How to Sound More Native-like in English: Start Saying “Yeah” and “Nah”!

By Robby

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Video Transcript Below:

Hi guys! Hello boys and girls and welcome back to my video blog!

I’m Robby, obviously, your English fluency mentor from and welcome back to my video blog on YouTube, in case you’re watching this video on YouTube, or on my blog at

You see – the thing is every video that I put up on YouTube, I actually put up on my blog as well with the transcript and everything so that it’s easier for you to follow it, in case you’re struggling trying to understand what I’m saying here, basically, alright?

But I make the point of pronouncing all the words clearly and speaking at a reasonable speed so that you can understand pretty much everything I’m saying, right?

And in this video I’m going to tell you how to pronounce words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in English so that you would sound more like a native English speaker.

At first it might sound a bit surprising, you may be thinking, “Hold on a second – yes, no…. what’s the big deal? They’re very straightforward words, right?”  ‘Yes’, ‘no’ – they’re the simplest English words, as a matter of fact, so what other way could I be pronouncing them, right? Other than yes and no?

But here’s the thing my friend foreign English speaker – native speakers, more often than not, actually pronounce ‘yes’ as ‘yeah’, conversationally, right.

It’s All About Informal Communication!

I’m not talking about formal communication, because you see English Harmony is all about you developing your conversational English skills and more often than not, just like I said ten seconds ago, ‘yes’ is pronounced as ‘yeah’ in conversational English and similarly, ‘no’ is pronounced ‘nah’. Nah, right.

Well, as a matter of fact, it’s a different word altogether. It’s not ‘no’ that you pronounce as ‘nah’, it’s ‘no’ becomes ‘nah’ – n-a-h – and ‘yes’ y-e-s becomes ‘yeah’ y-e-a-h, right?  But believe it or not that’s how native speakers very often pronounce these words.

So this is a very, very simple trick. Make it your habit – pronounce ‘yes’ as ‘yeah’ and ‘no’ as ‘nah’, nah. Especially if someone asks you a question, “Have you done your preparation?” for example. There’s an exam or test coming up at school and one of your classmates approaches you and asks you, “Have you done your homework?” or, “Have you done your preparation?”

Then you can tell them, “Nah, I didn’t have much time last night. I was watching TV, stayed up very late and didn’t have much time but I’ll do it tonight.” So that’s the way you respond to that question.

Well, obviously there’s nothing wrong with saying, “No, not really. I didn’t do the homework,” or, “I didn’t do the preparation.” But, just like I said, you will sound that little bit more native-like if you say ‘nah’, OK? So make it a habit, make it a part of your spoken English practice with the next practice session, for example, or when you speak with native speakers or any other English speakers, for that matter, in real life.

Try to remember that little trick and when you have to use the word ‘no’, say ‘nah’. It’s especially handy in situations when you would talk about yourself, basically, answer someone’s question and when it comes to you, what you did the day before, you can tell them, “Nah, I didn’t do it.” Alright?

As for ‘yes’, you can say ‘yeah’ in pretty much any situation, whenever you have to provide a positive response, OK? You can just say, “Yeah! Yeah.” Make it your habit, actually. Make it your point not to say ‘yes’ because believe it or not, but it does sound as if you’re reading from a book if you’re saying, “Yes. Yes.  Yes.”

‘Yeah’ is so much more friendly, it’s conversational and that’s how native English speakers speak. Just like I told you, right?

So here’s your take-home lesson – or home-take lesson? I keep mixing up these two words, home and take, because there is a collocation take-home lesson and I’m pretty sure that’s what it is, right? But here’s the funny thing – I can’t seem to be able to learn that particular collocation, for some reason or another.

But you see, the human brain is a mysterious thing sometimes, right? Despite your biggest efforts, nothing seems to be working when it comes down to tiny little details.

But I gladly accept that, that’s what makes me unique and even if I don’t get it right, like ever, I don’t give a damn about it, to be honest with you guys, because that’s who I am, right?

I embrace the fact that sometimes I might be making a mistake or two, OK? But for those perfectionists out there who wouldn’t approve that, OK I’m going to make a point and open up my collocation file, which I’m pretty sure contains this particular collocation, OK? What’s going on here? I’m struggling with manipulating a simple Excel file!

So ‘take home’. No, can’t find that collocation. ‘Home take’. I haven’t actually put it in my file, so what’s going on there? Let’s do it the Google way, right? ‘Home take lesson’, that’s how I validate all collocations, do a Google search and see how many results… None! So it is ‘take home lesson’, right? Exactly!

What is a take-home lesson? There you go – 41,600 results.

So take-home lesson, for some reason, I can’t seem to be able to memorize this very simple collocation, right. Basically, the take-home lesson, my friends, is that use ‘yeah’ instead of ‘yes’ and ‘nah’ instead of ‘no’.

Obviously, ‘nah’ wouldn’t be as often used as ‘yeah’, because for the most part, when we speak with other people, they use positive responses, when appropriate, right? “Yeah!  Yeah!” “How are you doing? Are you fine?” “Yeah, yeah I’m alright.”

So make it your point to incorporate it in your conversations and you will sound a little bit more native-like, OK? So thanks for watching this video, my friends and chat to you soon! Bye-bye!


P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System