Could 'Yes' be the answer for 'You know what?'

I mean:

A: 'You know what?'

B: 'Yes.'

C: 'I won the first prize.'

I'm not sure if I bother to write 'Yes' between A's words.

  • You probably meant that Yes. as in fact, Yes? right? – Kris Mar 26 '15 at 10:05

I think it would sound more natural if you replaced B's line with


This logic is based on a typical conversation like the following:

'Guess what?'


'I won first prize!'


The appropriate answer to

  • You know what?


  • No, What?

The person then proceeds to tell you the [amazing fact/tidbit of gossip].

If you reply (or interrupt) with a statement of your own, it frustrates the asker's intent to surprise you with something you don't know.

  • 2
    I do really like the idea of saying "Yes" firmly and staring at them unblinkingly to shut them down, though. So, I suppose in that case, it would be appropriate. Well not "appropriate", per se. But certainly fun for young and old... – Parthian Shot Mar 26 '15 at 6:29
  • 3
    Or there's "I used to, but I forgot." – Brian Hitchcock Mar 26 '15 at 7:39
  • This is a comment. Please use "comments." – Kris Mar 27 '15 at 6:19
  • are you saying my answer was not responsive to the question? OP asked whether he should bother to insert "Yes". I said that inserting any statement other than "No, what?" would be inappropriate. So "Yes" is not OK. Besides, how can you know "what", if the first speaker didn't say what "what" is? – Brian Hitchcock Mar 27 '15 at 7:14

"Yes." as an answer works if it's a joke, or passive aggressive ("Yes, I know what you're about to say, so much for your making a big mystery of it"). If you want B to be replying in good faith ("It sounds like the announcement you're going to make is exciting and I want to hear it") you want it to be a question at least, i.e. "Yes ?" (as in the "filler" word for "I heard you, please proceed", not the actual answer "yes"). Other possibilities are "what ?", "no, what ?", "hmmmm ?"


It can be done both ways. This is James Patterson's way :-), showing impatience, and interrupting:

Double Cross - Page 52 James Patterson - 2007

“You know what

“Yes,” Bree said. “We're done, Brady. For the moment, anyway. We're leaving.”


You know what? is not a question and does not expect an answer. It's an expression.

The correct response is to wait and let the speaker continue and announce the "what" of it.

See Wiktionary you know what

(idiomatic) A phrase used to get someone's attention before announcing something.

Well, you know what, he's got a cloud over him.

Similarly, guess what, you know, you-know-what, you know what I mean, if you know what I mean, you know what they say (ibid.)

  • Depends on context. Sometimes the other person definitely wants you to say "What?". And for "You know?", if it's at the end of the thought they'll at least expect a "Yeah...". it's definitely an opener for you to say something when they trail off and there's a pause of a couple seconds or more. – Parthian Shot Mar 26 '15 at 7:00
  • @ParthianShot The context is given. This answer considers the given context and does not speculate beyond. – Kris Mar 26 '15 at 10:04
  • Parthian Shot is correct. Depending on tone and context, You know what? can be either an expression or a question. Personally I tend to use it as a question. – Dog Lover Mar 26 '15 at 10:50
  • @WindowsDude7 Did you earlier say someone was not correct? What exactly are you trying to convey now? – Kris Mar 26 '15 at 10:54
  • @Kris No, I don't believe I did. – Dog Lover Mar 26 '15 at 10:58

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