When to use 'You are welcome.'

Amber_1010

Senior Member
Chinese-Cantonese
Hello. I wonder if we can use 'You're welcome' in this case.

The situation:
Mary just told me her troubles, she is very upset about it.
She says: I'm sorry, that's a long story.
Me: You're welcome.

Can I use it it that way? I'm not sure. It sounds a little bit strange to me.
I mainly use it when <somebody> thanks me.

Please comment.
 
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  • Amber_1010

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Cantonese
    So we only use 'You're welcome' when somebody thanks us??
    I think 'don't worry' or 'no worries' sounds more natural in my case.
    'You are welcome.' doesn't work.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hello. I wonder if we can use 'You're welcome' in this case.
    No. And I think "No worries" is too casual and insensitive.
    The situation:
    Mary just told me her troubles, she is very upset about it.
    She says: I'm sorry, that's a long story.
    Me: You're welcome.
    I would use, "I'm sorry to hear that. Try not to worry."
    I mainly use it when <somebody> thanks me.
    So do I (use "You're welcome" for this purpose).
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'You're welcome' is often used in response to 'Thank you' or equivalent.
    It is also appropriate when welcoming someone to your home, say.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think that for home visitors, I might say something slightly different than "You're welcome," e.g. "Welcome to our home. Please come in. But first tie the dog to the post." :)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In the situation of the original post, Mary is apologising for imposing on the other person's time.
    That can be seen as an implied expression of gratitude. From that viewpoint, 'You're welcome' is not out of place.

    If the second person does not take it as an expression of gratitude, then 'No problem' or 'Don't worry' would be natural.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    In the situation of the original post, Mary is apologising for imposing on the other person's time.
    That can be seen as an implied expression of gratitude. From that viewpoint, 'You're welcome' is not out of place.

    If the second person does not take it as an expression of gratitude, then 'No problem' or 'Don't worry' would be natural.
    In a normal situation (for me), if someone told me of their spouse's redundancy, their home's being repossessed, their car's breakdown and their gerbil's passing and then apologized for taking up my time, I would focus on addressing their problems and not even acknowledge that my time was being taken up.

    But I'm obviously beyond grammar with this opinion. :)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The better two people know each other, the more likely they are to communicate through underlying meaning.

    Hence in some cases Mary's apology could be both intended as a 'thank you' and heard as a 'thank you'.
     
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    Amber_1010

    Senior Member
    Chinese-Cantonese
    Hi again!

    Recently I heard this conversation at school between my teacher and a student. The student had been absent for a few days, and the teacher asked,
    Teacher: Can you explain to me why you were absent for 4 days?
    Student: My grandmother was in the hospital and my family had to take care of her.
    Teacher: I see.
    Student: Thanks for your understanding.
    Teacher: You are welcome.(1)
    Student: I might need to be excused next Monday too, since I need to attend my cousin's wedding.
    Teacher: Okay.
    Student: Thank you.
    Teacher: You are welcome.(2)

    The teacher is not a native speaker (He's Chinese), and that wasn't the first time I have heard Chinese speakers use it like that.
    I think using 'you're welcome' is odd (in both cases, 1&2), but I don't think it is entirely out of place. It just sounds very condescending to me??! Do you agree?

    Thanks again!
     
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