3 Best Ways To Say Ok Yes And No In Tamil

The Tamil language, mainly spoken in Tamil Nadu, South India, is one of the oldest languages in the world. It dates back almost 5000 years and is still used in Tamil Nadu as the native language. Though English is well used in many South Indian states than Hindi, there are also other languages such as Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. The first three words popularly learned when learning a new language are yes, no, and okay. Let’s discover the three best ways to ok yes and no in Tamil!

A Little Bit About Tamil Nadu

Hinduism is a large part of the culture. Several 7th and 8th century temples can be found all over Mamallapura, Tamil Nadu, making it a UNESCO Heritage Site since 1984. The Tamil people are humble, down-to-earth, and very hardworking. As is common in many South Asian languages, words in Tamil can be formal and informal, polite and unacceptable before it is even realized. That is why it is crucial to know how to correctly say simple phrases and words.

As a whole, Tamil Nadu is one of India’s most industrialized states, with a literacy level of 80% of its population. The economic development is much higher than the nation’s average, and they have a strong performance in innovation and science.

An enjoyable way to learn Tamil is to, of course, visit the state itself. But the other way is to make and talk with a Tamil friend. The world has changed, and there are many ways to make new friends now on the internet. Talking about life and sharing cultures and ideas helps to get familiar with the language and the world around it.

How To Say Ok Yes And No In Tamil?

Saying Yes And Yes, Please!

Now, of course, if the English word itself is used, all Tamilians would understand it. “Yes” is well identified as a positive response word globally. We also have “yep”, “yeah”, “uh-huh” and so forth. But, here it is in a nutshell:

English WordPronunciation In TamilTamil Word In Tamil Script
Yes, please!Āmām tayavu ceytuஆமாம் தயவு செய்து
Saying Yes in Tamil

If you were speaking to someone in respect, someone older or someone in authority, here are some examples:

English WordPronunciation In TamilTamil Word In Tamil Script
Yes, SirĀmām aiyāஆமாம் ஐயா
Yes, Ma’amĀmām tāyēஆமாம் தாயே
Yes, MomĀmām am’māஆமாம் அம்மா
Saying Yes to People with Respect

Saying No, And No, Thank You!

Similarly, for “no”, the word in English can be used. The words given below can also be used.

– –

English WordPronunciation In TamilTamil Word In Tamil Script
No, thank youParavāyillai, naṉṟiபரவாயில்லை, நன்றி
No, SirIllai aiyāஇல்லை ஐயா
No, Ma’amIllai mēṭamஇல்லை மேடம்
No, MomIllai am’māஇல்லை அம்மா
Saying No in Tamil


Very often, non-verbal ways are used to express this word. “Okay” is widely accepted in Tamil as the English word itself. Here is the word in Tamil:

ok yes and no in tamil
Yes, No and Okay in Tamil – Learn Tamil with Ling
  • Okay – Cari – சரி

You may find that the words “yes” and “okay” are interchangeable. This is common in many languages as well as in Tamil. For more Tamil vocabulary, do check out our article on Tamil basic words.

Other Ways & Signs

If you have observed people from South India, you may already be familiar with the head bobble. It can be considered an informal way to respond. Still, it is well used all over India, particularly in the South. You probably wonder about the meaning of each bobble.

You may even worry – was that a yes, or a no? Was it a nod of approval or a false head shake? You may have also searched or looked in a website or two for some reference. A feeling of being angry may also have crept in! Being from a culture where head bobbles are not used at all – suddenly being constantly surrounded by it can be overwhelming. Understanding head bobbles of Tamils can get quite confusing. Let’s try to clarify! Here are three new ways to say yes, no, and okay without making a sound!

  • Head Bobble Up and Down: Yes
  • Head Bobble Side to Side: No
  • Head Bobble Diagonally: Okay

There also may be stories of other bobbles that are confusing! They may include: a maybe-bobble, what’s up-bobble, I understand-bobble, and finally, a bobble to acknowledge the presence of someone. Sometimes in reply to a question, it can be an all-of-the-above bobble! Take this as a challenge. Keep a look out for examples around you or in videos or even in Tamil movies! Familiarizing yourself is the key to understanding head bobbles.

Do note that bobbles are widely accepted formally and informally as well to communicate. It is not considered rude if you do not speak and only gesture with your head in response to a question or statement.

Ling Can Help You Learn Tamil

Now that you’ve learned how to say ok yes and no in Tamil, you can start boosting your vocabulary to speak with the locals during your visit to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Imagine if you had a way to learn all these head wobbles with an example sentence, watch videos, courses, sounds, phrases, written words, and so on – all in one platform. That’s Ling! Ling is an exceptional gamified language learning app that can speed up your journey to Tamil Nadu and support your learning of this beautiful language and many others.

Learn Languages Ling App

It provides the correct pronunciation for learners and can challenge you to improve your skill. You do not have to fear whether what you say is wrong or accepted. The best thing would be to practice daily, and in a matter of days, you will be able to speak confidently. Try out Ling today!

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