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I'm a little confused. What the expression "I'm next to certain that" try to say and emphasize in the sentence below?

I'm next to certain that if you continue to complain, you will lose your job.

Any answer would be appreciated.

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FYI there are a number of 'next to' constructions, such as 'next to nothing' ('there was next to nothing left') –  Matt Lyons Aug 11 at 4:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The phrase means "I am close to certain" or "I am almost positive" or "I am 99% sure".

If certainty was a point in space, then "next to certain" would be a point very nearby. Being next to certain means you are very confident about something, although you are leaving a small chance that you might be incorrect.

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