Catch Word #115 –Yes and no sounds

In every language, there are funny little sounds that we make that are very important! In English, we have lots of noises we make while speaking. In this episode, we’re looking at sounds that mean yes and no. Listen closely as Harp and Maura give their best examples of mmhmm, uh-huh, and uh-uh using different tones.


Expressions included in the learning materials

  • Mmhmm
  • We could go on
  • Un-huh
  • A fishing rod and bait
  • Guess what
  • What’d you do?
  • To end up
  • To call it a day
  • To make a sound/noise
  • At the last minute
  • Uh-uh
  • Would rather
  • A board game
  • Anyway and anyways

Sample transcript:

Harp: And today we’re doing something a little bit different.

Maura: Mmhmm.

Harp: We’re gonna look at some different noises that we make.

Maura: Right. Now, not noises like animals make, but little sounds that we use when we’re talking. And these little sounds mean some very simple things.

Harp: Yup. Should we get started, Maura?

Maura: Sure. The first word we’re gonna look at is yes. So we’re going to give you two sounds that we make that mean yes. Harp, give us an example of the first one.

Harp: Mmhmm.

Maura: Right. So the sound that means yes is mmhmm.

Harp: Mmhmm.

Maura: And there’re all kinds of tones that you can use for this little sound. As you can hear, maybe it sounds a little bit different when I make the sound and when Harp does. That’s because we’re using different tones, but there are all kinds of tones you can use for this little sound.

Harp: Mmhmm.

Maura: Mmhmm. Now, there’s actually another sound that we can use in English to mean yes. There are two sounds that we can use for yes. The first one is mmhmm and the second one is uh-huh.

Harp: Uh-huh.

Maura: Uh-huh. Harp: Uh-huh. Maura: Uh-huh. We could go on.

Harp: For hours. But we won’t.

Maura: So there is another sound that also means yes. So there are two: mmhmm and uh-huh.

Harp: Mmhmm. Uh-huh.

Maura: So, these can be used just like the word yes. They can be used to answer someone, so when you use these sounds in response to a question, it’s like you’re saying yes.

Harp: Or these sounds can be used to agree with someone; to show that you agree with what they’ve said.

Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast