yes and no


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yes and no

Partially so, but also partially not. Said of a situation more complex than a simple yes-or-no response. A: "So, would this tax maneuver be illegal?" B: "Well, yes and no. The actual transactions you want to do are perfectly legal, but not when both companies have the same beneficial owner." A: "Was the film any good?" B: Eh, yes and no. It was entertaining, but the plot and characters were totally absurd."
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yes and no

In some ways and not others, as in Did you enjoy yourself?-Yes and no, I liked the music itself but hated the conductor. This idiom, always a reply to a question, was first recorded in 1873.
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yes and no

partly and partly not.
1981 Brian Murphy The Enigma Variations ‘Do you believe that if you continue seeing me you'll be damned?’ ‘Yes and no.’
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ˌyes and ˈno

said when you cannot answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because the situation is not simple: ‘Have you got a car?’ ‘Well, yes and no. We have, but it’s not working at the moment.’
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yes and no

That is partly true. This equivocal reply to a question dates from the mid-nineteenth century. C. M. Young used it in Pillars of the House: “‘Do you come from his father?’—‘Well, yes and no. His father is still in Oregon.’” A teasing version, originating in the twentieth-century schoolyard, is yes, no, maybe so, meaning, of course, wouldn’t you like to know (the answer)!
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