Lesson 2 : Common Ways to Say "YES" in Chinese

Office Space

「The Easiest Way: Repeat the Keywords!」
When someone asks you a question, find the keyword that holds the important information, the repeat the keyword! Hint: verb or adjective. Examples:

那水果甜不甜?

Nà shuǐguǒ tián bù tián?

Is that fruit sweet?

甜。

Tián.

Sweet.


 
Explanation: sweet belongs to the adjective group.


你吃了吗?

Nǐ chīle ma?

Have you eaten?

吃了。

Chīle.

I ate.

Explanation: eat is a verb. 了 (le) in Chinese is used to indicate a past action.


 
 

「是」– shì
Meaning: Yes

是 (shì) is used when someone wants to verify something. We use it to respond to questions which contain the verb ‘to be’. In short, if the question contains 是 (shì), reply with 是 (shì). We use 是的 (shì de) in formal situations. For example:

她是医生吗?

Tā shì yīshēng ma?

Is she a doctor?

是。

shì.

Yes, she is.

 

「对」- duì 
Meaning: Correct, Right

Similar to English ‘correct’, use 对 (duì) to agree with someone’s opinion. Oh yes, you can use it to respond a fact or yes-no questions as well.


 
今天是星期天嗎?

今天是星期天吗?

Jīntiān shì xīngqítiān ma?

Is today Sunday?

对。

duì.

Yes, it is.

 

「没错」– méi cuò
Literally Meaning: Not wrong

Meaning: That’s right

Beside 对 (duì), you can also use 没错 (méi cuò) to show your approval on other’s view. In addition, 没错 (méi cuò) also give a strong feeling to emphasize that something is true.

请问你姓高吗?


 

Qǐngwèn nǐ xìng gāo ma?

Excuse me, is your surname Gao?

没错。

méi cuò.

That’s right.

 

「可以」– kěyǐ
Literally Meaning: Can, May

Meaning: OK, Possible, Allowed

可以(kěyǐ)is used as a response to several situations, like giving permission for someone to do something, answering you do not mind helping someone’s favor, and accepting someone’s offer. Examples:

我可以回家吗?


 
Wǒ kěyǐ huí jiā ma?

Can I go home?

可以。

Kěyǐ.

Yes, you can.

 

你能帮我拿这本书吗?

Nǐ néng bāng wǒ nà zhèběn shū ma?

Can you help me to take this book?


 

可以。

Kěyǐ.

Yes, I can.


你今晚想吃日本料理吗?

Nǐ jīn wǎn xiǎng chī rìběn liàolǐ ma?

Do you want to eat Japanese cuisine tonight?

可以啊。


 
Kěyǐ a.

Sure.

 
「没问题」– méi wèntí
Literally Meaning: No question

Meaning: Sure, No problem

This phrase is similar to English ‘no problem’, and frequently used in formal environments. As an example:

你能帮我准备这个月的报告吗?

Nǐ néng bāng wǒ zhǔnbèi zhège yuè de bàogào ma?

Can you help me to prepare this month’s report?

没问题。

Méi wèntí.
No problem.

 

「有」- yǒu
Literally Meaning: Have

Meaning: There is, There are

有 (yǒu)is used to express that something has happened. The same word is used to respond “I have it”, “there is”, and “there are”.

这里有没有汽水?

Zhè li yǒu méiyǒu qìshuǐ?

Is there any carbonated drink here?

有。

Yǒu.

Yes. there is.


 
 

「嗯」- ēn
Meaning: Yeah

A super casual way of saying yes in Chinese. When talking with your family, friends, use 嗯 (ēn) or 嗯嗯 (ēn ēn) to express agreement, enthusiasm, and encourage them to carry on.

你饿了吗?

Nǐ èle ma?

Are you hungry?

嗯。

ēn.

Yeah.

 

「当然」– dāngrán
Meaning: Of course, Certainly

Translated as of course, 当然(dāngrán) is another way to express agreement of a statement.


 

你是女人吧?

Nǐ shì nǚrén ba?

Are you a woman?

当然!

Dāngrán!

Of course!

 

「好」- hǎo
Meaning: Good, Fine, Great

好 (hǎo) is one of the most common ways to say OK. It means that you are happy to accept an offer or request. 好的 (hǎo de) is the formal version of 好 (hǎo).

我们下个月一起去中国旅游吧!

Wǒmen xià gè yuè yīqǐ qù zhōngguó lǚyóu ba!

Let’s travel to China next month!

好啊!

Hǎo a!

Great!