Site Search:

Conversational Language (#13), by Dennis Oliver


Conversational Language (#13):
Informal Variations on "Yes"


In conversational American English, several variations on
"Yes" are commonly heard:



This casual equivalent of "Yes" is usually pronounced
with the same vowel as in "how" and "cow." It is
sometimes pronounced "yaeh" (with the vowel sound
of "hat") or "yeh" (with the vowel sound of "get").



In this variation, the vowel sound in both syllables is the
same as the vowel sound in "but" or "hug."

Note: The "h" at the beginning of the second syllable
is very important. Without it, people would understand
"No" instead of "Yes."



In this variation, be sure to pronounce the "h" at the
beginning of the second syllable. Without the "h," people
would probably understand "No" instead of "Yes."



This variation is very casual. It rhymes with "step."




Special Notes:


1.   The variations on "Yes" which are shown
above are appropriate and commonly heard
in casual, very friendly conversation but are
not normally written (except in very informal
letters, comics, etc.)
2.   "Yeah" and "Yep" are particularly casual.
It's fine to use these variations in very relaxed
conversations with friends, but they should
not be used when polite language is appropriate.
In polite situations, "Yeah" and "Yep" would
seem too casual and even disrespectful.
3.   "Yes" can also be shown by using a gesture--
not words. You can show "Yes" by nodding
your head--moving it up and down as you
look straight ahead.

Dave's ESL Cafe is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Banner Advertising | Bookstore / Alta Books | FAQs | Articles | Interview with Dave
Copyright 1995-2007 Dave's ESL Cafe | All Rights Reserved | Contact Dave's ESL Cafe | Site Map