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Conversational Language (#13), by Dennis Oliver

 

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

 

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

 

Yeah

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").

 

Uh-huh

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."

 

Um-hmm

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."

 

Yep

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.

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