Everything about the French word "Ouais"

Are you ready to find out all the things you have to know about the basic French word “Ouais”?

Are included a complete explanation of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. Together with the useful things we added like slow pronunciation audio, dialogue example and more!

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Translation in English

How to pronounce it?

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does ouais mean?


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

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 trouble.

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 facts

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 and similarities

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

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Changer de l'argent
Change money
Cashier:   Bonjour monsieur. Que puis-je faire pour vous ?
Hello sir. What can I do for you?
Marc:   Bonjour. J’aimerais changer de l’argent.
Hello. I would like to change money.
Cashier:   Très bien. Quel échange voulez-vous faire ?
Very well. What trade do you want to do?
Marc:   Je veux changer mes dollars américains en euros. Quel est le taux de change ?
I want to change my US dollars into euros. What is the exchange rate?
Cashier:   1 dollar américain vaut 0,85 euros, monsieur.
1 US dollar is worth 0.85 euros, sir.
Marc:   Parfait.
Cashier:   Combien voulez-vous échanger ?
How much do you want to trade?
Marc:   Cinq cents dollars.
Five hundred dollars.
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