Responses to "Thank you"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yumi, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Yumi New Member

    Would you please someone explain to me the differences/nuances of various responses to "Thank you"? (You are welcome/ No problem/ My pleasure/ Sure (?) etc. )They are very confusing to me. It will be very helpful if you could also give me some examples of applicable situations. Thank you very much for your kind attention. /Yumi
  2. Lancearoni Senior Member

    Dallas, Texas
    USA - English
    Thank you - You're welcome.
    This is the most common and accepted response. It can be used in basically any context.

    Thank you - No problem / not a problem
    This is a little more familiar. Something that two friends or two work colleagues might say to each other.

    Thank you - My pleasure
    This is a more polite way of responding. You will encounter this response perhaps in the context of customer service, such as in a hotel. "excuse me, which way to the elevator?" "Down the hall and to the left" "thank you" "my pleasure"

    Thank you - sure
    This is a very short response which I personally don't really use. If someone simply replies "sure" it can mean several things. 1.) they were a little annoyed with your request and even though you thanked them for their help, they simply reply "sure". However it doesn't have to mean this. Some people can reply with "sure" just as a quick response. It basically depends on the context, and the tone at which they reply.

    Thank you - anytime
    Again, this would be a familiar response, more among friends
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Welcome to these forums Yumi.

    Almost all responses to "Thank you" are courtesy comments that have no particular meaning. The sincerity of the responder will be conveyed very much more in the tone of voice used, the body language and the facial expression.
    In this situation, if you smile and look positively at the person who thanked you, you could be saying total nonsense and everyone would be happy.

    Having said that, I am inclined to agree with Lancearoni.:)
  4. Yumi New Member

    Lancearoni- Thank you for the clear explanation. I really appreciate it!
    Panjandrum- Thank you for your posting. I understand what you are saying:)

    Have a nice weekend!
  5. Lamante Member

    Albany, New York, USA
    USA, English
    I usually use "no problem" or "anytime" in instances where they are using "thank you" for a very minor thing. For instance if someone dropped a pencil and you picked it up for them and they said "thank you", I would respond, "no problem."
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Another quick response is "yup" - whose usage is similar to that of "no prob(lem)" and "sure" in situations like the one described above by Lamante.

    Another response is "you bet." Also very informal.

    Some say "you're most welcome," which is just an emphatic "you're welcome."

    Another possibility, "not at all," whose usage I'd say is similar to that of "my pleasure."

    In Britain, they say "cheers." I think this can be used in almost any situation, except that it's kind of informal; not sure about this, speakers of British English will have to confirm or refute.

    Then there's "don't mention it," which frankly I've only ever heard non-native speakers use. Is this common in British English?
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Cheers is often said - and is OK.
    Don't mention it used to be very common, but I think it is said less often now.

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