A: Excuse me, ma’ma. I’m looking for 83 Wooster Street.

B: [color=red]Yes. Wooster Street is two blocks, and 83 is to the right.

What does [color=red]Yes mean here? Does it mean “Yes, you are in the right direction” or doesn’t it have any particular meaning?


It doesn’t have any very important meaning. It could be just a pause while she thinks, or a confirmation that she knows, or something like that.

(I think “ma’ma” should probably be “ma’am”.)


(1) As Dozy said, it could mean anything, maybe even depending on how you say the word “yes.”

(2) Tourist in New York City: Could you tell me how to get to the Statue of Liberty?

New York resident: Ah, yes! (I thought you were going to ask me that question. You look like a tourist./ I am often asked that question, so I have learned the best and clearest way to give directions./ Of course, I can! Do you think that I’m stupid?)

However, there is a slight difference I think because in this case the person actually asks a question that can be answered “yes”. In the original case there was no direct question, only an implied one.