15 Different Ways to Say Yes in German Like a Native – Full of Example Conversations

The ability to say “yes” is fundamental in any language – it’s one of the cornerstones of dialogue, a simple affirmation that can bridge conversations and relationships.

In the German language, which is quite well known for its precision and variety (just think about the Swiss watch or other cultural insights you can learn about German speaking countries), there are numerous ways to express agreement beyond the simple “ja.” It transforms your interactions, makes them more authentic and gives you a finer control over the tone of conversations.

Spring German – a project I co-founded – has great tips on how you can “fool” even native speakers to think that you’re a natural German speaker. One of these aspects can be saying useful alternatives to yes in German:

Check out the 15 different ways to say yes in German in the table below – and click on the one you want to know more about!

GermanEnglish
JaYes
DochOn the contrary, Yes
JawohlYes, indeed (formal)
Na klarOf course
SicherSure, certainly
SelbstverständlichNaturally, of course
GenauExactly, precisely
Auf jeden FallDefinitely, by all means
GerneGladly
OkayOK
AllerdingsIndeed, certainly
KlarClearly, of course
AbsolutAbsolutely
NatürlichNaturally
LogischLogically

1. Ja (Yes) – The standard and most common way to say Yes in German

Effortless Answers

The German word “ja” is the most versatile and widely used way to say “yes.”

It can be used in virtually any situation. When learning German, “ja” is often one of the first words that students learn. It’s easy to pronounce, usually coming from the front of your mouth and sounding cheerful. Ja is the go-to way to agree!

Now, let’s see how all of this could work in an actual conversation:

Anna: Möchtest du heute Abend mit ins Kino kommen? (Would you like to come to the cinema with me tonight?)
Ben: Ja, das klingt gut! (Yes, that sounds good!)

2. Doch (On the contrary, Yes) – Used to contradict a negative question or statement

“Doch” is a word that doesn’t have a direct equivalent in English and is one of the unique words for saying “yes” in the German language. It’s used to disagree with a negative question or statement, and it’s a simple way of saying “on the contrary.” This is particularly useful when you want to assert your agreement when someone else assumes the opposite.

Let’s check out a real-life conversation showing you “Doch” in action:

Mutter: Du hast dein Zimmer nicht aufgeräumt, oder? (You haven’t cleaned your room, have you?)
Kind: Doch, habe ich schon gemacht! (On the contrary, I have already done it!)

3. Jawohl (Yes, indeed) – A very formal and simple way of saying yes

“Jawohl” is the German equivalent of the English word “Yes, sir/ma’am!” It’s a formal way to say “yes” and is often associated with the military or official situations where a strong affirmation is required. While it’s not used in everyday German conversations, it’s a good phrase to know, especially if you find yourself in a formal setting or want to give a strong affirmation.

Let’s move on to a conversation example:

Chef: Können Sie den Bericht bis morgen fertigstellen? (Can you complete the report by tomorrow?)
Angestellter: Jawohl, ich werde es bis zum Ende des Arbeitstages erledigen. (Yes, indeed, I will have it done by the end of the workday.)

4. Na klar (Of course)

“Na klar” is an informal way to say “of course” in German. It’s often used when the answer to a question seems obvious or when you want to respond with a positive, casual tone. It’s akin to saying “Sure!” or “Definitely!” in English.

To see it in practice, consider this conversation:

Freund 1: Kannst du mir bei der Party helfen? (Can you help me with the party?)
Freund 2: Na klar, warum nicht? (Of course, why not?)

5. Sicher (Sure, certainly)

“Sicher” is a good way to convey that you are certain about your agreement. It can be used both formally and informally to say “sure” or “certainly.” It reflects a level of confidence in your response.

Observe how this plays out in a dialogue:

Passant: Ist das der schnellste Weg zum Bahnhof? (Is this the fastest way to the train station?)
Einheimischer: Sicher, folgen Sie einfach dieser Straße. (Sure, just follow this street.)

6. Selbstverständlich (Self-evident)

When you agree with something that seems obvious, or when you want to highlight that there shouldn’t be any doubt about your response, “selbstverständlich” is a suitable phrase. It translates to “naturally” or “of course,” conveying that you believe the affirmative response is a given.

To illustrate this point, take a look at the following conversation:

Kunde: Können Sie mir bitte eine Quittung geben? (Could you please give me a receipt?)
Verkäufer: Selbstverständlich, hier bitte. (Naturally, here you go.)

7. Genau (Exactly, precisely)

Genau” is a common German word used to express strong agreement, much like the English word “yes”. It’s perfect when you want to say that someone’s statement is “exactly” or “precisely” what you believe or know. It validates the other person’s point and confirms shared understanding.

Let’s explore this in the context of an exchange:

Aristid: Das Wetter ist heute perfekt für einen Strandtag! (The weather is perfect for a beach day today!)
Benji: Genau, lass uns gehen! (Exactly, let’s go!)

8. Auf jeden Fall (By all means)

To express enthusiastic consent or to strongly agree with a suggestion, “auf jeden Fall” is your phrase. It’s equivalent to saying “definitely” or “by all means” in English. It demonstrates not only agreement but also a positive attitude towards the proposal.

Here’s how all of this would come across in a conversation:

Kollege 1: Sollten wir dem Team ein Update über das Projekt geben? (Should we give the team an update about the project?)
Kollege 2: Auf jeden Fall, sie sollten über den Fortschritt Bescheid wissen. (Definitely, they should be informed about the progress.)

Auf jeden Fall is a common German phrase – or as we like to call them, a chunk – that you can use in your conversation and will make you sound more like a native speaker. Now’s your chance to learn more of these chunks, so that chunks – sign up to get our German Conversation Based Chunking Guide!

9. Gerne (Gladly)

Gerne” is a pleasant way to accept an offer or invitation, translating to “gladly” or “with pleasure.” It adds a touch of warmth and willingness to your agreement.

In a conversation:

Lehrer: Könntest du bitte die Hausaufgaben an die Klasse verteilen? (Could you please distribute the homework to the class?)
Schüler: Gerne, kein Problem! (Gladly, no problem!)

10. Okay (OK)

Borrowed from English, “Okay” has become a universal informal expression of agreement. In German, it’s also used colloquially to show acceptance or to confirm something in a casual conversation.

A simple conversation:

Mitarbeiter: Ich werde das Meeting auf nächste Woche verschieben, in Ordnung? (I will reschedule the meeting to next week, okay?)
Chef: Okay, das passt mir gut. (OK, that works well for me.)

11. Allerdings (Indeed, certainly)

Although “allerdings” can mean “however” in some contexts, it can also be used to affirm something with emphasis, much like saying “indeed” or “certainly.” It’s a bit more formal and adds weight to your agreement.

Let’s map this out in a dialogue:

Besucher: Ist dieser Platz noch frei? (Is this seat still available?)
Einheimischer: Allerdings, setzen Sie sich gerne! (Indeed, please have a seat!)

12. Klar (Clearly)

Similar to “na klar,” but slightly less emphatic, “klar” is an informal and direct way to say “of course” or “clearly” in German. It’s a common word in everyday speech, convenient for casual acceptance.

Take a look!

Freundin: Hast du Lust, heute Abend was essen zu gehen? (Do you feel like going out to eat tonight?)
Freund: Klar, ich habe schon Hunger. (Clearly, I’m already hungry.)

yes in german thumbs up in an office

13. Absolut (Absolutely)

Absolut” is used in German in the same way as in English, to express complete agreement or to emphasize a “yes” response without any doubt.

A real-life conversation example:

Student: Ist diese Antwort richtig? (Is this answer correct?)
Lehrer: Absolut, sehr gut gemacht! (Absolutely, very well done!)

14. Natürlich (Naturally)

When the answer seems obvious or when agreeing comes as second nature, “natürlich” is a commonly used synonym for “ja.” It’s a polite way to agree while implying that you would have said “yes” without hesitation.

Here’s how it sounds like in a conversation:

Kind: Kann ich ein Eis haben? (Can I have an ice cream?)
Elternteil: Natürlich, such dir eins aus. (Naturally, pick one out.)

15. Logisch (Logically)

To agree with someone’s reasoning or when you think the affirmative answer is the logical conclusion, “logisch” captures that sentiment exactly. It validates the other person’s logic and shows that you are on the same page.

A conversation example:

Peter: Wenn wir sparen wollen, sollten wir mit dem Fahrrad zur Arbeit fahren, oder? (If we want to save money, we should cycle to work, right?)
Bianca: Logisch, das spart Geld und ist gut für die Umwelt. (Logically, it saves money and is good for the environment.)

Learn German alternatives to other words with Conversation Based Chunking

Through these many ways to say yes in German, we see that the German has tons of different ways of expressing agreement. Don’t get me wrong, “ja” in German is just as good as any of the other examples. BUT!

The aforementioned alternatives will make you sound more like a true native speaker, and if you implement chunks (like auf jeden Fall) into your conversations, people will be amazed at your speaking skills. Sign up now to learn more of these lexical chunks and gain access to a lot more: as a bonus, you can check out Full Practice Worksheet Library with exercises and get insights to a 12-week program that has already helped tens of thousands of students.

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