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13 / 04 / 2004

POSITIVE and SURE: meaning and examples

Good morning everybody. I hope you enjoyed your Easter holidays. I know I did.

Did you know that in English we can use the word positive to mean the same as sure?

The word positive has lots of different meanings in English, but most of them are similar to the equivalent word in Spanish or Catalan (positivo / positiu). Following are just a few examples:

Meaning 1: Optimistic; believing that good things will happen, even in a bad situation.

Example 1
I always try to keep a positive attitude when I have a bad day. It almost always makes my day improve.

Meaning 2: synonym of "good."

Example 2
Although learning English takes time, the positive aspects of knowing how to speak English far outweigh the difficulties of learning it.

Meaning 3: with numbers, the opposite of "negative."

Example 3
The President of the bank was happy to announce that last year there were positive earnings.

However, there is one meaning that is very common in spoken English that isn't possible in Spanish or Catalan with the equivalent word.

Exceptional Meaning: completely sure.

Exceptional Example
I'm positive that if you follow my instructions, you will learn English.

Of course, to say the same thing in Spanish or Catalan you'd have to say estoy seguro / estic segur and not "estoy positivo" or "estic positiu". That means quite a different thing.

If you are not completely positive about the different meanings of this word, please write a comment. I'm positive that I will be able to help you. ;-)

Have a great day!