A few ways of saying “you’re welcome” in French other than just “de rien”.
French is a very polite language. There are many expressions that you can use to show appreciation or to make someone just feel good.
And part of this is the ways of saying “you’re welcome” in French. There are relatively fewer ways of thanking someone in French — a quick Merci! is always useful — but when speaking French you can respond by saying many things to indicate it was nothing, it was your pleasure, that there’s nothing for which people need thank you, and so on.
So series of ways of saying things in French, we wanted to share a few different ways of saying you’re welcome in French.
You’re Welcome in French — A Summary Table
Here’s a summary table of all the ways of saying “you’re welcome” in French.
On the left column we’ve got a “politeness” level, giving you an indication of the social situation in which you might like to use the expression.
|Je vous en prie||Polite – Can be used between people of any age|
|Avec plaisir||Polite – Used in response to being thanked for a favour|
|Je t'en prie||Informal – Can be used to people of your age or younger|
|De rien||General – Can be used with anyone|
|Il n'y a pas de quoi||Very polite, slightly stuffy – When you want to show deference. Accompany this with a slight bow!|
|Pas de problème||Casual – in passing, when being thanked for a favour|
The Most Polite Way: “Je vous en prie”
My favourite way of saying “you’re welcome” in French is to say Je vous en prie .
Saying je vous en prie is a bit more formal, and I’ve seen people refer to it as the “Parisian” way of saying “you’re welcome”. I’ve also heard it in big cities around France though, so maybe that’s an expression of the fact that it’s more cultured.
Literally, je vous en prie means “I pray you of it”, meaning “I implore you”. In this case, it’s insinuating “I implore you, don’t thank me”.
It’s one of my favourite expressions in French in general – it’s one of those general politeness expressions that has a variety of uses.
You can also use a slightly more casual je t’en prie, but I hear this more rarely — I think because it’s a strange combination of a formal expression in informal tone.
The Most Common: De Rien
The very most basic way of saying “you’re welcome” in French is to say de rien .
The phrase de rien is generally useful in every situation.
But you don’t have to say just that. You can glam it up a bit with a few extra words, or using one of the variants
- Ce n’est rien! — “It’s nothing!”
- Mais de rien, monsieur/madame! — “But of course, sir/madam!”
Il n’y a pas de quoi
Literally, Il n'y a pas de quoi expression means “there is nothing of which”, and it means “there is nothing for which you need to thank me”.
It’s a little formal, as well as being longer, and so is rarely said. But if you feel like being fancy (which is your prerogative in French!) you can say it.
It’s equivalent to the Spanish “no hay de que” and “non c’è di che” in Italian.
Pas de ProblèmePas de problème , a variation on “you’re welcome” in French literally means “[there’s] no problem”.
But you only use pas the problème in a more limited range of situations. And it’s a bit more casual in tone.
I’d use the phrase pas de problème to respond when someone is thanking you for doing them a favour, like after helping them carry luggage up the stairs, or picking something off the ground.
- Merci de m’avoir aidé tout à l’heure! — “Thanks for helping me just now!”
- Pas de problème, vraiment! — “No problem at all!”
Avec PlaisirAvec plaisir is another way you can change up saying you’re welcome, especially if you’re traveling to Southern France. It is commonly used there and it’ll give you a bit of a local flair.
You use avec plaisir (with pleasure) in the same way and context as when someone thanks you in English.
A few variations on this include:
- C’est un plaisir — “It’s a pleasure”
- Mais, avec plaisir, Monsieur/Madame! — “But with pleasure, Sir/Madam!”
Regional variations for You’re Welcome in French
In Belgium, Switzerland, and Quebec, people have unique expressions for “you’re welcome” in French.
You can use any of the above expressions and totally get by. But this is what you’re likely to hear in those regions at least occasionally:
- Quebec/Canada: Bienvenue can be used in place of de rien in Quebec. If you think this sounds strange, think of it as “Thank you!” “Welcome!”. Suddenly sounds normal, right?
- Switzerland: À votre service. “At your service!” This is quite a formal expression, and you are more likely to hear it in settings like in a hotel or a restaurant, by someone who has served you. Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, after all. You certainly don’t have to say it yourself, but it would be very polite if you did.
Note: Contrary to some articles out there, s’il vous plaît does not mean “you’re welcome” in Belgium. It is used as an invitation, similar to je vous en prie, but in situations other than responding to merci.