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C'est sûr que les garçons risquent de s'y sentir les bienvenus.

Considering that « c'est sûr que ... » means "it is certain that ..." or "with one hundred percent certainty", isn’t it contradictory to have it followed by « risquer de ... » that means "likely to do" or "probably" or "with 90 percent probability"?

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    I’d say the sentence’s main problem is its near-tautological nature rather than its contradictory one: “It’s certain that the boys have a [good] chance of feeling welcome there/here.” (Note that I put “good” in brackets but I would omit it because I think “risquer de” is closer to “might do” than “likely to do” and closer to “have a chance to/of”(=”possibly”) than it is to “probably.”) – Papa Poule Nov 13 '16 at 20:49
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"C'est sûr" has nothing to do with "risquer de" in particular.

"Risquer de" can mean a strong probability, not always negative.

"Ce concert risque d'être une tuerie"

Note that using it positively is a little informal.

"C'est sûr", in that case, simply means that you agree with a previous statement, often adding information.

"Ce concert va être dingue" "C'est sûr, avec ce groupe c'est toujours génial"

There is nothing wrong with using those two together.

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  • When the phrase "risquer de" is used in this manner, how likely do you think it is that the thing mentioned will actually happen? Around 80-90%? Or somewhat lower than that, as Papa Poule mentioned? Merci. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Nov 14 '16 at 15:08
  • Well the postive usage of "risquer de" is not really correct and somewhat sarcastic, so it kinda depends on who uses it. I'd say it's a strong probability, (ironically) something it wouldn't be too risky to bet for. It's hard to give probability but I'd give it a "fair chance of happening". Like 70-80% maybe, I'm not sure. – Teleporting Goat Nov 14 '16 at 15:44
  • I just sent you some voice samples. :) I thought that you, as a linguistic "nerd", might be interested in seeing how a Japanese person speaks European languages. :D I mean, compared to how French people speak foreign languages. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Apr 14 '18 at 11:21
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It might be mathematically questionable but there is no semantic issue with this sentence.

The risk is simply a certainty.

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nothing more than others

Although all existing answers are right, saying that this sentence is semantically correct, as native I feel like it is not a sentence I would use.

Since you are asking about usage, I would have probably been annoyed by this potential contradiction.

what I would have use

Rather than

C'est sûr que les garçons risquent de s'y sentir les bienvenus.

I would prefer to explain the guarantee by using:

C'est sûr que les garçons s'y sentiront les bienvenus.

Or, if you rather want to underline the chance it is not sure:

Il y a un risque que les garçons s'y sentiront les bienvenus.


I'm curious, did you find this sentence in a book or have you written it?

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  • Hi. I heard a French speaker say this sentence. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Nov 14 '16 at 15:11
  • @LUNA Wasn't this sentence negative? like C'est sûr que les garçons risquent de ne pas s'y sentir les bienvenus.? – Yohann V. Nov 14 '16 at 15:19
  • Sarcasm is implied in the original sentence, so yes, it basically translates into the negative sentence that you mentioned. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Nov 14 '16 at 15:26
  • @LUNA Ok, I would only use this sentence ironically or with negative – Yohann V. Nov 15 '16 at 6:53

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