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I was wondering if you could let me know that which one of the three choices in the following self-made scenario doesn't sound natural and why:

  • Last night I went to her home. She was so sad. I immediately found out that something has happened. I asked her what's wrong with you? She said I broke up with Dany (her boyfriend). She was crying all that time. I spoke to her and after a long conversation when I was telling her my own love story, she calmed down and fell asleep on the sofa. When I .............. that everything was OK, I left there.

a) assured

b) made sure

c) got sure

For me, they all sound OK grammatically but I have no idea if they do semantically to you as natives.

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    I think made sure is right. It is an idiom which means to become absolutely certain. Assure is a transitive verb. So, it follows object always. And here there is no object. And "got sure" is ungrammatical, I think. Sep 22, 2016 at 10:10
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    You can use assure reflexively. "When I assured myself that everything was OK...." You can also say "When I was sure that...." Sep 22, 2016 at 10:22
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    "I got sure" sounds very non-fluent to this native speaker. In general, I would recommend learners avoid "got adjective" unless you're really sure you're using it right.
    – stangdon
    Sep 22, 2016 at 13:58

2 Answers 2

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1) Use one of the options :

When I *made sure* that everything was OK, I left there.

2) You can restructure the sentence as :

When I **was assured** that everything was OK, I left. 

(no need of there)

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  • Thank you very much, Shruti, but could you please tell me if the pronoun "there" sound wrong grammatically or somehow else or it just seems to be redundant?
    – A-friend
    Sep 22, 2016 at 10:32
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    Personally, when I read the sentence with 'there' in this context, it sounds unnecessary and redundant. You just left the place, that's it. Sep 23, 2016 at 11:15
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I spoke to her and after a long conversation when I was telling her my own love story, she calmed down and fell asleep on the sofa. When I .............. that everything was OK, I left there.

Assure X means "to convince X that everything is OK." It needs an object though (and does not default to reflexive if no object is specified like some other verbs), so while you could put assure her in the blank you cannot put just assure. You can say was assured that X to mean that you were confident that X happened.

Made sure means "to have caused to be sure", and it fits in the above sentence. This is what you want to say.

Got X can mean "to have become X". It's rarely used with sure, an example would be this:

So as time went on, I was scared, but eventually after talking to him, I got sure he wasn't going to kill me, so then I had the courage to run away.

It doesn't mean "you fixed it" in the same sense that make sure does.

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    This native speaker really doesn't like "got sure". It sounds very non-fluent to me. I'm having trouble explaining a rule for using "got", but I think in general we only use it for things that kind of happen to us as though from the outside: Over the summer I got taller; I waited for him so long I got hungry; I got ripped off by that sleazy salesman. But not "I got sure"
    – stangdon
    Sep 22, 2016 at 13:58

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