yes in german

28 Ways to Say “Yes” in German Like a Native Speaker (With Audio)

Everyone likes a go-getter.

Saying “yes” leads to more opportunities, more rich experiences and more surprises in life.

However, what if you need to say “yes” in German?

You might already know the German equivalent of the English word “yes.” However, to use a language and sound like a native speaker, a little variety is called for.

In this post, I’ll share 28 ways to say “yes” in German, from the basic to the assertive, plus some ways to say “no,” too!

Contents

Starting with the Basics: Simple Ways of Saying “Yes” in German

1. Ja (Yes)

As elemental as it gets, ja is the direct equivalent of the English word “yes.” Note that the “j” is pronounced with an English “y” sound, and the “a” is long (think: “mall”).

You probably already know this word, even if you’re an absolute German beginner. Congratulations! You’ve got the basics down. Now, let’s look at some more varieties of agreeing and accepting.

2. Okay  (Okay)

Whether Greek, Choctaw or something else, no one really knows where the word “okay” comes from. What can be confirmed, however, is that it exists in both English and German.

If only all language learning was this easy.

3. Kein Problem  (No problem)

This informal answer looks similar to its English translation, making it handy in a pinch.

4. Ich stimme dir zu / Ich stimme Ihnen zu  (I agree with you)

Here we’re dipping our toes into the grammar of addressing someone either formally or informally. Ich stimme dir zu is more appropriate if you’re addressing your friend or someone you’re familiar with. Ich stimme Ihnen zu is called for when the other person is a stranger, older or of a higher “status.”

5. Das stimmt (That’s true)

Everyone likes it when you confirm what they’re saying. Also, no matter what language I’m trying to speak, I pull this one out of my pocket when I’m not sure what to say.

6. Das klingt gut  (That sounds good)

If you’re like me, maybe you say “That sounds good” way too much in English. (Sometimes I even annoy myself with this one.) Luckily, it also works in German, so I can also annoy myself in German, too.

7. Gewiss  (Certainly/Of course)

This is a good variation on ja, flexing your German language skills. Note that the “w” is actually more like the English “v.”

8. Sicher  (Sure)

You hear this all the time in German-speaking countries. Might as well use it yourself!

9. Also gut (All right)

This informal way of saying that you’re liking what you’re hearing makes you sound like a bona fide German speaker.

Putting Some Oomph into It: More Emphatic Ways of Saying “Yes”

The more words and expressions at your disposal, the more accurately you can relay what you’re thinking and feeling. Some situations call for more emphasis in your response. Let the other person know that you’re not just saying yes: you’re saying yes with attitude.

10. Jawohl  (Absolutely/Affirmative/Yes sir!)

I want to raise an imaginary stein every time I hear this word used. Something good is going to happen when you answer with Jawohl!

11. Allerdings (Certainly/Indeed/Sure is/Sure does)

Like the above phrase, with this one you’re not just saying “yes,” you’re saying “sure does!” You’d tend to use this one as an emphatic, sometimes even irritated, response to a yes or no question:

Tut’s weh?  (Does it hurt?) 

Allerdings!  (Sure does!) 

12. Klar  (Of course)

Make it clear that the answer was obvious.

13. Logo  (Of course)

Another way of saying “of course,” you may also hear it used in the phrase Ist doch logo! (Of course).

14. Warum nicht?  (Why not?)

For the adventurist, answering Warum nicht? shows that you’re open to whatever is being suggested. Suddenly, life is getting a lot more interesting.

15. Bestimmt (For sure!)

You’re not just agreeing, but agreeing with vigor. You’re ready to rock.

16. Freilich  (Sure!)

Another of the multiple ways to say “of course.” It never hurts to mix it up a bit.

17. Ja, ich bin dabei! (Yes, I’m in!)

Like its equivalent in English, this phrase can be used to show that you’re up for something.

18. Mit Vergnügen  (With pleasure)

This is used as a way to express that you’ll happily do something.

19. Ohne Zweifel  (Without a doubt)

Since Ohne Zweifel literally translates as “without doubt,” it’s handy for English speakers to remember.

20. Selbstverständlich (Of course/Naturally)

A long word, surely, but one that’ll impress once you have it down. Might as well add it to the arsenal.

21. Auf jeden fall  (Definitely)

Whoever you’re speaking to will appreciate your confidence with this gem.

22. Natürlich  (Naturally)

I don’t know about you, but I love it when the German word reminds me of its English translation. And hey, you get to use a word with an umlaut.

23. Doch  (Yes)

There’s a bit of grammar required on this one. The informal expression Doch is only used when answering “yes” to a negative question.

Also, du bist nicht einkaufen gegangen? (So, you didn’t go shopping?)

Doch! ([Yes] I did!)

Since a lot of these ways to say “yes” really depend on the context, you’ll benefit from seeing how they’re used in multiple situations. For example, FluentU lets you see how naturally use these vocabulary. 

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Not Sure? Being More Noncommittal in Your “Yes”

As good as it is pursuing the possibilities of life, sometimes it’s not so easy to commit to something. I understand. If you need more time to think about whatever you’re being asked, trying putting off the answer with these cautious responses:

24. Vielleicht (Maybe)

Translated as “maybe” or “perhaps.”

25. Könnte sein (Could be)

Use this phrase to express possibility, but also show that you’re unsure.

26. Wahrscheinlich (Probably)

This word leans more toward a “yes,” however, it still highlights the potential for something not to happen or be possible.

27. Vermutlich (Probably)

Another way to say “probably.”

28. Ich denke schon  (I think so)

If you’re not entirely sure, this phrase can be used to say “yes” with a slight element of doubt.

Just in Case: Different Ways to Say “No” in German

Simply put, there are some bad ideas out there. Once word gets out that you’re a “yes person,” there might be nefarious characters out there looking to take advantage of that. It doesn’t hurt to know how to turn someone down.

Note that both nee and nö are informal (which might help soften the blow).

How to Learn and Practice Saying “Yes” in German

Learning how to say “yes” in German is a good start. But don’t stop there. There are many fantastic resources out there to get you reading and speaking the language.

If you want to say “yes” in German, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re agreeing to first. Dict.cc is a free online German-English dictionary that comes in handy if you need to look up a word fast. It’s more comprehensive, especially with more specific words, than some of the other online alternatives.

One of the most useful ways to learn how to say “yes” in German is by immersing yourself in German content so you can see how native speakers use the terms listed in this post. You can watch free German TV with 3sat, practicing your comprehension skills (and learning about German pop culture at the same time). Keep a particular eye out for characters’ short responses, such as ways of saying “yes.”

 

Now you’re ready to experience everything the German language has to offer by knowing how to say “yes.” Here’s to hoping that it’ll lead to new adventures, new friendships and new opportunities. In other words: everything that learning a language is meant to do.

Are you ready for that?

Jawohl!

And One More Thing...

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