Is the question "Sure to delete selected elements?" correct? I have seen this many times. Can I use such questions in this form on a website? Does it make a difference to place it on a website? I have found this answer but it is not exactly what I am looking for.

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    Most sites I use ask, Are you sure you want to...? Is this the meaning of your phrase? Mar 3, 2014 at 15:12
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    From WHAT language is this translated?
    – itsols
    Mar 3, 2014 at 15:43
  • I think this is Off Topic General Reference for ELU, but could be okay on English Language Learners. @itsols: I'm accustomed to seeing OP's construction (usually preceded by "Are you..." in German software. I don't know German well enough to know if this is because the "translated" equivalent is a valid grammatical form in that language. Mar 3, 2014 at 17:03
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    Translation from other languages to English (including proofreading or criticism of translations) is off topic. If the question is not about translation, but is actually a question about the English language, please clarify what specifically is being asked about.
    – MetaEd
    Mar 3, 2014 at 17:40
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    Questions which are essentially "is this correct" are out of scope. They are a request for proofreading. Even though you have taken the translation aspect out of the question, this is still a request for proofreading. For more information on the purpose of this site and its scope, please see the help center. As @FumbleFingers pointed out this seems like a great question to ask at English Language Learners and I echo his suggestion that you ask there.
    – MetaEd
    Mar 4, 2014 at 17:02

2 Answers 2


Questions (interrogative sentences) in English do not generally begin with an adjective, except informally:

Sure you want to quit now?

Which is shorthand for:

Are you sure [that] you want to quit now?

However, the real problem is that the sentence doesn't mean what the writer thinks it does. Consider this:

Are you sure to leave?

This is a slightly archaic way of saying "will you definitely be going?", which is not at all the same question as "do you want to leave?".


A more likely correct translation would be "OK to delete selected elements?" as a confirmation of whether or not you really want to delete those things.

"OK" and "Sure" can be used somewhat interchangeably as the answer to a question seeking confirmation:

Can I do something?

  • OK.
  • Sure.

But they are not interchangeable when you are asking the question:

  • Is it OK if I do something?
  • ??Is it sure if I do something?

When asking permission to proceed, it's common to leave out the "Is it", so you end up with the form:

OK to delete selected elements?

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