Yup/Yep

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Tatillon13

Member
French
I am aware that there has been an extensive topic about how proper the use of such words is, but the original question then was: is it fine to write them?
My question is quite different: I was wondering if one of them (yup or yep) was more British, and one more American. Or if there was any connotation with one, but not with the other (I don't know, one more used by children, girls, or urban dwellers, for example). Any insights from native speakers? :)
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Tatillon13. I hear both "yup" and "yep" here in the US. I wouldn't use either word in writing unless I was writing a dialog for characters in a story or something like that.

    "Yes" is the normal word unless you are deliberately trying to sound folksy for some reason. If your native language is French, trying to speak folksy English would probably be difficult for you.
     

    Tatillon13

    Member
    French
    Actually, it really wouldn't because I lived for years in the US as a teenager and I have a very strong Philly accent ^^ I use "yup" with friends. But that's really besides the point.
    I was asking indeed because I am writing a dialogue and my characters are British. So I wouldn't want them to sound suddenly American just because I didn't use properly one little word. Incidentally, said dialogue is informal enough for them to use yup or yep - unless it isn't actually used by male adults in the UK, for instance. Hence my question, and all answers will definitely be helpful, even for future use :)
    In any case thank you for your answer, owlman5: it's good to know that both are used in the US!
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome, Tatillon13. If you don't speak BE well enough to know whether people use "yep" or "yup" over there, how can you write a convincing dialog for British characters? This task sounds very difficult to me. Good luck.
     

    Tatillon13

    Member
    French
    Difficult, but not impossible. Fortunately enough, I realize it when I'm not a hundred per cent sure about a word or expression, probably because I lived in the UK for one year, and because what we're taught in France is British English. So I can ask native speakers who are kindly willing to help out people like me on this forum for specific words I have doubts about ;) Thank you for your encouragements :)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Please see this thread: Yeah, yup, yep
    It is a fairly thorough discussion.
    I didn't read the entire thread, but on the first page or so, several speakers of BE confirm that they say 'yep'.

    One also says that he uses 'yup', though less frequently. You will have to read the thread yourself to find the details. You are also welcome to add a suitable question to the end.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Is the discussion about spelling? For some people, yup and yep are just different ways about representing a word. My impression is that yup is more common than yep.

    On the other hand, you might want to say that yup represents /jʌp/ and yep represents /jəp/, which is fine, although there are some American accents where /ʌ/ and /ə/ are not strongly distinguished.

    Or is the discussion about choice of forms? The thread mentioned by Cagey also indicates that yeah is much more common, and that aye is also a possible form, particularly for northern British including Scottish speakers.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I'd stick to yeah, Tatillon ~ not because British English speakers don't use yep and yup, but they don't use them everywhere. They do yeah.
     
    Last edited:

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Following up ewie's point, Tatillon, if you did write "Yup" or "Yep" more than very occasionally, I think many BrE readers would get the impression, rightly or wrongly, that your characters are American (or possibly Franco-Belgian cartoon cowboys! ;)).

    "Yeah" would be more natural, and you might even want to ring the changes with an occasional "Yes" (as owlman suggested, it's quite normal, even in casual speech) — and maybe the odd "uh-huh" (though the context would have to make it unambiguous).

    Ws:)
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I'd say yeah and yes are more generally useful in AmE, too. All four are used a lot in actual conversation, but in writing, yep and yup look like the kind of thing that most people write only if they are trying to mimic someone's dialect. And I say that even though I used yep myself earlier today in a PM, but it's not the kind of thing I do very often.
     
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