Imagine you’re NEVER allowed to use the boring word “sí’ anymore when you want to agree with someone in Spanish…
¿Ya entraste en pánico? (Panicking yet?) Fret not, my friends! Juan, from Spring Spanish, is here to solve that because today we’ll learn diez formas de decir “sí” sin decir “sí” en español (10 ways to say “yes” without saying “yes” in Spanish).
This will make you sound much more sophisticated when speaking Spanish! Make sure to stick until the end because I have also prepared some affirmative slang depending on the country you’re in
Saying YES in any country
This literally means “Clear” and you can use “claro que sí” as well to make it more of a statement when something is clear in Spanish in an affirmative way. Think of it as a way to say something is understood clearly!
For example, if your friend asks you if you could buy some snacks on your way to the movies, you will say “claro que sí, paso por la tienda de dulces en el camino (of course yes, I’ll pass by the candy shop on the way).
Ah, por cierto (by the way), you can also use claro que no to say of course not, but that’s for another article.
Por cierto is a perfect chunk to learn by heart! In English, it’s “by the way”, in Spanish something like “for certainty”. Translating directly clearly won’t work here, so just learn the chunk by heart! For more chunks (and a full 4-step system to imprint Spanish chunks on your brain and start using them yourself), check the free Spanish chunking training.
2. ¡Por supuesto!
The most literal translation would be “Of course”. It is quite common to make clear something is sure or obvious. Example? ¿Ya te suscribiste a Spring Spanish? ¡Pfff, por supuesto! (Have you subscribed to Spring Spanish yet? Pff, of course!).
3. ¿Cómo no?
This chunk roughly translates to “how could it not be?” or “how couldn’t I?” and it’s a way to agree to a request in a rather polite way. So, if you want to show your disposition towards a favor or a request, use this one.
- ¿Me podrías dar un vaso de agua? (Could you give me a glass of water? )
- ¿Cómo no? Aquí tienes. How couldn’t I? Here you go)
Plain and simple: this means “Perfect”. Pretty easy, right? Just like in English, you can use it when something sounds like a plan to you, as if your friend is talking about meeting you at the pub in the corner, at 8 next Saturday and it suits you perfectly, it will be “perfecto”.
5. De acuerdo
A way to say “I agree”, de acuerdo is probably the most formal answer of these five. You can use it in a business meeting, when making a deal or a transaction.
- Señor, ¿quiere enviarle este lamborghini a Juan El Profesor? (Sir, do you want to send this Lamborghini to Juan the Teacher?)
- De acuerdo. (I agree.)
Saying YES in specific countries
Great! Now you know other ways to say “Sí” in Spanish. But what if we go deeper and review some slang used in the different parts of the Spanish-speaking world? Well, as promised before, let’s see some of those!
People in Venezuela say ¡Plomo! (literally, lead, as in bullets)… I’m not too proud of the origins of that expression, since it comes from the gang culture, where lead or bullets meant business, but we can’t deny it became part of the pop culture in Venezuela as a way to say you made your mind and agree to a plan.
- ¿Aprendemos español? (Shall we learn Spanish?)
- ¡Plomo! (Lead!)
Lately, another way to agree to a plan or to express you’re in is ¡Llégate!, which roughly translates to “get over here” and you can use it in sentences like:
- ¿Qué te parece si nos bebemos unas birras? (What do you think if we go for some beers?)
- ¡Llégate! (Get over here!)
¿Qué te parece si…? is a great chunk to learn by heart, since the literal translation would be something like “what does it seem to you if” and that just sounds weird.
The chunk ¿Qué te parece si…? is often used in Spanish to suggest a plan or an action. All you have to do is add said action like:
- ¿Qué te parece si jugamos fútbol? (What do you think if we play some soccer?)
- ¿Qué te parece si pedimos una pizza? (what do you think if we order a pizza?).
It will make you sound cool and native-like to us. Trust me!
I’ve heard some Mexican friends say “simón” instead of sí and it’s just hilarious. It’s part of urban slang and there are even variations like simona, la mona, which just sounds so funny because the translation would be “Simona, the female monkey”.
Of course in English that makes zero sense, but since Simón starts with Si, you can see where that came from.
9. ¡A huevo!
¡A huevo! is another way to say yes if you’re in Mexico or with Mexican friends. The literal translation is something like “oh, egg!”…
I have no Idea where this came from, but if you ask in the comments, maybe the other Spring Spanish teachers (who happen to be all Mexicans) could answer that!
What I do know is it is used to sort of highlight an affirmative response, as in…
- ¿Vienes a la fiesta? (Are you coming to the party?)
- ¡A huevo! (Yes!)
There is one more that’s really popular that I am sure you have heard before, especially, if you have listened to Pitbull’s songs.
If you ever come to Argentina or come across argentinos, you’ll hear a lot of dale as another way to say yes. It means something like “do it” and they use it as a common affirmative reply.
If you want to sound like you know your Argentinian slang, you can always use de una (right away) or vamos con esa (let’s go with that one) and you’ll sound like you’ve lived in Buenos Aires for ten years!
Awesome! Now you know how to say Sí without actually using Sí!! And of “claro que sí” you also need to know some expressions for No. So, check out the article I’ve made to have you stop saying No! You can’t say No to that!