1

In English I find very frequently that when replying to a question like "do you like my new shirt?" I tend to say "sure" but drag out the word to indicate that I don't want to lie and that I don't really like the new shirt but I am trying to protect their feelings. The typical translation for "sure" as far as I know is « bien sûr » but I have never heard someone use this sarcastically/with the opposite meaning. Is it possible to manipulate how you say « bien sûr » to indicate sarcasm or is there a different word(s) altogether?

Just for further clarification, the type of "sure" I want to translate would happen in a conversation as follows:

"Hey John, do you want to go to Indonesia this year during Christmas?"
"Sure..."
"Ok well... How about Bhutan?"

4
  • Sûrement, oui ou * C'est ça, oui*. Ce que j'utilise...
    – Damien
    Dec 25, 2021 at 19:29
  • 1
    À noter que l'expression C'est cela oui a été popularisée par le film Le père Noël est une ordure. D'actualité donc.
    – Damien
    Dec 25, 2021 at 19:37
  • 1
    I agree with "c'est cela, oui", and I'll even add that it will probably never be used non-sarcastically.
    – Destal
    Dec 28, 2021 at 10:00
  • Oui, c'est ça. can be said with a sarcastic tone.
    – Lambie
    Jan 2, 2022 at 20:58

1 Answer 1

2

If you say bien sûr in an ironical tone, with a smirk, it means you entirely disbelief what you are being told, and it usually is disrespectful, which is not what this non-committal "sure" is. To my knowledge French doesn't have one single word or expression to bring out this idea of the English "sure". I gather we have lots of ways to express this idea and they probably imply different degrees of approval. I think it's better to answer as a Community wiki so that we can all add our own perception of this "sure".

Ouais ! Most often said mouais and dragging out the word.
Pourquoi pas !
Ça peut aller !
Ça peut le faire ! (almost always pronounced [sapølfɛʁ]).
Bof !

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.