If you’ve ever heard the phrase “absolutely yes”, you may have felt that it sounded a little weird. Is it correct English, or something that should never actually be said? In this post, we’ll cover all the details about this phrase and what you need to know about it.
Is It Correct to Say “Absolutely Yes”?
It is grammatically correct to say “absolutely yes”. However, because “absolutely” is often viewed as another way to say “yes”, some view this phrase as redundant and unnecessary, as one could just say “absolutely” or “yes” alone instead of both words together.
Basically, this one comes down to personal preference. Because “absolutely” can mean “totally” or “completely”, it’s not actually grammatically incorrect to say “absolutely yes”. However, there’s a strong argument to be made about never saying “absolutely yes”.
After all, yes or no is already total. There is no halfway yes or halfway no, meaning that any “yes” is an absolute yes already. So there’s no need to actually say “absolutely yes”. Over the years, “absolutely” has also come to mean “yes” in and of itself, which creates the issue of redundancy and wordiness.
Modern English prefers for things to be concise and direct, so it’s technically preferable to pick either “absolutely” or “yes”, instead of using both.
For instance, consider the following examples:
- Blair: Hey, do you want to go to the mall today?
- Simon: Absolutely yes.
- Mary: Should I buy this headset? I don’t know how good it is.
- Jacob: I have that one, and it’s great. Absolutely yes!
In all of these sentences, you could remove either “yes” or “absolutely” and have the same sentence with the same meaning. Because of this, it’s never truly necessary to say “absolutely yes” even if it isn’t wrong, per se.
So, it is grammatically correct. But if you aren’t comfortable using this phrase, there are alternatives. We’ve compiled a list of what to say instead of “absolutely yes” if you would prefer to use them.
Other Ways to Say “Absolutely Yes”
Other ways to say “absolutely yes” include: “Definitely, for sure”, and “certainly”. All of these synonyms are ways to say “yes” but with the added emphasis on the notion that your answer is unquestionable and without doubt.
There are many other alternatives as well, several of which we will describe here.
“Absolutely yes” is a means to answer in a way that leaves no room for doubt. So if you are wholeheartedly answering yes to someone, you can just say “definitely” instead. It’s still an affirmative, and it gets the same message across in just one word, which is very desirable.
- Jack: Will you go and fetch that pail of water?
- Jill: Definitely, just wait a minute and I’ll go.
- Clark: Will you be alright staying home by yourself today?
- Louis: Oh, definitely. I love having the place to myself sometimes.
The phrase “absolutely yes” exists mostly to provide certainty beyond “yes” itself. That said, the phrase “for sure” an be used to get that same meaning across, as it serves as an affirmative while also implying absolute certainty. It’s a very casual synonym, but is definitely usable in most cases.
- Ulrich: I’m thinking of pizza tonight. You in?
- Yumi: For sure! Let’s get pepperoni.
- Lars: Did you see the new music video? Wasn’t it awesome?
- Hans: Yeah, for sure. I thought it was the best one yet.
You can’t make it any more obvious that your answer is an absolute certainly than actually using the word “certainly”. It’s a good synonym for “absolutely yes” because it gets the message across in a simple, concise manner that leaves no room for confusion, and it doesn’t sound awkward either.
- George: Are you alright with going to the movies on the weekend?
- Jackie: Certainly. I’m free all weekend.
- Customer: Can I get a refill on my drink, please?
- Waiter: Certainly, sir, just a moment.
While this synonym is probably too formal to use in most casual situations, it can certainly be used if one desires it. Like “absolutely yes” it offers an affirmative with no room for doubt or “question”, hence the phrase itself. It would probably work better in writing than it would in modern conversation.
- King: Will you be able to resolve this troubling matter, Captain?
- Captain: Without question, my liege.
- Commander: Are you capable of accomplishing this task, soldier?
- Soldier: Without question, sir. I’ll take care of it.
This is another synonym phrase that allows you to offer complete certainty in an affirmative answer. It is quite formal and probably won’t be very usable in everyday speech, but it would be a good alternative in writing, if appropriate. It’s a very valid choice for replacing “absolutely yes”.
- Rico: You know what you’re doing, right?
- Rina: Most assuredly. Why do you doubt me?
- Jasper: Aren’t you a big fan of this show?
- Kurt: Most assuredly. It’s the best of its kind.
“Gladly” is a short and simple phrase that serves as a good synonym to “absolutely yes” because it gets the same point across: you are offering an affirmative beyond a normal yes. “Gladly” implies that you have no doubt as to your answer, making it an absolute yes without any room for confusion.
- Joanna: Do you want to come with me to the store?
- Ben: Gladly, just let me grab a few things first.
- Jason: Will you accept lunch as an apology for yesterday?
- Wilbur: Gladly, that’s more than enough for me.
This synonym is a bit different from the others in how it replaces “absolutely yes”. Generally, if you are so in favor of something that you would say “absolutely yes” to it, then you will consider it obvious that your answer is yes. That means it can be used in certain situations (when someone requests an answer).
- Jean: You’ll be fine if we get chicken for dinner, won’t you?
- Sean: Obviously. When have I ever said no to chicken?
- Clarisse: Do you want to go shopping for clothes?
- Rebecca: Obviously! It’s been forever since I bought anything new.
“Sure thing” is a very informal and casual alternative to “absolutely yes” (which is informal already). “Sure thing” doesn’t quite have the same punch as some of the other alternatives, but it is a more laidback way of saying “absolutely yes”. This makes it a good alternative if you are not the type to get overly excited.
- Carter: Bring me that can, would you?
- Jorge: Sure thing, boss.
- May: I’m not in the mood for seafood. How about we do Mexican tonight?
- Lee: Yeah, sure thing. We can do sushi another time.
Comma With “Absolutely Yes”
You may have seen “absolutely yes” with a comma before, as in “absolutely, yes”. While this looks like it should be right, it’s technically redundant. Here’s the thing: with “absolutely yes”, “absolutely” is an adverb being used to modify “yes”. So that phrase means “totally/definitely yes”.
But when you put a comma between them, “absolutely” is no longer an adverb modifying “yes”. Instead, it becomes a standalone word that just means “yes” by another name. When you say “absolutely, yes”, you are really just saying “yes, yes”.
Technically, this is not wrong. However, introducing a comma to the phrase “absolutely yes” just makes it completely redundant and unnecessary, as you could just say “absolutely” alone or “yes” alone, instead of effectively saying yes twice.
Yes Absolutely or Absolutely Yes?
The correct phrasing is “absolutely yes,” if your intent is to say “definitely yes”. However, “yes absolutely” can also be correct if you put a comma between the two words to get “yes, absolutely.” However, the meaning changes slightly if you do this.
“Absolutely yes” is a way to say that your affirmative response is a certainty without any doubt. “Yes, absolutely” is just a way to say yes twice, with the second “yes” being a little stronger. This is not grammatically incorrect, but it is very redundant and not strictly necessary.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.