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?"
"Ok well... How about Bhutan?"

  • 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


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 !

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