Many textbooks list "ええ" as the casual form of "yes" or "はい", but I only seldom hear this expression. Is "ええ" really all that common, and if not, how do people typically give affirmative responses to questions in casual situations?

For example, how would you casually affirm the following:

Case 1:

  1. 今日部活ないの?

You don't have club activities today?

  1. (   )

No. The tennis court is still wet from the rain so we can't practice.

Case 2:

  1. なにか部活入ってる?

Are you in any clubs?

  1. (   )

Yup. I'm on the tennis team.

  • 4
    "ええ" as the casual form of "yes" or "はい" -> Heh? ええ is pretty polite, no? I'd say うん is the casual form.
    – chocolate
    Sep 17, 2016 at 2:24
  • Regardless, I believe it is taught as the more casual variant of はい in many texts. I too have only heard it in conversations between superiors and their subordinates. I can't say I hear うん too often either though. Does うん carry any feminine nuance?
    – seafood258
    Sep 17, 2016 at 2:28
  • 3
    Oh yes ええ is very often used by subordinates towards their superiors. I don't think うん carries any feminine nuance. I think うん is commonly used by everyone, regardless of age, gender, or region. ええ might sound a bit feminine, depending on context.
    – chocolate
    Sep 17, 2016 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


If you are asked by your familiar people(ex.friends/families), use うん in both cases.

If you are asked by senior people, elder people and acquaintance(not very close friends?), use はい in both cases.

I think both cases are asked by friends, so using うん is good.

I've never seen people use ええ in ordinary conversation.

but I've seen it in Anime.

  • 2
    As a side note, うん is usually pronounced as pure nasal "mmm", "nnn" etc. rather than how it's spelt. Sep 17, 2016 at 4:54
  • 1
    @broccoliforest Is ううん pronounced similarly? Or does that follow the spelling more?
    – user1624
    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:52
  • 1
    @Ciaran forvo.com/search/%e3%81%86%e3%81%86%e3%82%93 Sep 17, 2016 at 16:32
  • @user3856370 ja.forvo.com/search/%e3%81%86%e3%82%93 doesn't pronounce it the way broccoli forest suggested though.. I assume people uploading to forvo are going for 100% correctness rather than 'typical pronunciation'.
    – user1624
    Sep 18, 2016 at 15:17
  • 1
    @Ciaran I thought users gntm and ketta sounded very like broccoliforest's description. Did you click on the word rather than the play button to see all the user's recordings? Sep 18, 2016 at 15:57

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