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Different Ways to Say Yes in French

When you’re speaking in your native language, I would imagine that you have various ways of saying yes. In English, you’d say “sure”, “why not?”, “of course!”, “yep!”, “absolutely!” and so many other variants of yes. All of which mean yes, but with different nuances for each.

It’s the same thing in French. You can get by with just saying oui each time you want to say yes in French, but it gets old quickly.

How about a yes when you’re super enthusiastic?

Or a happy yes?

Or if you’re not so sure but you’re agreeing nonetheless, how can you show your ambivalence?

There is a French “yes” to different types of scenarios and today, we’ll be learning about it.

The Basic Yes in French

Oui is the standard way to say yes in French. It’s simple and straightforward, and you can use it in all instances where you wish to express a positive answer.

oui

yes

Example:

« Tu peux venir ici s’il te plait ? » (“Can you come here please?” )

« Oui j’arrive ! » (“Yes I’m coming!”)

Super Informal Ways to Say Yes in French

When you’re with close friends, it’s fine to take things easy and talk in an informal manner. Just be careful with saying these in formal situations though---it won’t go well!

ouaisyeah
ouaipyep
ouepyep
bah ouiyeah

Ouep is often used as a way to sound cool. So if you’re a teenager or you just want to add a coolness factor to your French, feel free to use this one.

Now for some examples:

1. Tu veux venir jouer à la console chez moi samedi ?  (Do you want to come over to play videos games on Saturday?)

 Ouais pourquoi pas ! (Yeah why not!)

2. Alors tu l’as vu ? (So, did you see her?)

Ouaip. Tu as raison elle ressemble vraiment à cette actrice. (Yep. You’re right she really does look like this actress.)

3. Ouah tu as eu un nouveau skate pour Noël ?  (Wow you got a new skate for Christmas? )

Ouep ! Il est beau hein ? » (“Yep! It’s beautiful isn’t it?”)

4. Tu pensais vraiment qu’il fallait cuire ça au four ?! » ( “Did you really think you had to bake it in the oven? ")

Bah oui. Ce n’est pas comme ça qu’on fait ? » ( " Yeah. Isn’t this not how we do it? ")

The Unsure Yes in French

Let’s say someone asked if you want to hit the beach but you’re uncertain if you really want to. How do you say yes to that?

In English, you’d probably mumble an unenthusiastic “um yeah”. There’s a way to do that in French, too. You say mouais. You can use mouais when you’re unsure or unconvinced or you want to stay noncommittal.

mouais

um, yeah; kinda; sorta

Here’s an example of a conversation using mouais.

« Tu veux venir au bowling ce soir ? » (“Do you want to come to bowling tonight?”)

« Mouais…je ne suis pas très motivé en fait. » ("Well yeah... I'm not very motivated actually.")

The Ecstatic Yes in French

The question you’re asked just made you so happy! How do you express your happiness while saying yes? Say ouah! It also works like “wow”.

Ouah!

Yes!/Yay!

« Ouah ! Comment tu as fait ça ?! » (“Wow ! How did you do that ?!”)

« Des années d’entrainement... » (“Years of practice…”)

The Annoyed Yes in French

Someone asked you a stupid question and you want to show the schmuck how annoyed and impatient you are. In French, you say mais oui or ben oui !

Mais oui

But yes / of course

Ben oui

Well yes

Always be careful in blurting these as it can be considered rude, condescending or passive aggressive.

Here are some examples of their usage:

1. Ah je devais prendre le bus de 10h ?  (Ah, I should have taken the 10:00AM bus?)

Mais oui idiot ! Ils t’attendent tous maintenant !  (Of course idiot! They’re all waiting for you now!)

2. Sérieusement ? Vous mangez la pizza avec des couverts ici ? » (“Seriously ? You eat pizza with a knife and a fork here?”)

Ben oui ! Sinon on s’en met plein les doigts c’est dégoutant.  (Sure we do! Otherwise we get it on our fingers; it’s disgusting.)

The Casual Ways to Say Yes in French

When you’re in an informal setting with your French friends, here are the kinds of yes that you could say.

D’accord !

Okay! / Alright!

Ça marche

Okay / Got it / That works for me

Carrément

Sure!

Now for some examples:

1. Tu trouveras ton dîner dans le frigo. (Your dinner will be in the fridge.)

D’accord ! (OK!)

2. Quand tu auras fini de ranger tout ça tu viendras me voir, ok ?  (When you’re done tidying up all of this, come and see me, OK?)

Ça marche!  (Got it!)

3. Alors, tu veux venir avec nous ?  (So, do you want to come with us?)

Carrément ! Ça va être génial ! (Definitely! It will be awesome!)

The Contradictory Yes in French

Let’s say someone asked you a question and you want to say yes while contradicting his statement. You do that with si.

Si

But yes / actually, yes

Tu as l’air fatigué, tu n’as pas assez dormi cette nuit ?  (You seem tired, you haven’t slept enough last night?)

Si j’ai assez dormi. Je suis juste fatigué du voyage. (Yes, I did. I am just tired from the trip.)

Yes, Please in French

Want to learn more French ways to say yes? Yes, please. In French, you say volontiers.

Volontiers

Yes, please / willingly / gladly

Un thé ? (A tea?)

Volontiers.  (Yes please.)

With Pleasure in French

Use this when you want to express that not only are you agreeing to something, it also brings pleasure for you to do so.

Avec plaisir

With pleasure

Je vous montre l’appartement ? (I show you the flat?)

Avec plaisir (With pleasure.)

That’s Right in French

To say this in French, you can go with either of the following:

C’est ça

that’s right

Tout à fait

that’s right; exactly/absolutely

1. Donc tu ne peux pas venir car tu dois emmener ton chat chez le vétérinaire ?  (So you cannot come because you need to take your cat to the vet? )

C’est ça. (That’s right.)

2. Donc d’après votre CV vous avez travaillé pour notre fournisseur?  (So according to your resume you have worked for our supplier?)

Tout à fait. Pendant 3 ans.  (Yes that’s right. I worked there for 3 years.)

Why Not? In French

To say “Why not?” in French, you say pourquoi pas?

Pourquoi pas?

why not?

Other Ways to Say Yes in French

There are still plenty of other ways to say yes in French. Check out the words and phrases below and use them for saying yes in French from this point on!

Certainement

Certainly

Vous voulez du sucre avec votre café ? (Do you want sugar with your coffee? )

Certainement ! Je ne peux pas en boire sans sucre.  (Certainly! I can’t drink it without sugar.)

En effet

indeed

Alors docteur ?  (So what do you think about it, doctor?)

En effet, comme je l’avais pensé, la côte a l’air cassée  (Indeed, as I had thought, the rib looks broken)

Parfait

perfect

Comment trouves-tu la décoration du gâteau ?  (How do you find the cake decoration?)

C’est parfait  (It is looking perfect!)

Très bien

Very well

Je ne veux pas y aller.  (I don’t want to go.)

Très bien, j’irais toute seule alors. (All right, I will go alone then.)

Bien sûr

Of course

Je peux t’emprunter ton stylo ?  (Can I borrow your pen ?)

Bien sûr, tiens. (Sure, here.)

Evidemment

Obviously / of course

Tu as amené ton chien avec toi en vacances ?  (You brought your dog with you on holidays?)

Evidemment !  (Of course!)

Exactement

exactly

Si j’ai bien compris le résultat est toujours 10 ? (If I understood well, the result is always 10?)

Exactement. Je pense que tu as compris le principe.  (Exactly. I think you got it right.)

Absolument

absolutely

Vous restez dîner?  (Would you stay for dinner?)

Absolument ! Il me tarde de goûter à votre fameuse tarte Tatin. (Absolutely! I can’t wait to taste your famous tarte Tatin.)

Conclusion

How about you? What is your favorite way of saying yes in French? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

For more lessons like this but with audio lessons and plenty of exercises, check out My French Routine. Volumes 1 to 6 are available at the store.

About the Author Frederic Bibard

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Twitter and Google +

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