Il n'y a pas de quoi / De rien

LaTexane

New Member
English, United States
I've heard "Il n'y a pas de quoi" several times since I've been living in France but I'm not sure what it means exactly. I understand it to be a form of politesse but I was wondering if anyone can give me a translation. Context: At a bar I said, "Merci monsieur," et le barman m'a repondu, "y a pas de quoi."

Thanks!


Moderator Note: Several threads have been merged to create this one. Also, see this other thread on when and how to use these phrases and other similar ones.
 
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  • jaimeerinirene

    Senior Member
    English- US
    I've understood that "il n'y a pas de quoi" was the more polite, or warmer reply; particularly, as mentioned above, in the service industry. I use it as a very warm, even preferable you're welcome,' if you would like to be very warm/friendly with your welcome (ie compared to the common/somewhat automatic 'de rien'). both polite and fine IMO.
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    Il n'y a pas de quoi is definitely the most common often shortened in ['pas de quoi] which makes it even more trivial while it's supposed to be polite
    Je vous en prie is the most adequate in most situations though a lot of people tend to find it too refined
    uh-huh! is the funniest english equivalent (as used by waitresses or salespersons in the same context as in the OP)
    No worries is usually translated in French by (il n')y a pas d(e) soucis which has come to be the most irritating way of responding to thank you in my opinion (with all due respect to the original, jessybean:))
     

    jessybean

    New Member
    English - Canada
    uh-huh! is the funniest english equivalent (as used by waitresses or salespersons in the same context as in the OP)
    No worries is usually translated in French by (il n')y a pas d(e) soucis which has come to be the most irritating way of responding to thank you in my opinion (with all due respect to the original, jessybean:))
    No worries! ;) Actually, I'm glad for your post because finally I have a French response I'm comfortable with!

    Do you know if saying "(il n')y a pas de soucis" is a generally-known annoyance or is it just to you? Either way, let's hope I don't run into you here in Quebec and you have to thank me for something.

    I picture "uh huh" coming from a southern US waitress with a drawl. "Yep" is also acceptable (not just there) but funnily enough, saying "yes" would be weird.
     

    DrChen

    Senior Member
    French-France
    No-one asked for it but upon reading this thread, I couldn't help noticing that one form of politesse that I hear quite often in shops or restaurants was missing, one that is, in my opinion, the final boss in the game of polite answers :
    "Mais c'est moi qui vous remercie"
     

    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    "Mais c'est moi qui vous remercie"
    Quite right Doc, and what with the endless ballet of "merci à vous" to which one responds by "merci à vous"
    y a pas de soucis" is a generally-known annoyance or is it just to you
    It's a personal reaction but when I mention it a lot of people agree . Plus, for some weird reason, the people who tend to use it usually lisp on both "s" sounds in "soucis". To top it all it has come to be jokingly used as "y a pas de sushi".
    As for "uh huh" I have a-heard it both in Chicago and London:cool: But always with people whose job involves responding to thank you/thanky/thankee something like 2000 times a day.
     

    Xigua

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Probably my oldest friend is bilingual (French-English), and he detests 'no problem', since, to him, it suggests that what you're talking about might have been a problem in the first place, thus obviating the intent to be polite.

    As for 'no worries', I think - but am not sure - that its origin lies in Australian English. Can anybody verify that? Whatever its origin, my guess (again, not a certainty) is that «y a pas de soucis» is a calque on the English.
     

    clairet

    Senior Member
    England & English (UK version)
    I agree with the people who say "uh huh"is not an equivalent to any of the polite French terms. Don't try on it on your nearest and dearest who've just thanked you.
     
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    joelooc

    Senior Member
    French (Provence)
    In the meantime "ya pas de soucis" has been replaced by "ya pas de question" an obvious calque of "not an issue" in my opinion.
     
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