Oh, entschuldigen Sie, bitte! (Antwort) : Bitte!


Senior Member
how often do you use the word "Bitte" when responding to an apology
('Höflichkeitsformel als Antwort auf eine Entschuldigung', as per Duden-definition) ?

And if so, in what instances? When someone makes a mistake? Or bumping into you?
Or in some other cases maybe?
  • how often do you use the word "Bitte" when responding to an apology
    Never. "Bitte" usually does not fit at all.

    Typically I would say "kein Problem" for minor incidences or in case of real issues I might accept the apology with "OK" or "OK, danke" or "Ja, OK".

    Or bumping into you?
    Typically and traditionally, only the bumper apologises and that's it. More modern many younger Germans tend to the English way of both saying sorry and nothing else.
    Would "keine Ursache" also work? Or is it outdated? Or just used in reply to a 'Danksagung'?
    No, that does not work at all.

    "Keine Ursache" is the proper reply to someone saying thank you for minor some help.

    A: Vielen Dank, dass Sie ...
    B: Keine Ursache!

    My feeling is that it becomes more and more outdated, but it is still used, mostly by older people though.

    I do not think that the suggestions of #5 are alternatives to the same preceding sentence.

    "Kein Ding / kein Problem" can be used to apologies and thank-you, while "keine Ursache" can only be used as reply to thank-you.
    Never. "Bitte" usually does not fit at all.
    ... is - in my perception - getting outdated.
    I think it's question of style/register.

    If we could get back to "bitte" as an "Antwort auf eine Entschuldigung",
    context, is as follows:

    1 - Guten Tag!
    2 - Guten Tag, wie geht es Ihnen, Frau Spielberg?
    3 - Gut, danke, aber ich bin nicht Frau Spielberg.
    4 - Oh, entschuldigen Sie, bitte!
    5 - Bitte!
    6 - Ist das nicht das Büro von Frau Spielberg?
    (and on it goes)

    That's an excerpt from a dialogue by some Maria Roemer ("German With Ease", Assimil 2013)

    Possibly, a mistake? Or is the language just very outdated?