The word “yes” is one of the first words that you ever learn when learning any foreign language. In French, believe it or not, there are actually several ways to say “yes” that all depend on the context of your situation.
Because the word “yes” is such a common word it’s important to learn as many forms of it as you can. It is for this reason that we’re going to go over as many of them as possible in this article. Ready? If you said “yes” then let’s proceed.
Using Oui to say Yes in French
It’s no surprise that the most commonly-known way to say “yes” in French is by saying oui. Simply put, it means “yes” and can be used in pretty much any situation where you need to give an affirmative answer.
It’s at a register that can be used with no matter who you are speaking to, from family and friends to your teacher or boss.
If you are just looking to travel to France, or another French-speaking country, then you should be able to use this one easily without any issues.
If you’re only looking to learn one way to say “yes” in French then this is the one that you should learn.
– Tu aimes le fromage ? – Do you like cheese?
– Oui, j’aime le fromage – Yes, I like cheese
– Est-ce que tu veux de l’eau ? – Do you want some water?
– Oui, s’il te plaît – Yes, please
Using Ouais to say yes in French
This is simply a variation of oui that is definitely more on the informal side of things. This means that it should only be used in situations where you are speaking with people that you are very familiar with. Leave this one out if you’re speaking to someone you just met, especially if they are older than you or hold some sort of authority over you.
You can think of this one as the French word for “yeah”.
– Tu as vu le film ? – Did you see the movie?
– Ouais, je l’ai vu – Yeah I saw it
– Tu veux partir à midi ? – You want to leave at noon?
– Ouais, pourquoi pas ? – Yeah, why not?
Using Ouaip to say yes in French
This is similar to ouais in that it’s just an informal way to say “yes”. It’s probably used less than ouais, but still used enough that you should be aware of it. Think of this one as the French equivalent to the English word “yep”.
– Tu as mon livre ? – You have my book?
– Ouaip – Yep / Yeah
– Tu as éteint la télé ? – You turned off the TV?
– Ouaip – Yep / Yeah
Using Bah Oui to Say Yes in French
It’s a little bit difficult to come up with an exact translation for this one because there isn’t really an English equivalent. You use bah oui in situations where it’s obvious as to why you would want to say “yes”. For example you could ask someone if they wanted a million dollars and to that you could say bah, oui !
The exception to this is if bah is drawn out to be longer. In this case it’s a sign of hesitation. It shows that the person isn’t quite sure of their answer. You can think of it like “ummm” or “errr” in English.
– Tu veux que je t’achète une maison ? – You want me to buy you a house?
– Bah, Oui ! – Yes! (It’s obvious as to why you would say yes)
– Il a 20 ans ? – He’s 20 years old?
– Bah…. Oui.. – Ummmm… Yes.. (Not so sure)
You may also hear ben in place of bah. This is just a variation and has the same meaning as bah.
Using M’ouais to say Yes in French
This is another informal way to say “yes” that you would really only use when you are either unenthusiastic about your answer or skeptical of the other person. You could use m’ouais if you are not sure if you really mean to say “yes” or if you feel that what the other person just said to you is dubious.
Take a look at some of the examples below to hopefully get a better grasp of this.
– Est-ce que tu as aimé le livre que je t’ai donné ? – Did you like the book I gave you?
– M’ouais.. – Yeah.. (Not really enthusiastic about it)
– On m’a donné une voiture neuve – Someone gave me a brand-new car
– M’ouais.. – Yeah.. (Not sure if you believe it)
Using Si to say Yes in French
Si is a way to “yes” in French that is only used in really particular situations. It can be viewed as a straight-up “yes” like oui, but only used in certain circumstances where you are contradicting a negative statement or question. Let’s see this in action…
– Tu n’aimes pas la France ? – You don’t like France?
– Si, j’aime la France – Yes I like France
– Greg n’a pas de chien – Greg does have any dogs
– Si ! Il en a trois – Yes he does! He has three
Using D’accord to say Yes in French
This is a more or less neutral way to say “yes” that you can use in most instances. It’s not too enthusiastic or anything, but it will definitely get across to whoever you are talking to that you are answering in the affirmative.
It’s often something that you would use to confirm what someone else has just said. If you do however use it to answer “yes” to a yes-or-no question, the person that you’re speaking to isn’t going to think that you are very enthusiastic about your response.
In many situations that’s totally fine, but if you want to seem excited for something then using d’accord probably isn’t the best choice.
– Tu veux aller à la plage? – Do you want to go to the beach?
– D’accord – Sure
– Je reviens dans deux heures – I’ll be back in two hours
– D’accord – Okay
Using Ça Marche to say Yes in French
The primary purpose of ça marche is to just confirm what someone else said and that you have no objection to it. This is best used with those that you already know well (family, friends, etc..)
– Je te donne l’argent ce soir – I’ll give you the money this evening
– Ça marche – Okay, no problem, alright, etc…
– Je viendrai te chercher à 17h00 – I’ll come to get you at 5:00 PM
– Ça marche – Okay, no problem, sounds good
Using Ça Roule to Say Yes in French
This one has the exact same meaning as ça marche and can be used in the exact same way. Literally translated as “it rolls” it’s simply another informal way to express that you understand what someone else has said.
– On part demain matin – We’ll leave tomorrow morning
– Ça roule – Alright, cool, no problem
Using Bien sûr to say yes in French
Bien sûr is most often used as the French translation of “of course”. When answering something with bien sûr the person that you’re speaking with should have no doubt that you mean “yes”.
– Est-ce que tu aimes les chats ? – Do you like cats?
– Bien sûr ! – Of course!
– Est-ce que tu veux plus d’argent ? – Do you want more money?
– Bien sûr ! – Of course!
If you want to put your response into a full sentence you could say…
Bien sûr que j’aime les chats – Of course I like cats
Bien sûr que je veux plus d’argent – Of course I want more money
Using Évidemment to say Yes in French
Évidemment is more or less the same things as bien sûr. The only thing that that should be said about this one is that it’s more formal than bien sûr.
– Vous voulez une grande maison ? – Do you want a big house ?
– Évidemment – Of course / Obviously
Using carrément to say Yes in French
This is yet another one that when used should leave no doubt about whether or not you really mean “yes”. Leave this one to only the most informal of situations (when you’re with your close friends for example.)
– Ça te dit de venir en Espagne avec nous ? – You want to come to Spain with us?
– Carrément – Yes of course / Definitely / Absolutely
– Tu vas vraiment acheter ce manteau ? – Are you really going to buy this coat?&
– Carrément ! – Of course / absolutely / definitely
Using Avec Plaisir to say Yes in French
Sometimes when someone asks you to do something you not only want to say “yes”, but also want them to know that you are happy to do it. In these instances you could use avec plaisir.
Simply put, this is like the French equivalent to “with pleasure”. It not only tells the speaker that you are willing to do what they ask, but that you are enthusiastic about doing so.
It may go without saying, but this one shouldn’t be used if someone asks you a simple yes-or-no question. For example you wouldn’t want to use this one if someone asks you if you like pizza.
– Est-ce que tu peux m’aider à faire mes devoirs ? – Can you help me do my homework?
– Oui, avec plaisir ! – Yes, with pleasure
– Tu veux rencontrer mes parents ce soir ? – Do you want to meet my parents this evening?
– Oui, avec plaisir – Yes, with pleasure
Using Certainement to Say Yes in French
Certainement is another French word that means more or less “of course” or “certainly”. It’s another way of not only saying “yes”, but expressing that you really mean it.
– Tu viens au cinéma avec nous ? – Are you coming to the movies with us?
– Certainement ! – Of course! Certainly!
Using tout à fait to say yes in french
The best translation for tout à fait is “exactly” or “that’s right”. Just like with several other ways to say “yes” in this list it’s not something that you would use to answer a yes-or-no question. It’s best used to agree with what someone else has said, or to confirm it.
– La France est un beau pays – France is a beautiful country
– Oui, tout à fait – Exactly, That’s right
– Vous avez trente ans ? – You are thirty years old, right?
– Tout à fait – That’s right
Using Ouah to say yes in french
This one is best use to say “yes” out of excitement or joy. You’re not answering any questions or affirming what anyone else has said, but rather just expressing your excitement at something.
Ouah ! J’ai gagné ! – Yes! I won!
Using Voilà to say yes in french
This is yet another way to say “yes” that is best used to confirm or agree with what someone else has just said. Voilà can be thought of as another French equivalent to “right” “that’s right” or even “exactly”.
– Alors, tu es ne au Japon mais as grandi en France ? – So, you were born in Japan, but were raised in France
– Voilà – Right / That’s right
Using C’est ca to say yes in french
You can consider c’est ça as a synonym to voilà in that it is mostly used to affirm whatever was just said.
– Tu arriveras chez moi demain soir à 20h00 pour l’anniversaire de mon frère ? – You’ll arrive at my house tomorrow evening at 8:00 PM for my brothers birthday?
– Oui, c’est ça – Yes, that’s right
Other ways to express affirmation in French
Just in case, here are a few other ways to say “yes” or express some sort of affirmation in French
Absolument – Absolutely
Exactement – Exactly
En effet – Indeed
Parfait – Perfect
Volontiers – Yes, please / Gladly
Saying learning how to say “yes” in French is a fundamental part of achieving even the most basic fluency. With this guide you should be able to properly say it no matter what sort of situation you find yourself in.