In [or "For"] a long time" most often refers to something that has not happened since a long time ago in the past, and so, using those words to refer to something that may happen in the future creates ambiguity.

January 30, 2019


Surely is not probably

March 16, 2019
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