Ifyou spend some time in France or carry out a the majority of reading or listening in French,you’ll an alert that the French don’t constantly answer “oui” as soon as you askthem a question.

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Instead,they can use the equivalent of “of course”, “yup” or “maybe”, orexpressions choose “Of course”, “I agree,” and also “That’s that precisely.” There’s even a means to speak “yes” in Frenchwhen you confirming a an adverse statement.

Let’stake a look at an exceptional 25 different means to to speak “yes” in French!

The usual yes

A simple “Oui” is the many standard, basic, and neutral affirmative answer in French.

Oui has a long and also fascinating history, and is the winner that along-running etymological battle. Through the middle Ages, French had progressed intonumerous dialects that were basically mutually unintelligible. But you couldgroup them right into three major categories: the langues d’oïl, the languesd’oc, and also other dialects. Oïl andoc refer to just how speakers of these dialects claimed the word “yes”.

Over time, because it was spoken inParis, the imperial city, the langue d’oïl came to be the dominant dialect. Ouiis the modern French development of the word oïl.

Oui is also a good word to recognize for romantics. In a traditionalFrench wedding ceremony, the bride and groom prize Oui, je le veux(Yes, I want this (marriage, life together, etc.)).

You deserve to use oui in just aboutany case where one affirmative an answer is required. It’s a neutralexpression, therefore there’s no feeling of it being particularly formal or informal. If you want to make it sound especially polite orrespectful, you can add something to it.

For example:

Oui, madame/monsieur. (Yes, ma’am/sir.)

Oui, s’il vous plait. (Yes, please.)

Thecontradiction yes

“Si” iswhat I like to call the contradiction yes.

The French use si tocontradict negative questions and statements in both formal and informalsituations.

For example:

Tu n’as jamais visité Nantes, n’est-ce pas ?

Si, l’année dernière.

You’ve never been come Nantes, right?

Yes, ns have, last year.

While si is supplied in Franceand by French-speakers in various other European countries,many sources, consisting of thisone, point out the si isn’tused together an affirmation that a an unfavorable statement in Canada or in AfricanFrancophone countries. Canadians simply say oui, while plenty of AfricanFrancophone speakers would answer a question like this v non.

So, because that a Canadian, the price tothe question in the instance dialogue above would it is in Oui, l’année dernière.

For african Francophone speakers,the answer would certainly be Non, l’année dernière – or probably to clear up (as anEnglish-speaker would execute if they answered “no” come affirm a question), Non,j’ai visité Nantes l’année dernière.

The neutralyes

“D’accord” isthe French tantamount of “alright”.

If you break it down, this makessense, since the indigenous “accord” in both English and French means agreement.

D’accord can it is in formal or informal, making that a an excellent alternative to oui.

In enhancement to a stand-aloneresponse, it’s also used in the expression “être d’accord” (to agree).

Forexample :

On se voit demain ?

D’accord !

Shall we get together tomorrow?


Je suis d’accord avec toi, les chatons sont plus mignons que les chiots.

I agree with you, kittens space cuter than puppies.


The casual yes

“Ça marche” isa casual means to speak “It’s/That’s ok because that me” in French. It literally translatesto “That works”.

It’s an informal expression, for this reason youcan basically use it with anyone you are on a “tu” basis with.

You could also use the less common“Ça roule” (literally: “It/That rolls”) instead. This expression is the roughequivalent that “That’s cool.”

Sometimes human being add “ma poule” (literally:“my chicken”) to the end: Ça roule, ma poule. This is a bit outdated andfunny – think of it like “okey dokey” in English – for this reason if you want a severe reaction, don’t include mapoule.


Je passe te chercher à 14 heures lundi.

Ça marche.

I’ll choose you up in ~ 2PM ~ above Monday.

Ok/Alright/That functions for me.

Je passe te chercher à 14 heures lundi.

Ça roule.

I’ll pick you up at 2PM ~ above Monday.


The obviousanswer “yes”

If a human being asks you something towhich the answer appears obvious, you might answer:

Bien sûr (Ofcourse)

Evidemment (Obviously/Clearly)

You have the right to use bien sûr in anysituation, however évidemment is better suited come formal situations.

Tu aimes le chocolat ?Bien sûr/Évidemment.

Theunconvinced yes

Your girlfriend absolutely desires tointroduce you come someone, however you’d fairly stay in ~ home. The conversation couldgo something choose this:

Ça va être génial, tu verras.

It’s gonna it is in great, you’ll see.


Mm yeah/Yeah, okay, whatever…

As you might have guessed, mouaisis a portmanteau that hum (um) and also ouais (yeah).

In part cases, it implies beingbored or unimpressed, and unconvinced.You deserve to see this usage in this review of a restaurant,entitled “mouais bof” — the tantamount of “Meh” (not an excellent or exciting)in English.

Note that mouais is extremelyinformal and could come off as rude if you usage it in skilled occasions orwith a stranger. It should only be provided with girlfriend or people you deserve to becasual around. Also then, if the person is talking around something they’reserious or passionate about, responding “Mouais” would more than likely come offas mean.

The “Where doI sign?” yes

Sometimes an chance comesup it is so exciting that you wish you might say “yes” even before the personis excellent talking. That’s once you have the right to use “carrément” inFrench. That the tantamount of“Absolutely!” in English.

But you have to only use it ininformal situations.


Ça dare dirait de visiter Costa Rica cet été ?


Want to go to Costa Rica this summer?



Note the in enhancement to that is affirmative use, carrément is one adverb that way “totally/straight/straight up/dead”. You can see the different ways it’s supplied in this context, here.

The “I agree”yes

If she happy to do something, butcan’t use the casual carrément because you’re in a officially orprofessional setting, you have the right to opt for among these sports instead:

Volontiers (Gladly/Willingly. Keep in mind theconnection that this word with la volonté (will))

Avec plaisir (With pleasure)

Certainement (Certainly)


Je vous sers un café ?


Would you prefer some coffee?


The irritatedyes

Here are two beneficial expressions youcan use if someone asks you an irritating question:

Mais oui (Yes, the course)

Ben oui (sometimes composed as Bah oui)(Uh, yeah)

While mais oui translatesdirectly to “but yes” – in other words, “Yes, that course”, ben or bah arephonetic representations of the sound French civilization make as soon as they speak theequivalent the “um” or “uh”.

Although it usually shows irritationor annoyance, you may hear Mais oui offered in kind of playful way, forexample, in a advertising if someone can’t think a transaction they’re getting: UniPhone X pour seulement 700 euros? – Mais oui!

Ben oui/Bah oui, ~ above the various other hand, denotes a certain sloppiness,disrespect, or too much casualness, so also if you’re no intending come say the inan excited way, never ever use this expression in officially or professionalsituations.

Always keep in mind the these twoways come say yes in French could easily be considered rude!

Here’s an instance with eachexpression:

Tu as fait tes devoirs ?

Mais oui, je car l’ai déjà dit trois fois !

You did your homework, right?

Yes, I already told friend (I did) 3 times!


Tu together fait tes devoirs ?

Ben oui, je car l’ai déjà dit trois fois !

You did your homework, right?

Duh. Ns told you ns did it three times already!

The geneticallymodified yes

Ouais is the “yeah” to oui’s “yes”.Inother words, ouais way exactly the very same thing as oui, yet it’smuch more informal.


It’s therefore informal, in fact, the somepeople might be excited if you use it with them.

Similar to ouais is ouaip– the tantamount of the English “yep.”


Like ouais, ouaip isvery informal and could be taken into consideration rude if you’re talk to who in aprofessional or officially setting.

Ouais and also ouaip room two awesome additions to your ouitoolbox, however remember the to only use lock with civilization you’re close to, thatis with human being you use tu with.

Even then, several of those peoplemight not choose these words. my five-year-oldson, because that example, regularly says ouais with his great-aunts and also -uncles, andmany that them correct him and make him to speak oui instead.

Here’s an example of a dialogue withouais :

Tu es fatigué ?

Ouais, je me suis couché tard hier.

Are you tired?

Yeah, I saw bed late last night.

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Good come know: If she excited about something, you deserve to shout “Ouais !”, due to the fact that this is the indistinguishable of “Yesss!” in English. Favor “Yesss!”, remember the Ouais! is quiet informal.