MHM is used in place for a ‘yes’. It is more like the sound we make when we have to say yes instead. It is used everywhere on the internet and even when text messaging. People also use the acronym ‘mhm’ in speech instead of saying a yes verbally.
How to Use ‘Mhm’ in Conversation
Mhm, is a perfect alternative for the word yes. So whenever you are asked a question that requires a ‘yes’ as a response, you can always use the acronym ‘mhm’ instead. You can’t exactly say that mhm is an acronym because, in fact, it is a ‘sound’ that we make verbally when we agree with something someone just said.
Another popular way in which mhm is used in text messaging and over the internet is, as a word that shows you are still thinking about what you have been asked. For instance, someone asks you if you want to come to the movie. And since you have an exam tomorrow morning, you would probably give it a thought and reply with ‘mhm’ while you are analyzing the possibilities of going for a movie. And after this text, you respond with a ‘Nah I am good you guys go ahead’.
This is not it. Mhm is also seen being used as a replacement for the word ‘ahan’. For instance when someone said something to you which doesn’t need a ‘yes’ as a response, and you are not even thinking about what they said, but just how you would say ‘ahan’, you can also use mhm in place for that. It would make the same sense.
Say Yes or Mhm, How to Decide
While you can be confused about where to use mhm, yes or ahan, you can always replace the words as you like. In real life, the way people would perceive your response of ‘mhm’ would usually be as a yes. But when text messaging or using the internet for conversation, you might find the need to be clear about what your answer meant.
For example, the answer the reader was expecting was a yes, but you said mhm as you were still thinking about what they said. You can always send another text saying ‘wait’ or another phrase which would tell your friend at the receiving end that you are thinking and need time to answer. These are probably friends you are not very close to and sending an mhm alone would make them misunderstand your response.
While on the other hand, close friends will understand your response even if it is a simple ‘mhm’. Such kind of conversations will not require more explanation from your end.
And then there are those conversations which have to be even more direct. Like that of a formal environment. For instance, in an office or with a boss, you cannot use the internet slang ‘mhm’ because, firstly, the boss will interpret it the wrong way, and secondly, it gives a very bad and unprofessional impression. To keep it direct and simple for a formal environment, you will have to use the word ‘yes’ instead of using a replacement.
Capitalize MHM or Write it in Lower Case?
Since acronyms and other internet jargons are mostly used in a very casual setting, like that of a social networking website or in a friends circle. Punctuation of such words does not matter at all. You can either type the word mhm in all upper case, like MHM or in lower case, like mhm, it will not make a difference to the sender or the reader because it is an informal word and is part of the informal internet culture.
Examples of MHM
H: Let’s go shopping.
H: What? Exams are over, you have holidays, don’t give me a ‘mhm’ as a response.
Z: it wasn’t a no, I was just thinking of what’s my plan tonight.
H: Exactly, you don’t need to think about that when you are hanging out with me.
Friend 1: Hi!
Friend 2: Hey!
Friend 1: Where are you?
Friend 2: Home, why?
Friend 1: Can I come over?
Friend 2: mhm wait let me ask mom
Friend 1: Okay
Friend 2: Hey we probably have to go out for a family dinner tonight. Today is not possible. Why don’t you come over tomorrow?
Friend 1: Sure! Sounds great.
You are in conversation with a friend who has asked you if you could work on her with the group project. You have a lot of pending work and you are not sure if you could give your friend that time. So as a response, you send her a reply with an ‘mhm’ instead of saying ‘yes; directly. Sometimes people use the word ‘mhm’ to show the receiver of the message that maybe you are not interested in the conversation.