12 Über Polite Ways of Saying You’re Welcome in German
In our last post, we checked out how to say thank you in German. Germans value proper manners and etiquette so learning how to say you’re welcome is a natural next step. You’re welcome in German is most commonly known as bitte, however, that it’s far from the only way of saying it. And there are actually other ways of saying you’re welcome that may be more appropriate for the tone and message you’re trying to convey.
Let’s make sure you start off on the right foot with the “Alemannen” and learn about all of the different ways of saying you’re welcome in German.
Read next: 105 Basic German Words – Best Vocab List for Beginners
How to Say You’re Welcome in German at a Glance
You’re very welcome
You’re very welcome
Nothing to thank for. It's nothing.
There’s no reason to thank me
12 Simple Ways of Saying You’re Welcome in German
Bitte, German for “please” is very commonly used, which can make for a confusing situation for German beginners as bitte can also mean “You’re welcome”. See the example below to see how bitte is used as both “please” and “you’re welcome”. You are likely to see this often in sales transactions and restaurants.
Customer: Ich hätte gerne einen Kaffee bitte.
Waiter: Hier ist Ihr Kaffee.
Customer: I’d like a coffee, please.
Waiter: Here’s your coffee.
Customer: Thank you
Waiter: You’re welcome.
Were you able to figure out who’s who in this little conversation? If this is just too confusing for you, read on to learn about other expressions in German for “you’re welcome”.
Read next: 6 Different Meanings of Bitte in German – The Complete Guide
Bitte schön is a variation of bitte and it can be translated to “you’re very welcome” in English. It is frequently used, particularly in an informal context, and applies to almost any situation. Schön means “nice” so you are saying you’re welcome in German nicely. It’s a satisfying way to reply to Danke schön.
Bitte sehr is another variation of bitte which also means “you’re very welcome”. It is used in a slightly more formal context than bitte schoen.
Sehr means very much, so the whole thing translates to “you’re very much welcome”. Using bitte sehr is a great option if you really want to level up your German politeness!
Saying you’re welcome in German doesn’t always have to involve bitte. Gern geschehen geschehen which is also German for you’re welcome might be the most common way of saying “you’re welcome” after to bitte. It is used in all German-speaking countries and can be used in a formal and an informal context alike.
Read next: Gern in German — Complete Guide to Liking and Not liking
As you might have guessed, gerne is an abbreviation of gern geschehen. It translates to something like “with pleasure” but is also used to say “you’re welcome”. If you read the example above carefully you will realize that we also use gerne when we ask for something, such as a coffee.
Kein Problem is a very frequently heard form of saying ”you’re welcome”. It translates to “no problem” in English. It is most often used among young people. If you (still) consider yourself young and hip, casually throw in a kein Problem every now and then.
Read next: Negation in German – Difference Between Nein, Nicht and Kein
Da nicht für
We could consider Da nicht für the older brother of kein problem. This more mature form of saying “you’re welcome” translates to something like “no worries” and is most commonly used in the North of Germany. The variation, dafuer nicht can be heard throughout the rest of the country.
Impress your German-speaking friends with your great pronunciation skills – after you practice the “ü” in front of the mirror for a while. Mit Vergnügen might just be the most enthusiastic form of saying “you’re welcome”. It literally means “with pleasure”.
Schon gut might be the least enthusiastic form of saying “you’re welcome”. What roughly translates to “it’s okay” is used when you don’t even want to talk about an issue anymore.
Nichts zu danken
Nichts zu danken translates to “nothing to thank for” is a widely used expression in all German-speaking countries. Say it three times fast and you got yourself a nice tongue twister.
While Keine Ursache is difficult to translate into English, it is frequently used in German-speaking countries. It’s a very humble way of saying you’re welcome in German. It means something like “there’s no reason to thank me” and can be used interchangeably with kein Problem.
Today’s fun bonus word is Gaerngscheh . If you look closely you might recognize it from before, it’s the Swiss version of the German gern geschehen. While German is spoken in both Germany and Switzerland, the accent is vastly different. In Germany, you will hear Hochdeutsch, official German, and in Switzerland, you will hear Swiss German.
How NOT to Say You’re Welcome in German
Arriving in Germany, you’ll likely have seen plenty of signs saying Willkommen, which means “welcome” in German. As an English speaker, you may be tempted to say Ihr Willkommen as a way of saying “you’re welcome”, but this wouldn’t be correct.
Willkommen in this context is only used to welcome someone or a guest into their home or establishment. It isn’t a proper way to respond to thank you. With so many different ways to say you’re welcome listed here, you probably won’t run into this issue, but we do like to be thorough in our language guides.
Remember that practice makes perfect and you will only learn a foreign language when you use your new vocabulary. Try out these new words in your next German conversation! Sometimes getting started is the most difficult step but don’t hesitate – grab a fellow German language student and start practicing!