Sorry! Search is currently unavailable while the database is being updated, it will be back in 5 mins!

English Words of Consent & Agreement, Part I

"Yes" and "no" are some of the first words you learn in any language. Although such words are technically adverbs, they don't really modify verbs. Many language experts consider them to be sentence adverbs.


OK, alright, good.

Caption 117, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: Cookie Jar

 Play Caption


The three words above are kind of like saying the same thing three times: "Yes, yes, yes." "OK" is often also spelled "okay." The spelling here of "alright," is not standard, but is very commonly used. The more formal way write it is with two words: "all right."


There are, however, stronger ways to say "yes" than "OK," "all right," and "good." Let's take a look today at some of these words and phrases.


It's the thing they make movies about. -Yeah, absolutely.

Caption 72, 16x9 - Cool Runnings: Truth Behind Original Jamaican Bobsled Team

 Play Caption


"Yeah" is an informal version of "yes." The adjective "absolute" means "to a very great or the largest degree possible." So when you say "absolutely," it's a very strong way of saying "yes."


I mean, the theory's been proven true, beyond all doubt.

Caption 16, TED-Ed: Questions No One Knows the Answers to

 Play Caption


If something is "beyond all doubt," then it's unquestionably true. The adverb "unquestionably" means, as the word suggests, that something is so true that should not be questioned. Of course, even things that are scientifically proven may be questioned, otherwise science would make no progress! The phrase "beyond a doubt" means the same thing but less forcefully. You'll hear the phrase "beyond all reasonable doubt" used as a legal phrase in court cases.


So, by all means be responsible global citizens.

Caption 54, Great Barrier Reef: Incredible Facts

 Play Caption


"By all means" is a strong way of saying "yes." "Means," in this context, are the ways that something can be done. The person above could have said "So yes, be responsible global citizens." But using the phrase "by all means" instead of "yes" makes the statement stronger.


Ah, two for dinner? -Uh, yes. Two please. -Certainly. Sit right down.

Captions 119-121, Oscar® Nominated Short Films: The Absent-Minded Waiter with Steve Martin

 Play Caption


"Certainly" is related to the adjective "certain," which means "to have no doubt or knowing exactly that something is true."


Are you going to the canteen? -Of course.

Captions 6-7, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: BBC TV Movie

 Play Caption


The phrase "of course" comes from an old meaning of the noun "course," which is the path a ship takes in a river. The original phrase was "of the ordinary course," which later became "a matter of course." Now "of course" can be a way to say "yes" or to affirm something.


Hope you don't break a leg. -Yeah, for sure.

Captions 38-40, New Year's Resolutions: Lele Pons & Hannah Stocking

 Play Caption


"For sure" is a less formal way to say "certainly."


Further Learning
Look up the above words and phrases on Yabla English to see them used in different contexts.