How To Say 'Yes' In Spanish (Formal And Informal)

  • Brandy Wells
    Written byBrandy Wells
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How To Say 'Yes' In Spanish (Formal And Informal)

You may have heard that it’s harder to learn a new language from scratch as an adult.

But, studies show that adults actually have more mental capacity for language learning than we give ourselves credit for. 🧠💪

So, starting with the very basics of Spanish vocabulary is a worthwhile endeavor at any age.

And one of the most important building blocks for your Spanish vocabulary is learning how to say yes.

Just knowing how to say yes in Spanish can make everyday life easier – you’ll be able to answer questions, make new friends, and communicate your needs more efficiently.

Of course, one of the first words you’ll learn (and likely already know) is the most common word for yes in Spanish: .

Now, is the most versatile word for saying yes, so you’ll hear it often as you begin to speak more Spanish.

However, there are plenty more words to communicate a positive response, and may not always be the best choice.

It’s worth learning other ways to say yes in Spanish, so you know how to respond appropriately no matter the context.

This article will cover vocabulary and examples for saying yes in Spanish.

We’ll address both casual and formal scenarios, common points of confusion for beginners, how to add emphasis when saying yes, and more.

Should we dive in? *¡Claro que sí! *🙌

If you’re looking for the best resources for learning Spanish, you’ll find the ones we recommend right here.

The most common ways to say yes in Spanish

Let’s start with a quick cheat sheet you can use for some of **the most common words and expressions you’ll hear for saying yes in Spanish. **

Español English
Yes
Vale/Dale Okay
Por supuesto Of course
Cierto Certainly
Ya Yes/yeah/okay
Claro Sure

You’re likely to hear these words in various scenarios throughout your Spanish-speaking journey.

But, when you’re just starting to learn Spanish, it can be challenging to know when to use each of these words.

Here are some examples of when these words might come up in everyday conversation.

Español English
  • ¿Te apetece tomar un café?
    - Sí, estupendo.
  • Do you feel like having a coffee?
    - Yes, great.
  • ¿Quieres ir al cine esta noche?
    - Vale, ¿qué película quieres ver?
  • Do you want to go to the movies tonight?
    - Okay, what movie do you want to see?
  • ¿Puedes pasar por la tienda de camino a casa?
    - Por supuesto, no hay problema.
  • Can you stop by the store on your way home?
    - Of course, no problem.
  • ¿Crees que podemos hacerlo?
    - Cierto, no hay ningún problema.
  • Do you think we can do it?
    - Certainly, no problem.
- Ya, aprender español parece complicado pero no es tan difícil. - Yeah, learning Spanish seems tricky, but it’s not that hard.
  • ¿Vendrás a mi fiesta este sábado?
    - Claro, será un placer.
  • Will you come to my party this Saturday?
    - Sure, it’ll be a pleasure.

If you’re ready to take the next step on your path to learning Spanish, try studying our list of Spanish conversational connectors. (Find it here!)

Sí vs. si

One common mistake many Spanish learners make is forgetting to put the accent mark on the ‘i’ in .

It’s important to get this right, as the word si (without the accent mark) has an entirely different meaning in Spanish.

** is the word for yes, while si is the Spanish word for if. **

While this is a written error, understanding the difference can also help with pronunciation when speaking Spanish.

Accented letters in Spanish words are emphasized. So, the word sí will have more stress on the ‘i’ sound than the word si.

And, of course, you’ll use these two words in significantly different contexts. Let’s look at **examples of and si side by side. **

Listen to audio

¿Estás listo para ir? Sí, ¡vamos!

Are you ready to go? Yes, let's go!
Listen to audio

Si no vas al cine, ¿qué vas a hacer esta noche?

If you're not going to the movies, what are you going to do tonight?

Vale and similar words for yes in Spanish

You might hear the word vale used informally as a response to someone else. It can be used like the English words okay or cool. For example:

Listen to audio

¿Te apetece ir al centro comercial? Vale.

Do you feel like going to the shopping mall? Okay.

Or:

Listen to audio

¿Quieres ir al cine esta noche? Vale, ¿qué película quieres ver?

Do you want to go to the movies tonight? Sounds cool, what movie do you want to see?

Using vale to communicate an affirmative response is a very common practice in Spain and some Latin American countries, including Chile.

Spanish speakers from other countries may use a different word to mean the same thing.

For example, in Colombia, you may hear people say listo in similar contexts. The direct translation of this word is ready.

In places like Puerto Rico and Argentina, you may hear the word dale instead of vale.

This is an excellent case for why studying the culture around you and observing native speakers can be so valuable.

It allows you to take what you’ve learned about the Spanish language and adapt it to real-world scenarios.

Vale? Okay!

What does ya mean in Spanish?

Now, the word ya can be a particularly tricky word to understand in Spanish at first.

The best way to learn is by listening to native speakers. And once you get the hang of it, it’ll be smooth sailing. ⛵

In the meantime, consider a few of the contexts when you can use the word ya.

Ya can be used:

  • informally to mean yes
  • to show impatience if you’re fed up with something
  • to mean the English words yet, already, or anymore
  • to indicate that something will happen at an undetermined time in the future

This may be too much to wrap your head around at first, and that’s okay.

For now, just check out these two examples of when the word ya means yes, and when it means something else.

This first one is an example of how ya can be used to mean the words yet and already.

Listen to audio

¿Ya has terminado tu trabajo? Sí, ya he terminado.

Have you finished your work yet? Yes, I've already finished.

The next example shows how ya can mean yeah or yes, in this case, in a casual situation when someone is slightly irritated. 😡

Listen to audio

¿Estás haciendo tu tarea, Juan? Ya, pero es difícil.

Are you doing your homework, Juan? Yeah, but it's difficult.

Another great phrase to learn at the beginning of your Spanish-speaking journey is what’s your name. Learn how to say it in formal and informal contexts here.

Common slang and colloquial expressions that mean yes in Spanish

It’s always nice to know the different ways to communicate depending on the formality of the situation.

You wouldn’t necessarily want to use the same vocabulary you use at work on a night out with friends, right? 🚫

Here are some casual and slang expressions for saying yes in Spanish.

Remember, some of these are more common in certain parts of the world than others.

So, do your research to determine which would work for your specific situation.

Español English
Dalo por hecho Consider it done
Sip Yep
Simón Yep
Arre Okay
Ajá Uh-huh
¡A huevo! Yeah!
Clarines Of course
Ya está That’s it
Guay Cool
Okey Okay

Ready to discover more about learning languages? Listen to our Language Learning Made Simple podcast. 🎙️

Saying yes in Spanish in formal settings

Now, formal settings will sometimes call for different vocabulary as well.

These may not come up as often as the common words for yes in Spanish or other casual expressions.

However, it may be helpful to know professional and formal ways of giving an affirmative response.

Here are a few common formal expressions for saying yes in Spanish:

Español English
De acuerdo Agreed
Con mucho gusto With pleasure
A sus órdenes At your service

Eager to discover more ways to improve your Spanish? We’ve got plenty more language learning tools to add to your tool belt.

Adding emphasis when saying yes in Spanish

In addition to the vocabulary you’ve learned so far, it will be useful to know ways of showing enthusiasm when saying yes in Spanish.

After all, you’ll want your conversation partner to understand your enthusiasm in certain situations.

Some examples include if you firmly agree with a point a colleague has made, or if they’ve invited you on an exciting trip. 🏝️

There are plenty of enthusiastic ways of saying yes in Spanish. Here are just a few examples.

Español English
¡Absolutamente! Absolutely!
¡Efectivamente! Exactly!
¡Por supuesto que sí! Yes, of course!
¡Claro que sí! Yes, of course!
¡Sin duda! Without a doubt!
¡Eso es! That’s it!

How to respond to yes or no questions in Spanish

As you progress, you’ll start to find yourself in situations where you’re asked **yes or no questions in Spanish. **

In these cases, it can be helpful to know how to respond appropriately.

First, think about how you respond when someone asks you a yes or no question in your native language.

You usually don’t say yes or no and leave it at that, right? 🙅

Adding more to your answer can help you appear more fluent and comfortable when speaking Spanish.

So, here are some examples of how you might expand on your answer to respond to common yes or no questions in Spanish:

Listen to audio

¿Quieres ir al cine? Sí, me gustaría ir al cine.

Do you want to go to the movies? Yes, I'd like to go to the movies.
Listen to audio

¿Estás listo para ir? Sí, estoy listo.

Are you ready to go? Yes, I am ready.
Listen to audio

¿Vas a comprar ese coche? No, no voy a comprar ese coche.

Are you going to buy that car? No, I'm not going to buy that car.

More tips for Improving Your Spanish Vocabulary

In addition to learning how to say yes in Spanish, you can do plenty of other things to improve your vocabulary.

Here are just a few of our tips for improving your vocabulary in Spanish:

  • Read as much as you can in Spanish. 📚
  • Listen to Spanish podcasts or music.
  • Try to find a tutor or practice partner to help you learn new words and phrases.
  • Use a flashcard app to make studying vocabulary more fun.
  • Write down new words and phrases in a notebook so you can reference them later.
  • Practice using new words and phrases in conversation as often as possible.

Progress as a beginner learning Spanish

Now, you’ve seen how many ways there are to **say yes in Spanish. **

Even if you’re just beginning to learn this language, you may already be further along than you think.

And remember, making small steps with learning Spanish is more than worthwhile, no matter your circumstances.

In fact, learning a second language may even improve cognitive function in adults. 👏

So, embrace each step and progress with confidence, as learning Spanish will improve your life in many incredible ways.

And now, when opportunities arise to practice your Spanish skills, you’ll know exactly how to say yes like a pro.

Next up: See our guide on how to say no in Spanish.


Do you have a favorite word for saying yes in Spanish?

Let us know in the comments section below!👇

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Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
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