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Does it depend on a situation (formal/informal)?

Is one answer more respectful/submissive/dominant than other?

What about an answer to "Are you [...]?" "Yes, I am" / "Yes, I am [...]" or "Yes"? Which one is correct?

@ColleenV

It's really context dependent. It depends on who is asking you, why they are asking you, and what they want to know. If your waiter is asking "Do you take cream?" a simple "Yes" is fine. If you're at a party and someone tries to start a conversation by asking "Do you like the band?" a simple "yes" would be indicating that you don't want to talk to them

As non-native speaker of English I want to understand which response is correct, given a context. Thank you for two examples. "If your waiter is asking "Do you take cream?" a simple "Yes" is fine." What if I will answer "Yes, I do" in that kind of situation? Is it too "formal"/""posh"?

Do you agree that "Yes, I do"/"Yes, I am" is always a safer option?

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    As all of these are correct, I can't help but feel that this is a cultural question. Any answer would have to be qualified by which country it's relevant to. And English tends to rely much more on tone of voice and body posture than specific words or word orders to convey respect, at least in America, anyway. Some people think the concise answer is nervous and uncooperative. Some think the long answer is deliberately awkward and convoluted. And which to use often changes inside a conversation. – modulusshift Jan 22 '16 at 0:22
  • But because this is cultural, I think it could be considered off topic, though I wouldn't vote to close it for that myself. – modulusshift Jan 22 '16 at 0:23
  • @user29207 Could you give some specific examples you are interested in? – Peter Jan 22 '16 at 0:28
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    It's really context dependent. It depends on who is asking you, why they are asking you, and what they want to know. If your waiter is asking "Do you take cream?" a simple "Yes" is fine. If you're at a party and someone tries to start a conversation by asking "Do you like the band?" a simple "yes" would be indicating that you don't want to talk to them. – ColleenV Jan 22 '16 at 0:48
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    There isn't a rule - if you think about those conversations in your native language, wouldn't it matter if you were in a fancy restaurant and you were trying to impress a date with your manners or whether you were at a café and just grabbing a quick cup of coffee? There's no way that we can tell you which way is the best way for every situation you will encounter. You can "correctly" answer "Do you take cream?" with "Yes", "Yes I take cream", "Yes, I do take cream", or "Yes, I do. And sugar too please." Whether the answer is too verbose or too concise depends on the situation. – ColleenV Jan 22 '16 at 1:29
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Sometimes the "correct" answer isn't just "Yes" or "Yes, I am" or "Yes, I do," but rather,

"Why do you ask?"

Answering an inappropriate question with this question puts you in the dominant position and gives you more time to think of how you would like to respond (if at all). It can be useful in social situations where someone is trying to hit on you, for instance, when you are not interested in the other person. If you don't like the other person's answer, you can then say,

"I'm sorry, but that is something I'm not comfortable discussing with you."

Answering a question with "Yes, I do" is never too formal or "posh."

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