Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 25): oui? non!


Source: french.about.com

Learn how to say yes in French in different ways. Oui is the basic French word for “yes.” It also literally means, “I do.” For example:

Oui, j’aime les fraises. Yes, I like strawberries.
Veux-tu épouser cet homme…? Oui. Do you take this man…? I do.

Ouias is an informal equivalent for yes, and it can mean “yeah” or “yep.” For example:

T’es prêt? Ouias. You ready? Yeah.

Ouiah is another informal word, which expresses joy or admiration, like “yes!” or “wow.”

Ouiah! J’y ai réussi! Yes! I passed!

Si is used to contradict a negation. It is to say yes when someone else says no, asks a negative question, or makes a negative statement. For example:

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

Here are some synonyms for and expressions with oui:

absolutement – absolutely

ah oui – oh yes, yes indeed

ah oui? – really?

assurément – sure, certainly

bien sûr, mais oui – of course

certainement – certainly

certes oui – most definitely, absolutely

effectivement, en effet – indeed, quite

je crois que oui – I think so

je ne dis pas non – I wouldn’t say no, I don’t disagree (an unemphatic yes)

oui oui – uh huh

que oui! – of course! you bet!

tout à fait – exactly, absolutely

At the other end of the spectrum, also learn how to say no in french.

Non is the basic, standard French word for “no.” For example:

Non, je n’aime pas skier. No, I don’t like to ski.

Ah non and oh non express disappointment like “oh no!” or “darn it!” For example:

Ah non! Ça ne marche pas! Oh no! It doesn’t work!

Non à is followed by a noun to mean “(say) no to” or “down with,” especially used in protests and demonstrations. For example:

Non au CPE! No to the First Job Contract!

Some synonyms for and expressions with non:

absolutement pas – absolutely not

aucun (prôblème, argent, etc.) – no (problem, money, etc.)

certainement pas – certainly not

Des clous! (familiar) – No way!

Je crois que non. – I don’t think so.

Je ne dis pas non. – I wouldn’t say no.

mais non – of course not

moi non – not me, I don’t

N’est-ce pas? – No? Right? Isn’t it?

Niet! (familiar) – No way!

Non et non! – absolutely not!

Non que + subjunctive… – not that…

…ou non? – …(are/will/do you + verb) or not?

pas de (prôblème, temps, pain, etc.) – no (problem, time, bread, etc.)

pas du tout – not at all

pas question! (familiar) – no way! not a chance!

que non! – absolutely not!

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