In our last post, we checked out how to say thank you in German. Now we want to take a closer look at continuing all of this niceness and learn how to say you’re welcome in German. German speakers value politeness highly and being impolite is considered a breach of an unspoken social contract. When someone thanks you and you don’t say “you’re welcome” back, they might perceive that you didn’t want to help them in the first place. So let’s make sure you start off on the right foot with the “Alemannen” and join us in this German study sesh.
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
10 Simple Ways of Saying You’re Welcome in German
“Bitte”, German for “please” might be the most commonly used but also the most confusing expression for saying “You’re welcome”. After “bitte”, used as please, follows “danke”, which means thank you and to say you’re welcome you can add another “bitte”. Let’s illustrate this in a quick example:
Ich hätte gerne einen Kaffee bitte. – I’d like a coffee please.
Hier ist Ihr Kaffee. – Here’s your coffee.
Danke. – Thank you.
Bitte. – 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: 18 Ways To Say Good Morning in German
This variation of “bitte” 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. Now isn’t that nice.
Here’s another variation of “bitte” which also means “you’re very welcome”. It is used in a slightly more formal context than “bitte schoen”. Fun fact, “sehr” means very much, so the whole thing translates to “you’re very much welcome”. Your parents must be very much proud of how polite you are.
I promised you different ways of saying “you’re welcome” without using “bitte” so here comes the first one. “Gern geschehen” which is also German for you’re welcome might be the most common way of saying “you’re welcome” next to bitte. It is used in all German speaking countries and can be used in a formal and an informal context alike.
As you can imagine this 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.
This very frequently heard form of saying ”you’re welcome” translates to “no problem” in English. It is most often used among young people. If you (still) consider yourself young and hip throw in a “kein Problem” every now and then and you’ll be in with the crowd.
Da nicht für
We could consider “da nicht für” the grown up brother of “kein problem”. This rather outdated 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”.
Read Next: 18 Useful Ways of Saying I’m Sorry in German
This 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
What 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 this expression is difficult to translate into English, it is frequently used in German speaking countries. 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. You’re on your own with this one – not even I know how to pronounce this mystery word.
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!