Meaning of “yes” in the English Dictionary

"yes" in British English

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uk /jes/ us /jes/ informal yeah, yep, yah

A1 used to express willingness or agreement:

"Would you like a glass of wine?" "Yes, thanks."
"Do you like Thai food?" "Yes, I love it."
"He's a really nice guy." "Yes, he is."
"Report to me at nine o'clock tomorrow morning." "Yes, sir."
"Have you had enough to eat?" "Yes, thank you."
If you'd say yes (= agree) to the request you'd avoid a lot of trouble.
yes, sir

US used for emphasis:

We visited all 50 states, yes sir, all 50.

A1 used to show that you are listening to someone, or that you are ready to listen and to give them an answer or information:

"Dad." "Yes, what do you want, honey?"
Yes, can I help you?

A2 used when you are disagreeing with a negative statement:

"I'm not a very good cook, though." "Yes, you are - you make wonderful food!"

More examples

  • "Did the kids enjoy their trip to the zoo?" "Oh, yes, they were full of it when they got back this afternoon."
  • Oh yes, now I know who you mean.
  • I asked him if he wanted to come to dinner with my parents, and surprise, surprise, he said yes!
  • "Did I hear you say your children cleared up after the party?" "Oh yes, I've got them well-trained!"
  • Sorry, I can't today. Now if you'd asked me yesterday, I would have said yes.


yesnoun [ C ]

uk /jes/ us /jes/

(Definition of “yes” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"yes" in American English

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used to express approval, willingness, or agreement:

"Would you like a glass of water?" "Yes, please."
"Is Chambers Street in this direction?" "Yes, just keep going and you’ll come to it."
If you would say yes (= agree), you’d save us all a lot of trouble.

Yes can be used to show that you are ready to listen to someone or to answer someone’s request for information:

"Daddy." "Yes, what do you want, honey?"
noun [ C ] us /jes/

The answer is yes.


(Definition of “yes” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)