Practice English Speaking&Listening with: So many ways to SAY YES in English!

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Hi, everyone.

In this lesson we're going to look at different ways for you to say "yes" like a native speaker.

When native speakers say "yes", sometimes they don't mean "yes"; sometimes they mean

"yes" in a strong way, so we're going to look at all the different ways native speakers

say "yes", and you can start using them to sound more like a native speaker.

Let's start here.

An "emphatic 'yes'" means a strong "yes".

And all of these examples here are a little bit posh in English English, and a slightly


A slightly formal feel, depending on the situation.

The situation I have in mind here is if you're at a nice, sophisticated party somewhere,

and there is a waiter coming around with a platter of hors d'oeuvres, and... or perhaps

coming around with a tray of glasses of champagne, and you get offered one of these... one of

these glasses of champagne or one of the hors d'oeuvres, and you say: "Certainly", "Absolutely".

Or you say: "I'd be delighted", or you'd say: "I'd love to try one of the salmon."

So, when you're emphatic, you show that you mean "yes", and you're a bit enthusiastic,

and you're slightly, slightly formal; or the context, the situation is more elegant than

saying a simple: "Yes" in our daily lives.

Next we have "indirect 'no'".

This is when somebody means "no" or "probably not", but they don't want to say it.

It's considered impolite to be so direct, or perhaps they really aren't sure yet; they

haven't made up their minds.

But it tends to mean "no" when they...

When they say one of these things.

So, let's think of a situation for: "We'll see" or "We shall see".

A situation I've got here is let's say you have a friend and they invite you somewhere;

it's an event in the future.

Perhaps they say: "Oh, do you want to...?

Do you want to come on a fishing holiday with me?" and you're not really into fishing, but

maybe you would go, you could say: "We'll see", "We shall see", and that means that

you delay the decision until later, or you just don't want to say: "No" right there.

The next example: "I'll see what I can do."

Someone would normally say that if you've asked for a favour.

An example is let's say you work in a clothes shop and you can get a staff discount there,

which means you can save money on everything you buy in the shop.

You might have a friend come to you and say: "Can I use your discount?

I want to buy...

I want to buy some clothes."

And maybe it's not allowed for you to give your friends discount or maybe you don't really

want to give that friend discount - whatever the reason, or you're not sure if it's possible,

you can say: "I'll see what I can do."

If somebody says that to you: "I'll see what I can do" it doesn't mean that it will always

be a "no", but many times they say that, generally it will be "no".

That's just their way of saying: "Hmm.

I'll try.


I don't really want to do this."

But the language is more polite than just telling you: "Nope, sorry.

Don't want to help."

Next we've got: "Let's play it by ear."

Imagine you know somebody who comes to you with a proposal for a project; they want you

to be involved, they want you to work together, they want...

They want you to do some work in the future, and they tell you all about the project.

You're not really sure.

You don't...

You haven't decided that: Yes, you're definitely going to do it, you can say to that person:

"Let's play it by ear".

"Let's play it by ear" is an idiom.

And for the same situation when you're not sure if you want to work on that project with

that person, you can say: "I'll think about it."

You need more time, but in most cases the answer is going to be "no" eventually.

So, now let's look at neutral ways of saying "yes".

It's not a strong "yes" and it's not probably a "no"; somewhere in the middle, but still

a "yes".

Let's imagine that there's an empty, empty seat next to you or space on the table and

you're in a caf�, and somebody comes up to you and asks: "Is it okay if I sit here?

Can I take this chair?"

You can say: "Be my guest."

You can say: "Go ahead" or you could say: "Of course".

"Of course" means: "You don't even have to ask me", in a sense.

You can say: "Sure".

In England, lots of people say "sure", but it is more of an Americanism.

If someone wants to take your chair, you can say "no problem", you could also say "no probs",

which is the slang version; it's more casual.

And you could also say "By all means take my chair."

That's more formal, but they all mean the same thing.

Now we're going to look at passive-aggressive ways of saying "yes".

When you're passive aggressive, you're not expressing what you really feel inside.

Perhaps inside you're angry or you're frustrated, but you feel because of the situation that

you can't be honest and say no.

Really, you would like to say no or show that you're not happy, but instead you use a passive

aggressive "yes".

Let's think of some examples for this.


Imagine the situation: I'm filming at the YouTube studios in London.

I walked...

I'm walking to the studios from King's Cross Station, I'm approaching the doors when I'm

about to go in, and a huge group of my biggest fans are waiting outside the door, and they're

all shouting at me: "Hey, teacher Jade, teacher Jade, it's so great to see you!

Can I get your autograph, please?"

But I... it's my fans and they're always asking me for autographs, and I don't have the time,

and I'm filming all day long.

Really, I don't want to give them...

I don't want to stop five minutes and give these autographs, so I just...

I just grab the piece of paper, and they say: "Jade, Jade, give me your autograph", and

I just say: "Yes, yes", and I quickly go inside the YouTube office, the YouTube studios.

Later in the day, after a really intense day of filming English lessons, I come outside

the studio and I see there's a huge party there.

All the famous YouTubers are there.

It seems like the best party ever; there's free drinks, there's free food - brilliant.

Best way to end a busy day filming.

So, I walk up to the... walk up to the bar, going to grab myself a free beer to relax

after a long day's filming.

I order my beer, and the bartender says: "Oh, wait.


Where's your wristband?"

I say: "What do you mean, wristband?

I've been filming here all day."

Bar person says: "Sorry, drinks are only for people with VIP wristbands."

Well, imagine my shock: They're not going to give me a beer.

What do I say?

I just say: "If you say so", and I walk away from the bar.

Of course I'm embarrassed; I'm even angry that they didn't give me a free beer, but

what could I do?

So I say: "If you say so" because I want to...

I want to think of something to say in that moment.

I don't really mean "yes" to that situation; I mean: "No, give me a beer anyway", but it's

the only thing I can think of then.

But I haven't given up.

The party seemed so good, and I catch in the audience...

I see teacher James there, and then I realized if teacher James can just go and get me a

free beer, then problem solved.

I can stay at this party, so that's what I'm going to do.

Teacher James brings me a beer.

I'm enjoying myself; having a good time at this party, relaxing, taking it...

Taking it easy after a long day of filming when somebody taps me on the shoulder.

I turn around.

Who is it?

It's security, and they say: "Hey.

I see you're drinking a beer."

And I say: "Yeah.

What does it look like?"

And they say: "Where's your...?

Where's your wristband?"

I say: "Oh, I lost it."

And they say: "Nope.

Sorry, you.


You'll have to leave.

You have to get out.

This party is only for people with VIP wristbands."

So I say: "Do I have a choice?" and security says: "No", so I have to leave.

Have to leave that YouTube party.

The next day I'm still filming at the YouTube offices in London, and I'm a bit annoyed with

them because I didn't get a free beer the day before.

I walk into the office, and there's a reception there where you go when you enter the studios,

and they say to me: "Hi.

Are you...?

What are you here for today?

Are you here for filming?" and I say: "Well, duh!"

I sign in.

As I'm signing in, the receptionist says to me: "Oh, tonight we've got this really big

party for all the big YouTubers; all the creators can come and get some free drinks, have some

free food."

She says: "You're welcomed to come.

Will you be coming later?"

And I say: "Yeah, right!"

But really I mean "no".

Now let's look at ways of saying yes on the phone.

These are ways of keeping the conversation flowing; you're talking to someone - the common

things that people say.

Someone might say "I see.

I see", that means: "Continue talking.

Tell me more."

They might say "understood".

Someone will say "understood" when perhaps you've given them some instructions about

something or you've told them some information that they need to know.

It's not necessarily a flow of: "How are you?"

kind of conversation; it's some special information you need to hear or more complex information,

you can say "understood".

You can also say... oh, if...

There's a mistake here.

You can say "Roger that".

The mistake here is "Rodger".

The way we say it actually sounds... sounds like we spell it like this, but we don't.

"Roger that".

And "Roger that" is quite old-fashioned English; you might see it in old movies.

Quite formal as well.

A good one to know, but not necessarily to use.

Next we've got slang when you're speaking in a really relaxed, informal way.

Native speakers often say: "Yep.


Yup", instead of saying: "Yes".

We also have: "Uh-huh.


This one has more of a higher intonation, a bit of a "tell-me-more" kind of feeling

to it.



And we also have: "Go on.

Go on".

That one sounds a little excited for you to tell them the next juicy parts of the story.

So, here are all the different ways that native speakers say "yes".

I have a video also about all the different ways of saying "no" like you mean it, so I

suggest that...

I suggest you go and watch that one now.

Thanks for watching, and I'll see you again soon.


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