A and B borrowed C's rafts long time ago, and now A asks B if B knew C well.

B: I don't know a lot about him, but I know he build good houses and he also...

A: Well, he sure made good rafts.

Does A mean he/she is not really sure about other things B mentioned, but he is at least sure about that C made good rafts?

  • 1
    Yes, because A seems to know less about C than B does.
    – Archa
    Jul 2 '16 at 15:27
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    Taken in isolation, A's use of the word sure merely emphasizes that the speaker is certain, sure of what he's saying (that C definitely makes good rafts). In any given context it's possible that introductory Well implies the speaker either disagrees or cannot establish the truth of whatever was said previously, but it might equally be intended to amplify and agree with a prior assertion. In short, you can't assign a definite meaning to A's statement - it depends on pragmatic assumptions suitable to the context (but these "noise words" may actually mean nothing in particular). Jul 2 '16 at 15:27

The expression

he sure made something

means he did a really good job of doing something; "really" could be interchanged with "sure".

he sure made good rafts
he really made good rafts

he sure made a fool of himself
he sure made an ass of himself
he (did something) to make himself look really stupid

In your example, "well" is used as an intensifier to stress a point.

Of course, context and intonation matter might matter a lot in signifying whether the expression is being used genuinely or sarcastically.

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