10 Ways French People Say “Oui” – Understand Spoken French

Oui” was probably one of the first words you learned in French, and with good reason! “Yes” is an important word to know in any language.

But if you watch French TV shows or participate in French conversations, you’ve probably noticed we don’t always say “oui” when we want to say yes.

Like in English, there are dozens of ways to express “yes” in French. Let’s review a few of them so you can better understand everyday spoken French.

C’est parti.

1 – Everyday pronunciation
2 – “Correct French” alternatives
3 – Informal spoken French
4 – Practice & Review
5 – The extra mile: extra resources

1 - Everyday pronunciation

Correct French: “Oui(yes), Non” (no)

Informal everyday pronunciation: Ouais” (yeah), “Nan” (nah)

Ouais is:
– less precise than “oui”,
– more informal
– less definitive, it can also mean “why not” or “maybe.
– much more common than “oui” in real everyday spoken French,

2 - Some “Correct French” alternatives

These alternatives aren’t formal, but they’re not informal either.
Practice your pronunciation with me in the video lesson!

C’est ça. = That’s it. / That’s right.
→ You can use it as a question or as an answer:
Tu t’appelles Géraldine, c’est ça ? = Your name is Géraldine, right?
C’est ça ! = That’s right!

Voilà. = That’s it. Definitely, that’s correct.
→ English speakers sometimes borrow that word to mean “long story short, here’s the end result, it’s impressive.” For this meaning, French people say “Et voilà !

Tout à fait. = Yes, that’s right, absolutely.
→ There’s a “t” sound after “tout” (it’s la liaison), but it’s silent at the end of “fait.

Bien sûr = Of course.
Évidemment = evidently or of course, or obviously. (The “e” sounds like a “ah” !)
OK (pronounced “okay”) = OK.

You can use several (or all) of them at the same time, too.
Like:Ouais, voilà, c’est ça, évidemment.” = Yes, exactly, that’s it, obviously.

3 - Informal spoken French

For instance, as an answer to the informal question:
T’as faim ? = Are you hungry? (tu → t’ in spoken French!)

In spoken French, you can answer with:

Trop. = Yeah, totally.
Trop means “too much”, or in slang, Très (very) = very, a lot.

C’est clair ! = Clearly, absolutely, totally. (less informal)
→ Or simply Clair !, or Clairement !

Carrément. = Totally.
Un carré = a square (shape) ; “carrément” = “squarely” literally.

J’avoue. = I admit, or literally, “I confess, I avow.”
→ Correct French grammar and vocabulary – but it’s been so used and overused by younger people as un tic de langage that it became part of colloquial spoken French!

Grave = Yeah, totally.

– More about “Grave” –
Grave” can also mean:

  • serious : Un grave accident. = A serious accident.
  • deep, low pitch : Une voix grave. = A deep voice.
  • (informal slang) crazy: Nan mais t’es grave ?! = Are you out of your mind?!
  • (informal slang) very: C’est grave bien ! = It’s excellent!
  • (graver) to engrave: C’est gravé dans le marbre. = It’s set in stone.

But it does not mean: Une tombe = a grave!

4 - Practice & Review

French expressions to say “oui”:

  • C’est ça.
  • Voilà.
  • Clair.
  • Tout à fait.
  • Grave.
  • Trop.
  • Bien sûr.
  • J’avoue.
  • Carrément.
  • Évidemment.

Practice with me with the video lesson!

Can you remember, from the lesson above:

  • Pronunciation: “Trop”, “Évidemment,” “Tout à fait.”
  • Two expressions for “oui” that are more on the formal side.
  • Two expressions for “oui” that are more on the informal side.
  • Two expressions that mean “of course” or “obviously.”

5 - The extra mile: extra resources

Take a look at our next 30-Day French Challenge to learn more, where we explore French culture and the real everyday French language in a fun way, with a small challenge every day for 30 days – with special videos created just for this program, games, and more.

Click here to learn more about your next 30-Day French Challenge!
Keep practicing French to improve your confidence!

And now, you can pick your next lesson to keep learning real French:

À tout de suite.
I’ll see you right now in the next video!


→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new) – why not share this lesson with a francophile friend? You can talk about it afterwards! You’ll learn much more if you have social support from your friends 🙂


Join the conversation!

  • Hi. Excellent lesson today. But in the question, “T’as aime…” why isn’t the “s” in t’as liaisoned with aime, as too zah-may? The glottal stop between t’as and aime is unusual, isn’t it?

    • What do you mean “T’as aime”? Tu – you (singular) – as – have aime – love (verb). I don’t think we can say so. In the lesson “T’as faim” means Tu – you (singular) as – have – faim – hunger.
      I hope, now you see the right meaning.

    • Bonjour @Bill,

      There is never a liaison between the the auxiliary and the past participe.

      Comme une Française Team

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