Talk:yes

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The parts of speech and examples on this page are mostly wrong.

The first entry, labelled an adverb, is an interjection. It doesn't modify the verb of the sentence and it can stand on its own.

Yes there are adverbial uses of "yes" but they are rare are these are not examples of them. I'm not sure if the use on this paragraph is such but it is closer.

The 2nd definition under here is foreign-centric. "Yes" may appear to indicate disagreement to speakers of foreign languages but it certainly does not to native speakers. It always connotes agreement but the ambiguity is that it can agree with the sentiment of the other speaker, or it can agree with the verb of the other speaker's sentence - even when that verb was in the negative:

"You don't like these do you?"

"Yes"

"'Yes' you like them or 'yes' you don't like them?"

The third entry has a wrong first example. In "He said yes", "yes" is not a noun. It's an interjection in reported speech.

Hippietrail 01:58, 8 May 2004 (UTC)

I've made some attempt to sort out the incorrect parts of speech and examples on this page. It's probably not quite there yet. Someone else might want to have another look at it.
The second definition is legitimate, if only because it allows translations to be given without having to explain the concept for each language. I might be wrong, but I think that "yea" once served this purpose in English ("yes" being the reply to a positive statement only).
Paul G 13:28, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)
If that is to be our basis for deciding words and senses in Wiktionary then we have to start claiming to be primarily a translation dictionary rather than a general dictionary. The OED or the Websters would never admit senses based on what they translate to in a foreign language. If Wiktionary is primarily to be a general dictionary then this is a mistake. If Wiktionary is to be primarily a translating dictionary then we must announce it clearly everywhere so that people expecting simple answers like on dictionary.com are not surprised by what they find.
What I would expect to find is this:
Interjection
Yes
1. An affirmative answer to a question (or somesuch)
Translations
  • French: oui (to a positive question), si (to a negative question)
There is no need to introduce imaginary English defs which no native speaker feels.
We can certainly add usage notes to clarify this for non-native speakers. — Hippietrail 07:49, 10 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The Hebrew word quoted in translation does not mean Yes as far as I know. And how long has Hebrew been a branch of Aramaic? --Stephen2810 23:10, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

That’s not Hebrew, it’s Aramaic. Aramaic is regularly written in two different scripts, one of them being Hebrew. Hebrew is the script, not the language. —Stephen 18:36, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't you...[edit]

I would always further qualify any "yes" in response to a negative question, e.g. "yes, I don't"; one often hears a follow-up question along the lines of "What, yes you do or yes you don't?". My feeling is that in regular usage, a grammatically correct "yes" to a negative question would as often as not be interpreted as meaning the opposite.

Chinese[edit]

I guess I can post this at any page, but Chinese is Mandarin language in all cases right? why dont they put that? 81.69.203.77 23:59, 30 December 2006 (UTC) Mallerd

If it doesn’t say differently, yes, it’s Mandarin. However, we also get translations in Taiwanese, Cantonese, Min Nan, Hakka, Wu, and other dialects/languages. When there are dialects in addition to Mandarin, then we specify which is which. But all of them go under Chinese, because that’s where most people expect to find them. If we just put Mandarin, then it would be in another position alphabetically and people would think we didn’t have a Chinese (Mandarin) translation at all. —Stephen 07:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes as an adverb[edit]

Am I missing something here? I don't see how the current examples demonstrate "yes" being used to modify or describe a verb. What's more, I don't believe the word "yes" can be used to modify a verb. Why is it listed as an adverb? RobbieG 21:06, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Adverbs can modify not only verbs, but also adjectives, other adverbs, phrases, even whole sentences. Adverbs in general answer how?, when?, where?, to what extent?, whether. Moreover, this grammatical term in English is a catchall category where we put words that don’t fit in the more ruley parts of speech. Yes is not only an adverb, it is also an interjection. —Stephen 21:17, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Sorry, I was using a basic UK education definition of "adverb" - clearly some "lies to children" have been going on. I'm not a linguistics professor or anything like that. RobbieG 21:23, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Aren't "yes" and "no" usually classified as interjections?

85.231.217.232 01:23, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

That’s what I just said, they’re not only adverbs, they are also interjections. —Stephen 17:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

The Hebrew word quoted in translation does not mean Yes as far as I know. And how long has Hebrew been a branch of Aramaic?