Life skills tip of the week: saying you are sure about something

Posted by on July 22, 2014

Macmillan Life Skills: language is a life skillLearning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skillsaid Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month.

As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

This week’s language tip helps with ways of indicating that you feel sure about something:

I’m sure: the most usual way of saying that you are sure about something:
I’m sure she won’t forget she’s very reliable.

I’m positive/I’m certain/I know for a fact (that): a stronger, more emphatic way of expressing certainty:
I’m positive I had the keys with me when I left.
We’re certain we made the right decision.
I know for a fact that he lied to me about the party.

I know: used for expressing certainty that something will happen, based on a strong feeling rather than on facts:
You’re going to enjoy the show I just know you are.

I bet: used informally to show that you are confident about the truth of what you are saying:
I bet they’ve gone without us!

No doubt: a more formal way of expressing certainty about what someone is thinking or feeling, often used by people in authority:
You will no doubt be relieved to hear that the management has agreed to your request.

I am satisfied: a way of expressing certainty about the facts of a situation, often used in official situations:
Having examined the evidence, we are satisfied that safety regulations were not broken.

You can also use adverbs to show how certain you are:

pretty sure: used for saying that you are fairly certain about something:
I’m pretty sure the pool is open until 6.00.

quite/absolutely sure: used for saying that you are completely certain about something:
I’ll certainly support you, if you’re quite sure that this is what you want.

Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page; you can find the sixth life skills lesson plan there. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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