Can I say Affirmative instead of Yes or Understand?

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New Member
I learned this word from a PC game when you order a soldier he would say "yes sir" or "affirmative".
I think it's cool and sometimes use it when replying an email from management like "please get it done by the end of this month". Is it appropriate to say "affirmative" as response? I've never seen others use it in email or conversation.
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  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    The term is used primarily by the military, and sometimes by the other uniformed services such as police and firefighting. You might choose to adopt it for fun, but it would look a little quirky in a business setting.


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It would also not be a reply to "please get it done by the end of the month", although it could be a reply to "Can you have it done by the end of the month?" It simply means "yes".


    Senior Member
    USA English
    "affirmative" is used in radio communications because of the ease with which a cryptic "yes" can be dropped or misunderstood. For the same reason, "negative" is used instead of "no."

    The whole aviation community is an example.

    Such an approach also works over poor land-line telephone connections.

    Thus, people who habitually deal in such environments tend to use it as a matter of course.Obviously it's questionable in written communications.

    I think you will be quite alone in your opinion of yourself by thinking it's "cool."
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