+2
Hi.
I can think of 5 common phrases in response to thank you, I have listed them below,
I would be grateful if you could tell the difference between them. Any comments are highly appreciated.
Can you think of a situation in which one of them fits and the other not.?

Thank you

1. you are welcome
2. No problem/ not a problem
3. sure
4. Any time
5. you bet
And I also heard of the combination of them a lot
1. Sure, no problem
2. Sure, any time
3. No problem, any time
1 2 3
Comments  
Hi,

All of these are pretty casual. Some are also more common in certain regions. 'You're welcome' is probably the highest register.

Some people find 'No problem' rather irritating.
eg
The waiter brings my meal.
I say 'Thank you'.
He says 'No problem'
Why does he want to assure me that doing his job is not a problem for him?

Many people still feel that the best way to accept thanks is to smile very slightly and say nothing at all.
That approach used to be a lot more common.

End of slight rant.Emotion: smile

Clive
Also

Sure thing.
My pleasure.

"You bet" is probably not appropriate unless you're in the Midwest of the US. It strikes me as a regionalism.

"You're welcome" is the most universal and most used.

Glancing through your list, I'd say that each fits as well as any other in the list simply from the point of view of being a response to "Thank you".

It's interesting that even "Thank you" is used as a response to "Thank you". Emotion: smile

CJ
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Hi Clive.
I really like your comment. I have never been comfortable with no probelm.
But as for the difference, I kind of thought of a situation in which one of the responses do not fit.

When I am walking in a street, and a total stranger asks me the time, and when I tell him the time, in response to his thanks, I have the impression that if I say anytime, it doesn't make any sense, because most probably I am not gonna see that person any more.

I wonder if you could comment on the use of anytime in the situation I described.
Thanks
Hi,

Yes, it does seem odd when you think abut it, but most of these expressions are just treated as pretty meaningless words, really.

In such a case, I'd just say nothing in response to 'Thanks'.

Clive
Thank you Jim for your comment and input. Thank you as a response to thank you is really interesting.
I live in Wyoming and people use you bet quite often. I think it is used in all mountain states.
Thanks
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CliveThe waiter brings my meal.
I say 'Thank you'.
He says 'No problem'
Why does he want to assure me that doing his job is not a problem for him?
I agree with this! In my view, "no problem" is fine when the person has actually gone out of their way to do something special for you -- something that might, in fact, have been a problem for them to do. In that case, it's a gracious reply. But when you're thanking them for doing something that's part of their job, or required no effort at all, I find "no problem" really irritating. It sounds as though they are graciously condescending to take your money, or bring you the food you ordered.

It might be a generational thing, though -- both of my daughters see it as just a stock phrase to be uttered in response to "Thank you" without any annoying connotations at all.
khoffIt might be a generational thing, though -- both of my daughters see it as just a stock phrase to be uttered in response to "Thank you" without any annoying connotations at all.
I have grave doubts that I'm in the same generation as your daughters, but I feel the same as they do. As far as I'm concerned "No problem" is no problem. Emotion: smile

CJ
Clive Many people still feel that the best way to accept thanks is to smile very slightly and say nothing at all. That approach used to be a lot more common.
Great response, Clive.
This is still very much the case in France.
As a child, I was conditioned to respond to "thank you" with "you're welcome." I can remember my mother drilling "what do you say?" into me if I didn't say if I didn't say it.
Many French people are taken for being rude when they do not respond with one of the forms of "you're welcome." More often than not, the only reaction you'll get to a "merci" is a smile, or a nod of the head. And it's not considered being rude at all.
A French friend said she once overheard an English client and clerk say something along the lines of: "You're welcome. No, you're welcome. No, really, it was my pleasure. Well, thank you. No, madam, thank YOU! Well, you're very welcome."
360° :-)
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