"To be sure"

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 12, 2006

In Reply to: "To be sure" posted by David FG on November 12, 2006

: : What is teh meaning and use of "To be sure"
: : Thanks
: : Hasan
: :

: It is of Irish origin. It means, simply, 'indeed' or just 'I am/it is' - that sort of thing.

: An example might be:

: Q 'Are you going to London?'

: A. 'To be sure'.

: It is a bit stereotyped, and is not used nearly as much by Irishmen as the English seem to think it is.


It could be rendered sometimes as "I'm sure", or "That's for sure." A typical use might be, "He's a jackass, to be sure, but he does have some good qualities." "To be sure, I have a vested interest in this, but I still say, stay away from it." You can see from my examples that I use the phrase when there is a contrast or conflict. Sometimes the contrastin clause can be omitted. "She's a handful, to be sure." The rest of the conversation will provide the contrasting clause.