21 Ways to Say Yes in French Without Sounding Like a Tourist

If you spend a little bit of time in France, you’ll notice that the French rarely answer “oui” when you ask them a question.

Instead, they use the equivalent of “of course”, “yup” and “maybe”.

If you want to better understand everyday French and sound like a native rather than a tourist, you need to know these different ways to say “yes” in French.

That’s why today, you’ll discover 21 different ways to say “yes” in style and say goodbye to the boring “oui”.

Ready? 

The contradiction yes

“Si” is what I like to call the contradiction yes.

The French use it to contradict negative questions and statements in both formal and informal situations.

T’as jamais visité Nantes, n’est-ce pas ?

Si, l’année dernière.

You never visited Nantes, right?

Oh I did, last year.

The neutral yes

“D’accord” is the French equivalent of “alright”.

It’s a great way to move away from “oui” while not taking any risk.

It’s also used to form the expression “être d’accord” (to agree).

On se voit demain ?

D’accord !

Do we meet tomorrow?

Alright!

The casual yes

“Ça marche” is a casual way to say “it’s ok for me” in French. This is the perfect yes to use with friends and people you’re close to.

You can basically use it with anyone you are on a “tu” basis with.

You could also use the less common “ça roule” (lit: it rolls”) instead.

Je passe te chercher à 14 heures lundi.

ça marche.

I’ll pick you up at 2PM on Monday.

Alright.

The obvious answer yes

If a person asks you something to which the answer seems obvious, you could answer:

You can use “bien sûr” in any situation, but “évidemment” is better suited for formal situations.

T’aimes le chocolat ?
Bien sûr/évidemment.

The unconvinced yes

Your friend absolutely wants to introduce you to someone while you’d rather stay at home. The conversation could go something like that:

ça va être génial, tu verras.

It’s gonna be great, you’ll see.

Mouais…

Hum…

The where do I sign yes

Sometimes an opportunity comes up that’s so exciting that you wish you could say “yes” even before the person is done talking.

That’s when you can use “carrément” in French.

You should only use it in informal situations.

ça te dirait de visiter Costa Rica cet été ?

Carrément.

The irritated yes

Here are two useful expressions you can use if someone asks you an irritating question:

Just don’t forget that these two ways to say yes in French could easily be considered rude.

Tu as fait tes devoirs ?

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

You did your homework, right?

Yes, I already told you (I did) three times!

The genetically modified yes

When my girlfriend talked to me in French for the first time, she was confused to hear me answer “ouais” instead of “oui”.

“Ouais” means exactly the same as “oui”, but it’s considered more casual.

So casual in fact that some people may be irritated if you use it with them.

“Ouais” and “ouaip” are two awesome additions to your “oui” toolbox, but remember that you’d only use them with people you’re close to, that is with people you use “tu” with.

T’es fatigué ?

Ouais, j”me suis couché tard hier.

Are you tired?

Yeah, I went to bed late last night.

The “I agree” yes

If you’re happy to do something, but can’t use the casual “carrément”, because the situation is too formal, you could use these variations instead:

Je vous sers un café ?

Volontiers.

The that’s right yes

When you want to confirm that what someone says is correct, you can use one of these (rather formal) words:

Vous êtes bien Monsieur Durand ?

Tout à fait.

You are Monsieur Durand, right?

That’s right.

The perfect yes

Sometimes, you may want to say that something is perfect. In this case, you can use:

Votre chambre vous convient-elle ?

Oui merci/ oui c’est parfait / oui c’est très bien.

Here you go. You now have all the knowledge you need to say goodbye to “oui” and bonjour to a myriad of fun and exciting ways to say “yes”.

Pick a “yes” from this list and try to use it with your conversation partner! You’ll immediately sound more French.

Oh and click here if you’d like to discover 13 ways to say “no” in French!

15 thoughts on “21 Ways to Say Yes in French Without Sounding Like a Tourist”

  1. In Louisiana, mais oui(pr. weah) is more polite than certainement. When I was in Paris, I discovered the different ways to say yes.

    Reply
  2. Bonjour Ben! Just wondering are all lessons on ITalk free?? Or else you are a perfect teacher I would love to read and receive your emails.

    Reply
  3. Hi There,

    I’m in Quebec at the moment and a couple of times people have asked me if they could have the free chair next to me. I don’t know enough french to know what they’re saying but I can understand the gesture. My question is, what’s the appropriate way to reply to this question in French. In English if someone asks « are you using this chair? «  or « can i have this chair » we just say « yeah sure » or « yeah that’s fine » or « yeah it’s yours » just wondering what the French equivalent is?

    Reply
  4. I’ve seen (only few) people saying something like “a ba oui” or “a va oui”. May be I’m writing it wrong, but it sounded like that. What is it? Is it frequently used? Or is it too casual?

    Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • “Bah oui” or “ben oui” is quite common but also quite informal.

      Depending on the context, it could also be perceived as rude, as if you were saying “well yes, obviously.”

      Reply
  5. J’aime tellement ces explications de dire « oui » ou « non » à la française. C’est un article tout a fait utile. Merci bien et bonne année 2018!

    Reply
  6. Very insightful article that touched upon a different host of ways for saying yes – informative. Can you say: “tout à coup” also?

    Reply

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