You know when to say yes in French but with over 20 different ways to nuance it, it can be a bit daunting to know which one(s) to use. We will review below the synonyms we use the most as French native speakers and the mistakes not to make ! Oui ?
Would you like to know the synonyms for no or how to ask questions ? Feel free to reach out for personalised French lessons online or in Paris. I’ll reply to you within 24 hours.
Absolument = absolutely
Avec plaisir = with pleasure (you can say ‘avec plaisir’ in restaurants, cafés, shops)
A merveille = wonderfully (used a lot for clothes and to speak about your health)
1 – Cette robe lui va à merveille = this dress fits her perfectly
2 – Elle se porte à merveille à soixante-quinze ans = she is doing wonderfully at seventy-five
Bien entendu = of course
Bien sûr = of course
Ca marche / Ca roule = that works
Certes = indeed
Not used a lot by native French speakers. We see it mostly in French literature but you would not use ‘certes’ in usual French conversation.
Certainement = certainly
C’est ça / C’est exact = that’s it, that’s correct
Carrément = totally / seriously / unmistakably (familiarly used to express your surprise and/or your disbelief when somebody tells you something that is or looks exaggerate)
– Il est vraiment moche !
– Carrément ?
– He’s really ugly !
– Seriously ?
D’accord = alright
Effectivement = indeed, quite
En effet = indeed, quite
Evidemment = evidently / of course
Exactement = exactly
Ok = agree
Oui oui = yes, yes
Repeating yes is quite common in French. You could use the double yes in different cases :
1. It can mean right away :
Est-ce que tu viens ? Oui, oui, j’arrive (meaning ‘tout de suite’)
Are you coming ? Yes, I am
2. You want to end a conversation as you’re upset and the ‘oui, oui‘ is the endpoint of the discussion (meaning ‘whatever, that’s all’)
3. Someone said something really stupid and ask you to agree with you. You could answer ‘oui, oui’ meaning of course ‘ (‘mais bien sûr’) in a way you don’t care a word about what they are saying
Ouais / ouaip =yeah
Moui / Mouais = um, yeah
If you want to show a lack of enthusiasm, or show doubt, you can add a ‘m’ sound in front of the French yes.
Si = used to say yes after a negative question.
We even have a yes for negative.
Don’t you like lemon tart ? Yes I love it !
Tu n’aimes pas la tarte au citron ? Si, j’adore ça !
Tout à fait = exactly, absolutely
Voilà = that’s right, there you go
Voui = affectionate yes (you can use with friends)
Volontiers = with pleasure (more suitable for written French)
Yeah / Yes / Yep = we also answer in English
Would you like to learn more idioms and greetings in French ? Feel free to reach out for more details about Online French Lessons or French Courses in Paris and I’ll be delighted to rely within 24 hours.