How to say yes in French ?
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 different yes in French language we use the most. I’ll provide your guidance to avoid mistakes during everyday conversations with French natives ! Oui ?
Table of content :
- The most common ways to say Yes in French
- Typical Yes in casual conversations
- Basic Yes to agree in French
- The double French Yes
- The unconvinced Yes
- How to formulate a positive answer to a negative question
- More formal ways to use Yes in French
The most common ways to say Yes in French
Typical yes in casual French conversations
- Ca marche / Ca roule = that works
- C’est ça = that’s it
- Ouais / ouaip =yeah
- Voui = affectionate yes (you can use with friends)
- Yeah / Yes / Yep = we also answer in English
- Carrément = totally / seriously / unmistakably
Native French speakers use carrément a lot ! This expresses a surprise and/or a disbelief when somebody tells you something that is or looks exaggerate
Il est vraiment moche ! – Carrément ?
He’s really ugly ! – Seriously ?
Basic Yes to agree in French
- Bien sûr = of course
- Certainement = certainly
- C’est exact = that’s correct
- D’accord = alright
- Ok = agree
- Tout à fait = exactly, absolutely
- Voilà = that’s right, there you go
- Evidemment = evidently / of course
- Absolument = absolutely
- Exactement = exactly
The double French Yes
- 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
The unconvinced Yes
- Moui or 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.
How to formulate a positive answer to a negative question
- 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 !
More formal expressions to say yes in French
Sometimes a letter or two can modify the meaning of a true yes, for example with mouais. This is indeed a rather negative yes that may not be so obvious when you start learning French. Exactly like our French False Friends, using the right yes with the accurate meaning can require a bit of practice. Let see now how to agree in more formal settings.
- 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)
- Certes = indeed
This is a very old-fashioned way of saying yes in French. You’ll find it in literature. Don’t use it when you speak or you’ll risk sounding like a snob !
- Absolument = absolutely
- Effectivement = quite
- En effet = indeed, quite
En effet is not really used in everyday conversation in French. You may hear it in on the news or in movies but most likely in written.
- Volontiers = with pleasure (more suitable for written French)
Would you like to learn how to say no in French ? Feel free to browse through my blog for more free resources to learn French online.
And for any specific yes in French translation, please feel free to reach out to your private French tutor. I’ll reply to you within 24 hours !
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