Dabbling in Jet Lag
Wondering how to say “yes” in French?
As someone who has been living in France for several years and is fluent in French, I know how important it is to be able to express yourself clearly. And being able to say “yes” can open a world of possibilities!
So, if you want to know how to say “yes” in French, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will provide 41 different phrases that you can use when saying “yes” in French. It’s a comprehensive list that will no doubt help you on your language journey.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
41 Ways to Say Yes in French
Knowing how to say “yes” in French is an essential part of mastering the language. Here, I’ll provide 41 different phrases that will help you communicate effectively. From straightforward responses such as “oui” and “bien sûr” to more formal expressions like “evidemment,” this guide has all the phrases you’ll ever need.
So, let’s dive in!
When it comes to saying “yes” in French, the most common and straightforward term is “oui.” This simple yet powerful word can be used in various contexts, and its pronunciation, “wee,” is easy to master. In fact, oui is one of the first words that many people learn when studying French.
Oui doesn’t always mean a clear affirmation; it can also be used to show understanding. For example, you can use oui to confirm an appointment or even to acknowledge humor.
Useful Tip: If you considering moving abroad to France or even just visiting, you’ll want to master using this one.
2. Oui merci
Pronunciation: wee mehr-see
“Oui merci” is a common way of saying “yes, thank you” in French. This phrase is often used to respond to an invitation or offer. By adding the word “merci,” you’re showing your gratitude and politeness, which are highly valued in French culture.
3. Mais oui
Pronunciation: mè wee
“Mais oui” is a phrase in French that means “yes, of course” or “of course.” It can be used to express agreement, understanding, or affirmations.
4. Oui, madame/monsieur
Pronunciation: wee meuh-sieur/ma-dam
“Oui, madame/monsieur” is a polite way of saying “yes” in French. It can be used to show respect and appreciation when responding to an offer or invitation. The phrase translates to “yes, ma’am/sir” and is commonly used by native speakers as a sign of politeness.
5. Oui, s’il vous plaît
Pronunciation: wee seel-vooh-pleh
One of the most polite and respectful ways to say “yes” in French is by using the phrase “oui, s’il vous plaît.” This expression translates to “yes, please” and is commonly used when accepting an offer or a request. The addition of “s’il vous plaît” adds an extra layer of politeness, making it sound more formal and courteous.
I always default to “oui, s’il vous plaît,” if I’m unsure. It’s always better to be too polite.
6. Ben Oui
“Ben oui” is a phrase in French that is used to express agreement, understanding, or affirmation. It translates to “Well yes!”. This casual expression is commonly used when responding to someone you know. In general, “ben oui” is more enthusiastic than the word “oui” alone.
The phrase “ouais” is often used as a casual way of saying “yes” in French. It more closely translates to “yeah” than “yes.”
It’s generally more common among younger generations or in informal situations. It can also convey a sense of indifference or nonchalance.
Useful Tip: It’s very easy to overuse this word. I have to remind myself to say “oui” in more formal settings.
While ouais is a casual way of saying “yes” in French, ouaip takes it one step further. It’s more of a slang word that’s used among peers. While it’s not a word you’ll find in French textbooks, it’s a great way to impress your French friends.
In fact, it would be worth visiting France just to try out this phrase on some locals!
The phrase “ouep” is a slang word that’s used to affirm or agree with something. It’s like the English expression “yup,” and it can be used among peers when speaking informally.
The pronunciation of ouep is close to the English word “whip,” but with less emphasis on the first syllable.
Mouais is a non-committal way of saying “yes” in French. In English, it means “kinda” or “sorta.” It is often used to express agreement with a hint of indifference.
Useful Tip: It’s not the politest option, so be careful when using it in a professional setting.
“Waouh!” is not an affirming form of yes but rather a way to express enthusiasm. It’s mostly used to show satisfaction with the outcome of an event, for example.
Si is only used to say “yes” in very specific situations.
If someone asks you a negative question, and you want to answer affirmatively, then you would use si.
As an example:
If someone asks, “Tu n’as pas soif?” (“Aren’t you thirsty?”)
And you wanted to say “Yes, I am thirsty!”, you would say “Si!”.
When I first started studying French, I found this form of yes to be the most confusing. The best way to get used to using it is to practice.
The phrase “d’accord” is a very useful expression in French and means both “yes” and “okay.” It is an affirmative response that express understanding or agreement, but it also implies approval or consent.
14. Ça marche
“Ça marche” is a versatile and informal way of saying “yes” in French. It means “that works,” but it can also be used to convey agreement or understanding. It’s commonly heard among close friends and family members, as well as in more casual settings.
15. Ça roule
The phrase “ça roule” is another popular way of saying “yes” in French. It translates to “it rolls,” but it can also be used to mean “no problem” or “sure thing.” This expression is often heard among close friends and family members and is more informal than “ça marche.”
Useful Tip: When phrased as a question, “Ça roule?”, it can be used to informally greet someone.
16. Ça le fait
“Ça le fait” is an informal way of saying “yes” in French. It translates to “it does it” but can also be used to express agreement or understanding.
For example, if your friend asks you out to dinner and you agree, then you could say “ça le fait” which would mean “Yes, let’s do it!”.
17. C’est ça
“C’est ça” is a versatile and informal way of saying “yes” in French. It’s commonly used to express agreement or understanding. It translates to “that’s it,” but it also means “that’s right.”
Useful Tip: You’ll hear this phrase a lot in Paris, so it’s a good one to know.
18. C’est exact
“C’est exact” is like “c’est ça,” but more affirmative. It translates to “that’s right” or “that’s correct” and can be used to confirm what somebody else said.
You can use it in any setting both with friends and at the office.
19. Bien sûr
Pronunciation: be-unh sure
The phrase “bien sûr” is a polite way of saying yes in French. It translates to “well sure” or “of course” and can be used in any setting.
Evidemment is a very useful phrase in French that can be used to show that you 100% agree with someone. It translates to “obviously” and conveys a sense of certainty and confidence.
Evidemment can be used in any setting, but I tend to use it cautiously. It can come off as arrogant if you use it with someone you don’t know.
Carrément is a very popular phrase in French. It translates to “absolutely” and conveys an attitude of determination and confidence.
Like evidemment, you should use this phrase sparingly, so you don’t come off as too arrogant.
Volontiers is not as useful as the other ways to say “yes” on this list. It translates to “gladly” or “willingly” and conveys an attitude of willingness and enthusiasm.
You won’t hear it very often, but I put it here in case you do.
23. Avec plaisir
Pronunciation: ah-vec pleh-seer
“Avec plaisir” is one of the politest ways to say “yes” in French.
As an example, if someone invites you over for dinner, responding with “avec plaisir” is far more polite than saying “oui.”
In English, it means “with pleasure.”
This is a popular expression that I use all the time, and I recommend keeping it handy.
Useful Tip: It’s also used to show gratitude in the south of France.
The phrase “certainement” is a very useful way of saying “certainly” or “definitely” in French.
This expression can be used in any setting, where you want to give a definite yes.
“Certes” is one of the more uncommon ways to say “yes” in today’s French. It’s another way to say “certainly.” You’ll see it more in older literature, so it’s good to know, but don’t plan on using it.
“Exactement” is a formal way of saying yes in French. It translates to “exactly” and can be used to express agreement or understanding.
Using “exactement”, gives a sense of certainty, making it perfect for professional situations.
Useful Tip: French is heavily used in the workplace, so you’ll want to master these professional phrases if you plan on working in France.
27. Tout à fait
The phrase “tout à fait” is a formal and polite way of saying “yes” in French. It translates to “that’s right” or “precisely.”
“Tout à fait” conveys agreement without coming across as too arrogant.
28. En effect
“En effect” is a useful French expression that means “in fact” or “indeed.” This phrase has a formal tone and is best used in professional settings.
The phrase “parfait” is a useful way to say “yes” in French. It translates to “perfect” and conveys a sense of certainty and confidence. Parfait can be used in casual conversations or more formal settings like business meetings.
Parfaitement is used to express agreement or understanding. It translates to “perfectly” and suggests a sense of certainty.
Like Parfait, parfaitement is suitable for both casual and formal conversations.
31. Très bien
“Très bien” is one of the most common ways to say “yes” in French and works in any situation. It translates to “very good” and conveys an attitude of approval and agreement. You can also use it as a response when someone asks, “How you are doing?” or “Are you okay?”.
32. Pourquoi pas
Pronunciation: pour-kwa pa
“Pourquoi pas” is an incredibly useful way to say “yes” in French. It translates to “why not” and conveys a sense of openness and possibility. While “pourqoui pas” can be used in both informal and formal settings, it has a casual tone to it. So, if you’re not sure, don’t use it at the office.
33. Pas de problème
One phrase that comes in handy when saying “yes” in French is “pas de problème.” It means “no problem” or “yes, no problem.” This expression conveys a sense of ease and willingness to cooperate.
It has a casual and friendly tone, making it perfect for informal contexts like social gatherings with acquaintances.
34. Pas de souci
“Pas de souci” is another way to say, “pas de problème,” but it’s far more casual. This expression translates to “no worries” or “no problem.”
Absolument is a French expression used to show agreement and understanding in a formal setting. It translates to “absolutely” and conveys a sense of certainty and confidence. Absolument can be used in any situation where you need to be professional.
If you are looking to express agreement or understanding in a more formal setting, affirmatif is the perfect way to do so. This phrase conveys a sense of professionalism. It’s used in business meetings, presentations, and formal debates.
37. Compte sur moi
“Compte sur moi” translates to “count on me” and shows a sense of reliability and certainty.
Useful Tip: This is the informal form of the expression. It should only be used with friends and people you know.
38. Comptez sur moi
“Comptez sur moi” is the formal version of “compte sur moi.” It should only be used with people you don’t know or in formal settings.
39. Bien entendu
“Bien entendu” is a useful phrase in French that confirms you understand what was said. It translates to “of course” or “well understood” and works in both formal and informal conversations.
Entendu is a useful phrase in French that can be used to express agreement or understanding. It translates to “heard” but means “understood.” Unlike “bien entendu,” entendu is more casual and is commonly used with friends.
The French equivalent of the English word “ok” is “ok.” This simple expression is used to express agreement or understanding in any informal situation. And, since it’s pronounced the same in English, it’s very easy to remember.
Conclusion: Affirmative Phrases in French
Saying “yes” in French is a great way to sound more fluent and impress native speakers. Whether you’re looking for something casual or formal, there are tons of ways to express agreement or understanding.
With these 41 expressions at your disposal, you’ll be able to agree with any statement while sounding like a native speaker!
And, now that you know how to give an affirmative answer, try learning some French greetings.
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