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After someone says "merci beaucoup", I would like to respond by saying something equivalent to the English phrase "no problem". I tried google translate, and it gave me "Pas de problème", but I'm not so sure this is correct. Is it correct? Are there other informal ways of expressing "you're welcome"?

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6 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

There are a few main ways to say "you're welcome" in French:

  • Je vous en prie / Je t'en prie

I feel this is a little more formal than the others, but is the canonical French response to "thank you". In some sense, it can be equivalent to "don't worry about it".

  • Pas de problème

Google translate was right. It is widely used, it's informal and it likely comes from English in the first place.

  • De rien

This phrase likely comes from the Spanish de nada. Rien means "nothing", so it could be somewhat analogous to "don't give it a second thought". But shorter and more informal.

  • Bienvenue

Used in Canada, this is the literal translation of "welcome". In other French-speaking countries, it would likely not be understood. This use of bienvenue is an anglicism; its correct use is mostly one of greeting or of appreciation, like when you say, for example, that relief is welcomed.

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If we come to regional languages, let's add one we hear in Lorraine, mainly from older people : Service ! –  Romain VALERI Jul 13 '12 at 20:49
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My native language is French and I wouldn't have understood that Romain Valeri. –  Alexandre P. Levasseur Jul 15 '12 at 11:58
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Bienvenue would definitely not be understood in that context in France. –  Rodrigue Jul 15 '12 at 19:26
    
Pas de problème est, je pense, un anglicisme. –  rds Jul 16 '12 at 11:23
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Service ! is very common in the french part of Switzerland also, and not only from older people... –  Yannick Blondeau Jul 18 '12 at 6:27
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Other ways to answer a "Merci" are:

  • "Il n'y a pas de quoi", sometimes abbreviated in "Pas de quoi"
  • around Toulouse: "Avec plaisir"
  • in Belgium: "S'il vous plaît"
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+1 for Pas de quoi –  Rodrigue Jul 15 '12 at 19:27
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@rds - I live in Toulouse and Avec plaisir is very common and not formal at all. –  mouviciel Jul 16 '12 at 12:09
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@Otiel - Because friends from other regions find it strange. –  mouviciel Jul 17 '12 at 15:41
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@Otiel : Born and bred in Toulouse and now living north of the Loire I can assure that « avec plaisir » (to be quite accurate /a.ve/ plaisir) is commonly used in Toulouse and sounds strange to northerners even when « avec » is pronouced /a.vɛk/. –  Laure Dec 10 '13 at 10:04
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In Belgium, we say “S’il vous plaît” when we hand something to someone, so before “merci”, but I’ve never heard “s’il vous plaît” as an answer to merci. –  Édouard Dec 10 '13 at 15:06
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The usual answer to “merci” in French is “de rien” which has about the same meaning as “no problem” and translates to “it's nothing”.

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Littré says "de rien" is familair language for a depricated ne me remerciez de rien french.stackexchange.com/questions/940/… –  rds Jul 16 '12 at 11:15
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The most commonly used is probably "De rien".

Slightly more formal is this one : "Je t'en prie / Je vous en prie"

Your "Pas de problème" is used also, and is more casual.

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I don't think "pas de souci(s?)" nor "pas de problème" are good answers after "merci". I think, they fit better after "excuse-moi". –  rds Jul 16 '12 at 11:16
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À l'oral, après merci, en France (St Etienne) j'entends souvent répondre Y'a pas d'soucis.

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I don't think "pas de souci(s?)" nor "pas de problème" are good answers after "merci". I think, they fit better after "excuse-moi". –  rds Jul 16 '12 at 11:09
    
@rds Yse and no, in my opinion. Merci means Vous vous êtes géné pour me rendre service, it's sort of excuse-moi, you right. So the response Y'a pas d'soucis is understandable. It's common conversation : Merci / Y'a pas d'soucis / Mais merci quand même / y'a pas d'soucis y'a pas d'soucis je t'assure and so on. Sorry for my english (Y'a pas d'soucis). –  Istao Feb 14 '13 at 7:40
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In Northern France, I most frequently hear "Il n'y a pas de quoi", or just "pas de quoi" (more casual).

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protected by Gilles Dec 10 '13 at 9:02

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