The French word "Ouais" explained

On this page, we are going to show you all the things you need to know about the funny word “Ouais”.

More precisely, it includes a complete definition of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. Plus, we also sprinkled some useful stuff like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example, synonyms and more!

Finally, you will also find our others words tutorials on this page and the complete directory of all our French words tutorials on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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French to English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

Ouais meaning

Definition

It is well known that the French way to say yes is “oui“, but there are many other variations. 

“Ouais” is probably the most famous one, it’s a simple “Yes” but more informal, that’s why it’s generally translated as “Yeah“.But, it doesn’t fit every situation, so be careful of the context when you want to use it. Let’s discover some examples!

How to use it

A relative / a friend / a colleague asks you if your exam went well, you say: “Ouais, facile” (Yeah, easy).

The judge asks you if you were at home during the night of the 17th of July, you say: “Oui” (Yes). But not “Ouais“! Because in a formal situation like this (with a judge, a teacher, a boss…), it sounds very provocative and you might get into troubles.

A rule of thumb: if you say “Vous” to the person instead of  “Tu” because you are showing respect, use “Oui” instead of “Ouais“. In every other situation, you will be fine by saying “Ouais“.

In case you need to be even more informal, you can use “Ouep / Ouaip” (Yep) instead. But if not used appropriately, there is a high chance of irritating the person you are talking with. 

Fun fact

In English, if someone is super happy about something, he/she might yell: “Yessss!“. In French we would use “Ouais !“, for example “Ouais ! On a gagné !” (Yessss! We won!)

Synonyms

  • Oui. (Yes)
  • Ouaip. (Yep)
  • Ouep. (Yep)
  • Oué. (Yeah)(Texting)

Dialogue example with audio

Audio dialogue by French natives

Dialogue audio

Dialogue text

” T’as vu ce qu’il s’est passé ?! “
” Did you see what happened?! “
” Ouais, c’est ouf ! “
” Yeah, it’s crazy! “
” Carrément ! “
” Totally! “
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