Use the word "certain" when something is special, definite, or particular. The pronunciation of this word is a little difficult for some students (Listen: sert‘n).

  • There are certain qualifications you need for the job.
  • The mechanic needs certain parts in order to fix the car.
  • If you don’t provide a certain answer on the test, it’s wrong.
  • Are you certain? (Are you sure?)
  • I’m not certain. (I’m not sure.)
  • She’s not certain about the cost for the repair. (She doesn’t know what the cost is.)

ice fishing

He’s not certain that he’ll be able to catch any fish here.

The adverb form of this word is a popular way of saying "yes" or "of course." It’s also similar to the word "very."

  • A: May I borrow your pen?
  • B: Certainly. Here you go.
  • It certainly is cold outside.
  • She certainly is qualified for the position.
  • The students certainly did well on the test.

Notice the pronunciation of this word. (Listen to your teacher pronounce it.)

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March 12, 2013

Updated December 2, 2017