17 Ways to Say "Yes" in French (2023)

17 Ways to Say "Yes" in French (1)

written by
Alice Cimino

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“Yes” in French is oui.

And if you’re learning French and want to sound like a native speaker, there are so many more ways to say “yes” in French.

Think about how often you say “yes” in English, and how often you replace it with other words like “yep”, “yeah”, “okay”, “sure thing”, “of course” and “certainly”.

Here is a quick list of ways to say “yes” in French:

  • “yes” in French: oui
  • “yeah” in French: ouais
  • “OK” in French: d’accord or OK (pronounced oké)
  • “of course” in French: bien sûr
  • “absolutely” in French: absolument

And “no” in French is non.

Read on to find out more about how to say “yes” in French, including:

  • What oui means in French?
  • What’s the meaning of si in French?
  • How do you say “sure” in French?

I’ll even tell you about a famous French cartoon called Oui-Oui so you can improve your knowledge of French culture. I speak French as a native language, so you’re in safe hands here.

Are you ready? Oui?

Then let’s go!

How to Say “Yes” in French: Oui

17 Ways to Say "Yes" in French (2)

You probably already know this… French people will answer your questions with oui, meaning “yes”!

But did you also know that the double oui is quite popular too?

French will say oui, oui to emphasize their affirmative answer. Think of it as how you would use “I do” in English when it’s not necessary: Oui, oui, j’aime ça! (“Yes, I do like it!”)

(Video) YES in French -10 ways to say "Yes" (Step up your game!)

The Meaning of Mais Oui

Mais oui literally translates to “but yes”. This literal translation doesn’t make sense in English.

In most cases, mais oui is an interjection to say “that’s right” or to make the oui stronger. The mais (“but”) doesn’t translate in English when it’s part of this phrase.

Examples:

  • Mais oui, c’est correct ! – “Yes, that’s right!”
  • Mais oui, j’arrive – “Yes, I’m coming.”

Mais oui on its own can also mean “but of course.”

“Yes” in French – What Does Oui Mean?

Language lovers might have another question besides How do you say “yes” in French?

If you’re familiar with romance languages such as Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, this question might be: Why don’t the French use: “si” like many other romance languages?

This is a very good question, with an even better answer.

“Yes” in Italian is . In Spanish it is . In Portuguese, sim. But in French, it’s oui.

So how come, if all these languages are derived from Latin, they don’t use the same word for “yes”?

Here’s why: there was no word for “yes” in Latin to start with. In fact, if you want to say “yes” in Latin, you’d need to use an affirmative phrase: sic est (“it is thus”), est (“it is”), hoc illic (“this is it”).

So when romance languages found themselves in need of a “yes”, they spun the Latin phrases or resorted to other languages. Sic est became si for Italian and Spanish, and sim for Portuguese. And French turned hoc illic into oc, oc ill, oïl, and finally oui.

The French language also adopted si, though only for specific situations. Let me tell you more about it.

What Does Si Mean in French?

We French like to be eccentric. This is why we have a “yes” to use in specific situations.

Si is the French “yes” to answer a question that was asked negatively.

You’d think that doesn’t happen often, but it surprisingly does. You would ask a French: Tu n’as pas faim ? (“You’re not hungry?”) and they’d answer si, meaning “yes”!

Examples:

  • Ça ne va pas ? (“Are you not okay?”) → Si, ça va. (“I’m fine.”)
  • Ne vient-il pas ? (“Is he not coming?”) → Si, il est en route. (“Yes, he’s on his way.”)

How to Say “Yeah” in French: Ouais

Why would you want to learn how to say “yeah” in French? It’s not “proper” language.

(Video) HOW TO SAY YES IN FRENCH | 14 Ways to Say OUI

Well, think about how many times you use “yes” in English. Then think about how many times you use “yeah” daily.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Whether your go-to lazy yes is “yeah” or “yep”, you probably use it more often than “yes”. You would do the same in French with ouais.

You will also hear French saying mouais. It’s ouais but with a disinterested or doubtful tone.

How to Say “OK” in French: D’Accord

If you look for the French translation of “okay” on the Internet, the answer you will get is d’accord.

D’accord literally translates to “in agreement”, or more loosely to “alright” or “fine”. It belongs to the “proper” side of the French language.

If you’re looking for the more familiar “okay”, don’t look further. No, I mean it, don’t look further than “okay”. Simply using ok has become very popular among the French population. We pronounce it oké.

Abbreviations of d’accord are also common, the first one being d’acc. D’acc-o-dacc is less often used and serves more as an extra comical affirmation.

How to Say “Of Course” in French: Bien Sûr

Bien sûr in English would literally be “well sure” as bien is “good” or “well” and sûr is “sure”.

But bien sûr is the French equivalent of “of course”!

Note: Don’t forget the circumflex accent on top of the u! Sur without the circumflex accent is “on”, and the phrase wouldn't make much sense like this. As it’s just an accent, it’s common for French people to avoid it in texts and messages. So you’ll wonder: “then why should I make sure I remember it?” If French is not your native language, people will just assume you can’t write the word properly and correct you.

How to Say “Sure” in French: Pour Sûr

Pour sûr is literally “for sure” in English. It’s another way to say bien sûr.

You might not have heard much about pour sûr, and maybe you’re asking yourself whether you have to use it in a colloquial or formal setting. Let me tell you, it’s hard to know.

While pour sûr is a bit too uptight to be everyday language, it’s not an expression you’d use in a formal conversation either. It kind of hovers in between and that’s probably why it’s not commonly used.

If you want to say “sure” as in the more familiar way, use ouais or OK.

How to Say “Absolutely” in French: Absolument

After learning to say “for sure” in French, you have to learn how to say “absolutely”. You never know how affirmative you need to be in future situations.

In French, “absolutely” is absolument. Isn’t it similar to the English word? You’re lucky, it makes it even easier to remember!

(Video) Different ways to say "Yes" in French🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷

If you like French grammar (or at the very least are familiar with it), you’ll recognize the construction of the adverb: adjective (absolu, “absolute”) and the suffix -ment.

Words that are the same in English and French are called cognates. There are hundreds of French words that you can learn this way. It’s a quick way to build your French vocabulary.

How to Say “It's Okay” in French: Ça Va or C’est Bon

How you say “it’s okay” in French depends on the situation and context.

Some ways to say “it’s okay” in French include ça va or c’est bon.

Ça va literally translates to “it goes” in English. It’s the short version of ça va bien (“it’s going well”). C’est bon means “it’s good”.

As I mentioned earlier, French people do say ok. You might hear them saying c’est ok as well.

How to Say “To Nod” in French: Acquiescer

Sometimes, you don’t even need words to say “yes”. You just have to nod!

In French, “to nod” is acquiescer.

Acquiescer belongs to the first group of French verbs, those that end in -er. As verbs of the first group are always regular, the conjugation of acquiescer is simple (for French conjugation).

However, watch out for the ç cedilla. It appears in front of the vowels a, o, u but not e, i because they already make the c soft. This is why there is no ç in the infinitive of acquiescer.

Passé Simple Imparfait Passé Composé Présent Futur
je – I j'acquiesçai j'acquiesçais j'ai acquiescé j'acquiesce j'acquiescerai
tu – you (singular and informal) tu acquiesças tu acquiesçais tu as acquiescé tu acquiesces tu acquiesceras
il – he / elle – she / on – we (informal) il/elle/on acquiesça il/elle/on acquiesçait il/elle/on a acquiescé il/elle/on acquiesce il/elle/on acquiescera
nous – we (formal) nous acquiesçâmes nous acquiescions nous avons acquiescé nous acquiesçons nous acquiescerons
vous – you (plural or formal) vous acquiesçâtes vous acquiesciez vous avez acquiescé vous acquiescez vous acquiescerez
ils – they (masculine or general) / elles (feminine) ils/elles acquiescèrent ils/elles acquiesçaient ils/elles ont acquiescé ils/elles acquiescent ils/elles acquiesceront

You can also use the phrase hocher la tête to say “to nod”. Hocher la tête also sometimes means “to shake one’s head”.

How to Say “Thumbs-Up” in French:

A lot of our communication as humans depends on body language, so it only makes sense that we have more than one gesture to show that we’re saying “yes”.

If nodding isn’t your thing, chances are you prefer using the “thumb-up” to say yes. In French, a “thumb-up” is un pouce levé.

Funnily enough, the pouce levé is also called the le pouce anglais (“English thumb”). It’s contrary, the pouce * (“thumb-down”) is also known as *le pouce allemand (“German thumb”).

Some French people also call it the pouce levé a pouce en haut or pouce vers le haut.

17 Ways to Say "Yes" in French (3)

Other Ways to Say “Yes” in French

Here are a few more ways to say yes without actually saying “yes” in French:

(Video) 10 ways of saying "YES" in French

  • Affirmatif – “affirmative”
  • Compte sur moi – “count on me”
  • Comptez sur moi – formal or plural “count on me”
  • Ça roule – “okay” or “smooth”, literally “it rolls” (familiar expression)
  • Ça marche – “okay” or “smooth”, literally “it walks” (familiar expression)

Oui-Oui – France’s Noddy Detective

This section isn’t much more than an excuse for me to talk about a popular cartoon in France.

Have you heard of Oui-Oui? Or maybe you know him as Noddy?

Still not ringing a bell? Maybe you’ll recognize him then:

Oui-oui was created in 1949 by British author Enid Blyton and illustrated by a Dutch artist named Harmsen van der Beek. France saw him for the first time in 1962 as a part of a book. He has since become one of the core cartoons for young French children.

Noddy is a toy detective from the town of Miniville (“Toyland”) and his signature characteristic is his head that nods easily. That’s why his name in French is “Yes-Yes”!

Now You Know How to Say “Yes” in French, It’s Time to Part Ways”

Now you know how to say “yes” in French just like a native speaker. No one will catch you off guard anymore.

Are you happy? Oui!

Do you feel confident with your knowledge of French words for “yes”? Bien sûr!

Are you ready for more French learning? Absolument!

That’s what I wanted to hear!

Benny Lewis has put together a post for learners like you who never want to stop discovering and improving. It’s a list of the best resources there are on the Internet to learn French. Check it out, I’m sure it has what you need to take your French to the next level.

17 Ways to Say "Yes" in French (4)

Alice Cimino

Student, Freelance Content Creator

Alice is an undergraduate student who loves fiction, languages, and challenges. She's a bilingual by birth and a quadrilingual by consequence.

(Video) How to Say 'YES' in FRENCH? (OUI OUI)

Speaks: French, Italian, Spanish, English

View all posts by Alice Cimino

FAQs

What are 10 ways to say yes? ›

'Yes' In 10 Languages
  1. German — Ja.
  2. Spanish — Sí
  3. French — Oui.
  4. Italian — Si.
  5. Portuguese — Sim.
  6. Swedish — Ja.
  7. Turkish — Evet.
  8. Polish — Tak.
12 Jun 2019

What are different ways to say yes? ›

synonyms for yes
  1. affirmative.
  2. amen.
  3. fine.
  4. good.
  5. okay.
  6. true.
  7. yea.
  8. all right.

Why do French people say yes twice? ›

The Double French Yes

It's common in French to repeat the yes twice: “oui, oui…” Of course this cracks up our English friends, but it's common to double the yes to answer in a casual way in French. It doesn't have a specific meaning: it's just a way to speak and it's not like we say “oui, oui” all the time either.

What is the old word for yes? ›

Yes is a very old word. It entered English before 900 and comes from the Old English word gese loosely meaning “be it.” Before the 1600s, yes was often used only as an affirmative to a negative question, and yea was used as the all-purpose way to say “yes.”

What can I say instead of Oh yeah? ›

Synonyms
  • (agreement): yes, yeah.
  • (refutation): yeah right, oh really.
  • (exclamation of excitement): aww yeah, all right.

Can I say absolutely instead of yes? ›

Some people say absolutely as an emphatic way of saying yes or of agreeing with someone.

Is sure another word for yes? ›

Sure is used as “yes,” though it never means “yes.” Sure is a thumbs up to your face, and a jerkoff motion behind your back.

Do French people say OK? ›

In short, the answer is yes. However, using the anglicism, “okay”, is not considered to be good French. In French slang you could make a sentences like this: Bon, ben, OK, je vais y aller demain.

Is there ABCD in French? ›

The French and English alphabets share the same letters. However, the way we pronounce the letters of the alphabet in French is a bit different.

What are 5 greetings in French? ›

The most important French greetings include bonjour (hello), enchanté(e) (nice to meet you), bonsoir (good evening/hello), salut (hi), coucou (hey), Ça fait longtemps, dis donc (long time no see), Âllo (hello), Ça va? (how are you?), tu vas bien? (have you been well?), quoi de neuf? (what's up?), au revoir!

Is de rien rude? ›

Usage. The closest English equivalent to de rien is "it's nothing," which is not the nicest way to acknowledge gratitude. De rien isn't wrong, exactly, but it's not as polite as what native French speakers typically say: je vous en prie > you are welcome (literally, "I beg of you")

What means Les Deux? ›

both; either; the two of us.

Do the French say yay? ›

Ouah is French for “yes” when you're extra happy and enthusiastic. You could translate it as “Yes!” or “Yay!”

Who made YES as a word? ›

Old English gea (West Saxon), ge (Anglian) "so, yes," from Proto-Germanic *ja-, *jai-, a word of affirmation (source also of German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish ja), from PIE *yam-, from pronominal stem *i- (see yon). As a noun, "affirmation, affirmative vote," from early 13c. Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to be."

How do you say yes in British? ›

Synonyms of 'yes' in British English
  1. yeah (informal) Yeah, alright, I'll come.
  2. sure.
  3. okay.
  4. aye (Scottish, informal)
  5. affirmative (formal)
  6. uh-huh (slang)
  7. ya (South Africa) `Are you coming now?' `Ya. '
  8. yup (informal)

How did Aye become yes? ›

Aye and variants

It may derive from the word I (in the context of "I assent"); as an alteration of the Middle English yai ("yes"); or the adverb aye (meaning always "always, ever"), which comes from the Old Norse ei.

How do you say Super yes? ›

Polite Ways to Say Yes in English
  1. Yeah, sure. Here you go.
  2. No problem! I'm always happy to help.
  3. Yep! I will be right there. (Yep is another informal way to say yes like yeah.)
  4. Yeah, I'd be happy to!
  5. Cool. (Yes, cool can really be used to say yes or to show agreement.)
  6. You got it.
  7. Okay.
20 Sept 2017

What are 4 ways to say no? ›

How to Say “No” for Any Reason at All!
  • I wish I could make it work.
  • I wish I were able to.
  • I'd rather not.
  • I'm afraid I can't.
  • If only I could!
  • No thanks, I won't be able to make it.
  • Not this time.
  • Unfortunately, it's not a good time.

How are you 10 ways to say? ›

10 other ways to say "How are you?"
  • How are you doing?
  • How have you been?
  • How's everything?
  • How's it going?
  • How are things going?
  • What's going on?
  • What's new?
  • What's up?

What do you mean Aww yeah? ›

Interjection. aww yeah. (informal, slang, Canada, US) an exclamation of excitement or joy.

How do you spell Ahhh? ›

Confusing Words – Aah, Ah, Ahh, Aw, and Awe
  1. Aah is an interjection that is used as an exclamation to express fear. ...
  2. Ah is also an interjection. ...
  3. Ahh is used to express realization and acceptance.
  4. Aw is used when you see something you think is cute or adorable.
16 Nov 2017

Does definitely mean yes? ›

without any doubt: This book is definitely worth reading. "Do you want to come?" "Yes, definitely."

How do you spell yes in slang? ›

Yea, yeah, and yay are commonly equated with the word yes. If you're one of the people doing it, you would be correct roughly sixty-six percent of the time—you can use yea or yeah for yes, but it's a whole different story with yay, which is the exclamation people use to express joy.

What can I say instead of I Love You? ›

How do I say “I love you” without saying it in a text?
  • “Smiling so much today just thinking of you”
  • “Just wanted to thank you for being you :)”
  • “I hope you know how much you mean to me”
  • “I'm so glad you're in my life!”
  • “You are so amazing!”
  • “You mean so much to me”
  • Send a sweet GIF.
  • Send a romantic song.
10 Feb 2014

How do you say yes excited? ›

For sure! / You bet!

These both express enthusiasm – like saying “DEFINITELY yes!” These are both more informal expressions.

Why do French not say r? ›

French R Vs Spanish R

The French R sound is produced at the back of the mouth, where you'll pronounce the G of “get” in English. In France, the French R is never the Spanish rolled R, nor is it the very guttural Spanish J as in Jesus.

Do the French say bro? ›

Frère is French for 'brother' and frérot means 'bro'. Both frère and frérot are common terms of affection for men, used the same way as English speakers use 'bro'. Both, especially frérot, are slangy and young.

What is Ø in French? ›

The [ø] is a typical French vowel: you pronounce it by pursing your lips, as if you were blowing the candles out on a birthday cake. Many French sounds are pronounced at the front of the mouth, lips rounded and pursed, and your tongue curled. The sounds.

What does c mean in French? ›

Cedilla: ç

The little hook ¸ added under the letter c in French is a diacritical mark known as a cedilla, une cédille. The letter c with the hook ç is called c cédille. The sole purpose of the cedilla is to change a hard c, pronounced [k], to a soft c, pronounced [s].

What accent is c? ›

The Cedilla (La Cédille) in French. The cedilla in French looks like a little squiggle beneath the letter “c”: “ç”. This accent mark only goes with the letter “c” — it's not found under any other letter. It's a simple symbol to understand: a ç (c with a cedilla) is pronounced like an “s”.

What are 15 ways to say hello? ›

15 ways to say 'hello' in different languages
  1. Spelling: Nǐ hǎo (nee haow) Hindi. ...
  2. Spelling: Namaste (na ma stay) Spanish. ...
  3. Spelling: Hola (oh la) French. ...
  4. Spelling: Bonjour (bon jour) Arabic. ...
  5. Spelling: Marhaba (mar ha ba) Bengali. ...
  6. Spelling: Hyālō (hyaa lo) Russian. ...
  7. Spelling: Privet (pree vyet) Portuguese. ...
  8. Spelling: Olá (oh la)
27 Nov 2022

What are 3 ways to say hello? ›

synonyms for hello
  • greetings.
  • hi.
  • howdy.
  • welcome.
  • bonjour.
  • buenas noches.
  • buenos dias.
  • good day.

Do French people hug? ›

Hugging in France

Unlike Americans, the French do not use hugging as a greeting. Instead, they kiss cheeks (faire la bise) informally and shake hands in formal settings. Because they are not given often, hugs tend to make French people uncomfortable and can easily seem like an invasion of personal space.

Is Sacre bleu rude? ›

Sacrebleu! Sacrebleu is a stereotypical and very old fashioned French curse, which is rarely used by the French these days. An English equivalent would be “My Goodness!” or “Golly Gosh!” It was once considered very offensive.

Is quoi rude? ›

In English, if you didn't hear someone, simply saying “What?” would be considered informal or even rude, and the same goes for quoi.

Why is sacre bleu offensive? ›

It is a minced oath form of the profane sacré dieu, "holy God", which is, by some religions, considered a profanity, due to one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible, which reads "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain."

What does La Di Da Di mean? ›

(lɑ di dɑ ) also lah-di-dah. adjective. If you describe someone as la-di-da, you mean that they have an upper-class way of behaving, which you think seems unnatural and is only done to impress people. [old-fashioned, disapproval]

What is tres doux? ›

très doux [adj] extra mild.

What does Qu est ce que tu veux faire mean? ›

Qu'est-ce que tu veux faire ? : What do you want to do?

Do the French say LOL? ›

French uses onomatopoeic laughter variations much like those in English. It also, like many non-English languages, uses the universalized "LOL" to indicate laugher.

Can you respond oui to Ca va? ›

Some proper ways to respond to ça va? include, “Très bien, et vous ?” or in a more casual setting, “Ça va bien, et toi ?” But you can also respond with a simple “ça va,” which means you're doing fine.

What is bah oui? ›

Bah, oui ! : Yes, of course!

What should I say yes to? ›

12 Things You Should Always Say "Yes" To
  • Going on a spontaneous trip. ...
  • Enjoying a little PDA. ...
  • Taking a phone call from your mother. ...
  • Stopping to smell the roses — literally. ...
  • Becoming friends with that woman who has the same style as you. ...
  • Taking a photo — even if you don't look so hot. ...
  • Doing things that create memories.
19 Jun 2015

What is another way to reply yes? ›

Polite Ways to Say Yes in English
  1. Yeah, sure. Here you go.
  2. No problem! I'm always happy to help.
  3. Yep! I will be right there. (Yep is another informal way to say yes like yeah.)
  4. Yeah, I'd be happy to!
  5. Cool. (Yes, cool can really be used to say yes or to show agreement.)
  6. You got it.
  7. Okay.
20 Sept 2017

How do you say yes correct? ›

Saying somebody is correct - Intermediate
  1. Yes, that's right.
  2. You're quite right.
  3. Yes, that's correct.
  4. That's spot on.
  5. You're dead right (there).
  6. Absolutely.
  7. You've hit the nail on the head.
  8. You could say so.

Can I say yes instead of OK? ›

Okay is the informal (and somewhat trivial) version of yes, so it is appropriate to use it when agreeing to something, for example, "Would you like to go to the mall?" But when being used as an answer for something that either requires more description or a definitive answer, like "Was there ice cream at the party?" is ...

Does sure mean yes? ›

Sure is an informal way of saying `yes' or `all right. ' "Do you know where she lives?"—"Sure."

How do you say yes to a guy? ›

Here are examples of other responses that convey enthusiasm and certainty: "That sounds great," "Of course, I would love to," "Yes, I'm so flattered you would ask," and "That would be lovely." These are simple, more mature answers, but prove to a boy you are more adult and mature.

How do you say yes informally? ›

Informal
  1. Yes.
  2. Ya.
  3. Yep.
  4. Yup.
  5. YAAAAAS.
  6. Totally.
  7. Totes.
  8. Sure.

How do you say yes in British slang? ›

' Aye – It means yes.

What does Ahhh mean? ›

interjection. (used as an exclamation expressing surprise, delight, joy, etc.)

How do you say no in a smart way? ›

Different Ways to Say No and When to Use Them
  1. I appreciate the offer, but I can't.
  2. I'm honored, but can't.
  3. I'd love to, but I can't.
  4. I appreciate the invitation, but I am completely booked.
  5. Thanks for thinking of me, but I can't.
  6. Regrettably, I'm not able to.
  7. You're so kind to think of me, but I can't.

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