Yes – oui, ouais, ouah…

Yes in French - synonyms for oui
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French Synonyms for Oui

Saying "yes" in French is pretty simple, but there are quite a few synonyms and precisions to be aware of. Check out this lesson to learn how to say yes, yeah, sure, and more.

oui  =  yes

Oui is the basic, standard French word for "yes":

Oui, j’aime les fraises.   Yes, I like strawberries.
– Veux-tu m’épouser ?
– Oui !
– Will you marry me?
– Yes!

It’s also the best translation of "I do":

– Veux-tu épouser cet homme … ?
– Oui.
– Do you take this man …?
– I do.

ouais, ouaip  =  yeah

Ouais and ouaip are informal equivalents for yes, equivalent to “yeah” or “yep”:

Ouais, je sais.   Yeah, I know.
– T’es prêt ?
– Ouaip.
– You ready?
– Yep.

Texting abbreviation: Oué

mouais  =  um, yeah

Mouais is informal and also a bit uncertain:

Mouais, d’accord.   Um, yeah, ok.
– T’es prêt ?
– Mouais, attends deux secondes.
– You ready?
– Um, yeah, just a sec.

ouah !  =  yes! yay! wow!

Ouah is an informal word used to express joy or admiration, like “yes!” or “wow!”

Ouah ! Je l’ai réussi !   Yes! I passed!
Ouah, on a gagné ! Yes, we won!

si  =  yes after no

Si is one of my favorite French words, because it’s extremely useful and doesn’t have an English equivalent. It’s used to contradict a negation: to say yes when someone else says no, asks a negative question, or makes a negative statement.

– Il n’a pas de sœur.
– Si.
  – He doesn’t have a sister.
– Yes (he does).
– N’as-tu pas faim ?
– Si.
– Aren’t you hungry?
– Yes (I am hungry).

Expressions with oui

ah oui   oh yes, yes indeed
ah oui ?   really?
ben oui (informal)   well, yes
bien sûr que oui !   most definitely!
certes oui   most definitely, absolutely
eh bien oui   well, all right then
eh oui   I’m afraid so
je crois que oui   I think so
mais oui   of course
oui capitaine   aye aye sir
oui-da (archaic)   yes indeed
un oui ferme   a firm / definite yes
les oui l’emportent (voting)   the ayes have it
oui oui   uh huh
pleurer pour un oui ou pour un non   to cry over the slightest thing
que oui !   of course!, you bet!
répondre par oui ou par non   to answer yes or no

More synonyms for oui

absolument   absolutely
assurément   sure, certainly
avec plaisir   with pleasure
bien entendu   of course
bien sûr   of course
bon   fine, ok
ça marche (informal)   ok, that works
carrément  (familiar)    totally
certainement   certainly
c’est ça   that’s right
c’est exact   that’s right
d’accord   OK
effectivement   indeed, quite
en effet   indeed, quite
évidemment   of course, obviously
exact   that’s right
exactement   exactly
je ne dis pas non   I wouldn’t say no, I don’t disagree (an unemphatic yes)
justement   that’s right
pouce en haut,
pouce vers le haut
  thumbs up
tout à fait   exactly, absolutely
voilà   that’s right, there you go
volontiers   with pleasure

 Related lessons

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Synonyms for oui
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