How to Say Yes in German

How do you say Yes in German? The simple answer is: ja. But there are so many other ways to agree with someone, beyond that simple, two letter word. Let's explore some of these ways, in this article!

illustration of a marriage proposal
24.04.2022
  1. Ja - This is the most basic way to say yes in German. It is a very direct and clear way to indicate agreement. Example: "Hast du den Kuchen gemacht?" ("Did you make the cake?") Ja ("Yes").

  2. Richtig - This word is often used to indicate agreement with something that has been said. It is less direct than "Ja" and can be used to agree with a statement without explicitly saying "yes". Example: "Der Kuchen ist sehr lecker." ("The cake is very delicious.") Richtig ("Yes/That's right").

  3. Genau - This word is similar to "Richtig" in that it is used to indicate agreement with something that has been said. It is also less direct than "Ja" and can be used to agree with a statement without explicitly saying "yes". Example: "Das ist meine Lieblingsfarbe." ("This is my favorite color.") Genau ("Yes/That's right").

  4. Verstanden - This word is used to indicate agreement with an instruction or request. It can also be used to confirm that someone has heard and understood something. Example: "Kannst du das machen?" ("Can you do that?") Verstanden ("Yes/Understood").

  5. Alles klar - This expression is often used to indicate agreement with a request or instruction. It can also be used to indicate understanding or acceptance of a situation. Example: "Du musst um 8 Uhr zu Hause sein." ("You have to be home at 8 o'clock.") Alles klar ("Yes/Understood").


Your sister comes to visit you. You haven’t seen her in a year, and have been looking forward to this holiday together for months.

You’ve prepared a feast, and made sure there were more than enough snacks in the pantry. She asks if she can help herself to some popcorn 🍿 (and she asks you in German, because she's read this guide on how to ask questions in German 😅).

How would you respond, in German? Would you simply say “Ja.”? Perhaps you would… but perhaps you would want to say something that better expresses your excitement and enthusiasm, something like: “Ja, sicher!” or “Natürlich!”.

In this article, we will explore different and nuanced ways to say “Yes” in German!

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Saying Yes in German

Natürlich! Sicher! Na Klar! Nur zu! Kein Problem!

Let’s start off with some German words that would fit the scenario in the article's introduction.

In many situations, you may wish to express enthusiasm and excitement in saying “Yes” to somebody, such as when you joyously accept a proposal 💍, or accept an invitation to a wedding 💒.

Alternatively, you may want to express assurance in saying “Yes”, such as when someone asks if you’ll still accompany them to the doctor, or if you’re sure you want to go ahead with the nose piercing.

In these situations, you may use the words: “Natürlich”, “Sicher”, “Na Klar”, “Nur zu” and “Kein Problem”.

Examples

Sandra, natürlich kannst du mein Auto ausleihen! Brauchst du es nur für das Wochenende, oder bleiben deine Eltern länger?


Sandra, of course you can borrow my car! Do you only need it for the weekend, or are your parents staying longer?

Darf ich das letzte Stück Kuchen haben? - Ja, sicher! Nur zu, Ahmed, es ist alles deins!


Can I have the last piece of cake? - Yeah, sure! Go ahead, Ahmed, it's all yours!

Bist du sicher, dass es dir nichts ausmacht, später vorbeizukommen und etwas Zeit mit mir zu verbringen? - Na Klar! Ich möchte alles tun, was ich kann, um dich zu unterstützen.


Are you sure you don't mind coming over later to spend some time with me? - Of course! I want to do everything I can to support you.

Jules, würdest du mir bitte helfen, diesen Text zu übersetzen? - Kein problem! Welcher Teil ist für dich schwierig?


Jules, would you please help me translate this text? - No problem! Which part is difficult for you?

Eben! Genau! Total! Richtig! Das sehe ich auch!

When you meet somebody who just “gets you”; who seems to truly understand what you’re trying to say, it can be a pretty special experience. In such a context, you may describe a feeling or situation, to have that friend confirm they understand just what you mean with a similar description of their own. Feeling truly heard, you may respond with something like “Exactly!

That’s exactly what I’m talking about!”. Well, in German, you may say something like “Genau!”, “Eben!”, “Total!”, “Richtig!” or “Das sehe ich auch” to mean the same thing.

These words and phrases are used to express a feeling of ‘seeing eye to eye’ with someone; of concurring or being in full agreement.

Examples

Als du sagtest, dass du nachts Geister siehst, wäre ich fast in Ohnmacht gefallen, denn ich sehe sie auch. Sind sie klein und haben rote Augen? - Ganz genau! Ich kann nicht glauben, dass du sie auch siehst!


When you said you see ghosts at night, I almost fainted, because I see them too. Are they small and have red eyes? - That's right! I can't believe you see them too!

Also, Nour hat uns die ganze Zeit angelogen? - Richtig! Ich wusste, dass wir ihr nicht trauen können.


So, Nour has been lying to us the whole time? - That's right! I knew we couldn't trust her.

Am besten wäre es, Schlagsahne für die heiße Schokolade zu machen, oder? - Ja, total! Ich liebe Schlagsahne.


It would be best to make whipped cream for the hot chocolate, right? - Yes, totally! I love whipped cream.

Manchmal stelle ich fest, dass James seine Wut nur schwer kontrollieren kann. Er ist zu ungeduldig. - Das sehe ich auch, ganz klar.


Sometimes I find that James has a difficult time controlling his anger. He is too impatient. - I see that clearly too.

Du magst die Kurse von Mr. Smith sehr, oder? Mir auch, er kann komplexe Probleme gut erklären. - Ja, eben! Das kann er wirklich gut!


You like Mr. Smith's courses a lot, don't you? Me too, he is good at explaining complex problems. - Yes, that's right! He's really good at that!

Aber Hallo! Was denn sonst? Selbstverständlich!

Your best friend, who you have known since you were a child; who stuck by you through thick and thin; who is your favourite person, has just asked you to be her maid of honour / best man.

Would you do her this favour? Aber Hallo! When we’d like to express our full agreement with the enthusiastic suggestion that the answer is obviously a yes, we may use the expressions “Aber Hallo!”, “Was denn sonst?” and “Selbstverständlich”.

Alternatively, these expressions may also be used to agree in a more negative, sarcastic way, depending on the tone and context (“Holst du mich später ab?” - “Was denn sonst?”).

Examples

Nach zehn Jahren des Missbrauchs war es die beste Idee, die ich je hatte, mich von ihm scheiden zu lassen. – Aber hallo! Ich bin so stolz auf dich, dass du es endlich geschafft hast.


After ten years of abuse, the best idea I ever had was to divorce him - Absolutely! I'm so proud of you for you finally did it.

Würden Sie sich dieses Wochenende um meine Pflanzen kümmern, während ich auf einer Geschäftsreise bin? - Nachdem du mir diesen Gefallen schon so oft getan hast, was denn sonst? Natürlich mache ich das gerne!


Would you take care of my plants this weekend while I'm on a business trip? - After you've done me this favour so many times, what should I say? Of course, I'd be happy to do it!

Ich hatte ein finanziell schwieriges Jahr, bedingt durch die Corona-Pandemie. Wäre es okay, wenn wir dieses Jahr zu Weihnachten keine Geschenke austauschen würden? - Ja, selbstverständlich! Ich bin einfach froh, dass wir in den Ferien Zeit miteinander verbringen können.


I had a difficult year financially, due to the Corona pandemic. Would it be okay if we didn't exchange gifts this year for Christmas? - Yes, of course! I'm just glad that we can spend time together during the holidays.

Warum nicht. Okay. Passt. In Ordnung.

Although these expressions, spoken with enthusiasm, can certainly come across as cheerful, commonly they are used to communicate a more subdued, less than excited version of a ‘yes’. Perhaps more of a “Meh, alright”, or a “Hm.. I guess so”, rather than an “Of course!”.

For example, when your son tidies his bedroom, only doing the bare minimum, and asks you if it looks alright, you may say “Ja, Passt.”, rather than “Ja, total!”.

Or, if you reluctantly allow your child yet another chocolate, you may do so by saying “Okay, aber nur noch eine”, rather than “Natürlich!”.

Examples

Möchtest du mir und deinem Vater helfen, heute Abend Knödel zu kochen? - Hmmm... warum nicht. Ich habe heute sowieso nichts Besseres zu tun.


Would you like to help me and your father cook dumplings tonight? - Hmmm... why not. I have nothing better to do today anyway.

Werden Sie bei der nächsten Party daran denken, die Lautstärke zu drosseln? -Ja, okay.


Will you remember to turn down the volume at the next party? - Yes, okay.

Ist mein Deutsch schon gut genug, um auf Deutsch zu studieren? - Nun, hmm, es passt. Ich würde aber an deiner Stelle weiter üben. Ich bin mir sicher, dass du mit ein paar Monaten Übung total bereit sein wirst!


Is my German already good enough to study in German? - Well, hmm, it alright. But I would keep practising if I were you. I'm sure that, with a few months of practice, you'll be totally ready!

Reicht ein Bachelor-Abschluss in Naturwissenschaften aus, um mich für diese Stelle zu bewerben? - Das wäre in Ordnung. Wir würden jedoch jemanden mit einem Master-Abschluss vorziehen.


Is a Bachelor's degree in natural sciences sufficient to apply for this position? - That would be acceptable. However, we would prefer someone with a Master's degree.

Einverstanden. Abgemacht.

When your superior at the Boot Camp you are attending tells you to make sure you are awake and ready to go at the break of dawn, you may nod your head in earnest, and say “Einverstanden”.

In a context where a certain level of respect or seriousness is expected of you, whilst you assure your parents, your boss, your partner etc. that you have heard, understood and agreed to something, “Einverstanden” and “Abgemacht” prove particularly useful.

Examples

Susan, bitte sorgen Sie dafür, dass die Präsentation über den letztjährigen Kongress bis morgen Abend fertig ist, bevor Sie das Büro verlassen . -Abgemacht. Brauchen Sie noch etwas für das Treffen?


Susan, please make sure that the presentation on last year's congress is ready by tomorrow evening before you leave the office. - Done. Do you need anything else for the meeting?

Timmy, räume bitte dein Zimmer auf und zieh dir frische Sachen für Opas Besuch an. Und ich will nicht sehen, dass du mit dem Gameboy spielst , während er hier ist, okay? - Einverstanden, Papa.


Timmy, please clean up your room and put on some fresh clothes for grandpa's visit. And I don't want to see you playing with the Gameboy while he's here, okay? - Got it, Dad.

Agreeing in German (in Discussions)

Whilst any of the expressions listed above may, of course, be used during a discussion or debate between friends, we thought it may also be helpful to provide some more phrases that you may use to agree with someone, and in doing so, clearly express your position.

Ich stimme dir zu! / Da kann ich nur zustimmen!

Ich finde die Atmosphäre im Gemeinschaftsraum unerträglich. Ich weiß nicht, wie man dort lernen kann, es ist so laut! - Ich stimme Ihnen völlig zu. Es ist, als ob jemand rund um die Uhr eine Party veranstaltet.


I find the atmosphere in the common room unbearable. I don't know how you can study there, it's so noisy! - I totally agree with you. It's like someone is having a party all day and night.

Das ist wahr / Das ist wirklich wahr

Ich kann Rosie nichts von der heimlichen Verlobung erzählen, weil sie kein Geheimnis bewahren kann und es am Ende Cynthia erzählen wird! - Das ist wirklich wahr. Okay, dann sagen wir es ihr eben nicht.


I can't tell Rosie about the secret engagement because she can't keep a secret and will end up telling Cynthia! - That's so true. Okay, then we won't tell her.

Du hast recht / Da hast du Recht

Ich sollte aber nicht für ein Verbrechen bestraft werden, das mein Freund begangen hat. Ich war nur ein Zeuge . - Da haben Sie recht. Sie werden nicht bestraft werden.


But I should not be punished for a crime that my friend committed. I was only a witness. - You're right about that. You will not be punished.

Ich bin ganz deiner Meinung

Für mich ging es in dem Film überhaupt nicht um das Leben im Wilden Westen, sondern um eine Analyse der toxischen Männlichkeit durch die Erkundung der drei Hauptfiguren . - Ich bin ganz Ihrer Meinung . Vor allem, weil sich der Film so sehr auf die Beziehungen der drei Männer im Haus konzentriert.


For me, the film was not about life in the Wild West at all, but rather an analysis of toxic masculinity through the exploration of the three main characters. - I am totally of the same opinion. Especially because the film focuses so much on the relationships of the three men in the house.

Da ist etwas Wahres dran

Ich schwöre, dass Ben eine Obsession für Krokodile hat! - Da ist etwas Wahres dran. Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob ich es als Obsession bezeichnen würde, aber er zeigt wirklich großes Interesse an ihnen.


I swear Ben has an obsession with crocodiles! - There's some truth to that. I'm not sure I would call it an obsession, but he really shows a lot of interest in them.

Daran besteht kein Zweifel

Eines ist jedoch sicher. Danni ist verrückt nach Ben. - Daran gibt es keinen Zweifel. Sie ist Hals über Kopf in ihn verliebt.


One thing is certain, though. Danni is crazy about Ben. - There's no doubt about it. She is head over heels in love with him.

Ich bin ganz bei dir / Ich bin hundert Prozent bei dir

Morgen gehe ich direkt ins Büro des Schulleiters und erzähle ihm alles über Thomas' Verhalten! Das kann er Jess nicht antun und einfach so davonkommen! - Ich bin ganz bei dir, Faris.


Tomorrow I'll go straight to the headmaster's office and tell him all about Thomas' behaviour! He can't do that to Jess and just get away with it! - I'm right there with you, Faris.

Ich denke, ja / Ich denke, doch / Ich denke schon

Flo wird erst nächste Woche wieder in der Stadt sein, stimmt's Phil? - Ja, ich denke schon.


Flo won't be back in town until next week, right Phil? - Yes, I think so.

That's it. Now you can travel to Germany and say yes to everyone 😅.

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