"Mm-hmm" and "yep"--when someone thanks you

panzerfaust0

Senior Member
mandarin
Hello. I know that the standard reply when someone thanks you, is "you are welcome". However, I recently encountered, "mm-hmm" (please correct me if this is wrong. I am not sure how it's spelled). I also sometimes say, "yep".

Context 1. Today at this club house I usually go to, one member thanked one staff member for cooking a very delicious pot of chili for us to eat. And she just said, "mm-hmm".

Context 2. Sometimes when I open a door, and there is someone after me, I typically hold the door open for him/her. And as they thank me, I would just say, "yep".


My questions:

1. Is it true that "mm-hmm" and "yep" are more informal and can only be used with someone you are close to? I mean, would either of these offend people?
2. Is there any difference between "mm-hmm" and "yep"?

Thanks.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In the UK, saying please and thank you is very important, but a thank you does not demand a response (although certainly one would be appreciated in many instances, such as when someone takes the trouble to thank you for cooking them an excellent meal or otherwise going out of your way to be helpful).

    You’re welcome is therefore not “the standard reply”. In fact, there isn’t one. (If I say anything, it tends to be “My pleasure” accompanied by a smile.) I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone responding with Hm-mm or Yep.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is the same in the US -- a response (to "thank you") is not required. If you make a response, "You're welcome" is perfectly okay. Sometimes I say that. Much more often I say "no problem" or "sure".

    "Yep" and "unh-hunh" (the standard non-verbal affirmative in English) are common. Is that what you mean when you write "mm-hmm"? The standard thing that means "yes"?
     

    panzerfaust0

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Thanks to both for replying.

    "Yep" and "unh-hunh" (the standard non-verbal affirmative in English) are common. Is that what you mean when you write "mm-hmm"? The standard thing that means "yes"?
    I am not sure how it's spelled, but today this lady's response was "mm-hmm", but not "unh-hunh". It was spoken in a very soft way and the tone was quite different. It's hard to explain.

    Also, so "yep" as a response is not rude?
     
    Last edited:

    aceofpace

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I am not sure how it's spelled, but today this lady's response was "mm-hmm", but not "unh-hunh". It was spoken in a very soft way and the tone was quite different. It's hard to explain.

    Also, so "yep" as a response is not rude?
    They are all okay. In fact I personally think anything more than that is going overboard. But that's just me.
     
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