it's no problem or not a problem

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Senior Member
Catalan, Spain

I'd normally say "it's no problem", but now that I've heard some chap saying "it's not a problem" I'm no longer sure whether "it's no problem" is alright. Is it?
  • walla

    New Member
    USA English
    It depends how and when you use it. But if you are using it in response to being asked to do a favor or resolve a problem, then I think both sound fine.

    You could also say "No problem" or "Not a problem" and be understood.


    Senior Member
    No precedes a noun that has no article.
    Not precedes a noun that has an article.

    Either works but for style I would prefer “Not a problem”. If I use "it is no problem" I expect something else to follow "it is no problem for me to..."

    Lemony Persnickety

    New Member
    english - usa
    Either usage is usually a BIG problem.

    I just got off the phone with a customer service representative who used the term and totally p****d me off. I was already in a bad mood because I needed to call customer service because of a product problem. Her telling me that "It was no problem" just rubbed salt into my wounds. If it were no problem, I would not have had to call her and we wouldn't have been having the conversation.

    It WAS a problem. I wanted her to deal with it, and not dismissively.

    So I would recommend that you don't ever use either version of the statement.

    Especially around me.

    Noah's momma

    New Member
    English - American
    I think it is appropriate to say "not a problem" if you are helping me and you want to assure me that the problem is indeed fixable. However, that is a rare situation. If you are representing a company that has caused my problem, saying "no problem" is annoying. Had your company not caused my problem, I would not be here trying to resolve it.

    Also, I agree with Lemony that if you are not able to help me solve my problem, saying "not a problem" is maddening. I also had someone from customer service say "not a problem" after each thing I said. I called my insurance company to report a claim after a car accident that caused injuries and left me very shaken. After the young woman's fourth "not a problem," I said "please stop saying that. It definitely is a problem. I just got into an accident that resulted in several injuries -- it is a big problem." She apologized and only said it one time (a forgivable slip) after that.
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