It’s frequently the easiest words that best illustrate the nuances that language.

You are watching: What does de rien mean in english

Just think about English: there are, in fact, many ways to greet who (hello, hi, great morning), bid bye (bye, watch you later) and show gratitude (thanks, give thanks to you).

As shown above, there are likewise many ways to respond to gratitude.

French is the exact same way!

But when you start learning part French phrases for “you’re welcome,” they might seem a little bit strange in ~ first.

How exactly do French phrases that translate to “from nothing,” “I pray you for it” or “there is no what” amount come “you’re welcome?” an ext importantly, what’s the difference between these phrases?

Here, we’ll introduce you to the many options you have actually when speak “you’re welcome” in French, what they each mean and also when you must use them.

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8 means to say You’re Welcome in French: indigenous Polite come Casual and also Beyond

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1. The most Popular: De rien

De rien is the very first form that “you’re welcome” ns learned in French course and, because that a long time, it was the just one ns knew. This isn’t surprising since de rien is the most usual “you’re welcome” phrase offered in France.

My mom never favored it though due to the fact that it literally method “from nothing,” which could imply that what girlfriend did was inconsequential or undeserving that gratitude. In a sense, that’s true.

De rien is generally used as a an answer to straightforward courtesies or familiar favors, favor holding the door open for someone, offering a compliment or frequenting a business. The expression isn’t precisely self-deprecating, however technically it downplays the action.

We must be mindful not to check out too much right into the word-for-word translation, though. Language is much an ext subtle than that, and literal translations seldom work.

In other words, return de rienliterally means “from nothing,” girlfriend shouldn’t half it from your vocabulary. Yes, tiny acts of kindness perform matter, and de rien is commonly used and also understood in lot the same means that “you’re welcome” is in English.


A: Quelle belle robe! (What a beautiful dress!)

B: Merci!(Thank you!)

A: De rien. (You’re welcome.)

Ifde rien is so popular, why must you bother reading about the various other phrases detailed here?

Whilede rien is fitting for countless situations, it’s taken into consideration informal and isn’t the ideal option to use in a skilled context or once you need to make a an excellent impression.

So, if you’re doing service in French or room meeting through someone important, it may be better to go with a different phrase.

2. The formal One: Je vous en prie

Je vous en prie is the most formal, timeless way come say “you’re welcome” in French. This is the expression to rental in a business setup or as soon as you desire to display someone extra respect.


A: Je vous remercie de m’avoir considéré pour ce poste. (Thank you for considering me for this position.)

B: Je vous en prie. (You’re welcome.)

Remember exactly how I stated that literal translations rarely work? Je vous en prie is wonderful example, together its literal meaning translation is “I pray you because that it.”

Je is the very first person singular pronoun, “I.” Vous is the formal or plural second person pronoun, “you.” because vous is being offered as a straight object, the goes ideal after the subject and also before the verb.

En is a pronoun the replaces de (of, for) and its thing in particular sentences. Here, it refers to the activity which sparked gratitude and quantities to “for it.” Finally, prie is a conjugated form of the verb prier (to pray).

So… exactly how does that median “you’re welcome?” It certainly seems choose a strange, stuffy old phrase from a middle ages court. Technically, it’s a means of questioning permission to do every little thing you go in the very first place. In a sense, this phrase completes the conversational cycle.

It may sound favor we’re over-thinking this, however it could improve your knowledge of the phrase. The cycle begins when a specific need is presented: Let’s speak you’re top top the métro (French subway system). The car is packed, and an older woman boards.

Next is the action, in this situation offering the woman your seat. Climate comes acceptance and gratitude: The mrs sits and says merci beaucoup (thank you really much).

Finally, you respond with je vous en prie, i beg your pardon humbly describes the action and provides the conversation come complete circle.

Or, it might be taken as a hyper-polite means of requesting the respect of offering up her seat.

In any type of case, friend don’t have to remember all of that uneven you want esoteric expertise you can bring up later on to success a trivia video game or impress people at a dinner party.

The crucial thing to recognize is that je vous en prie is the many formal, proper means to convey “you’re welcome” in French.

3. The much less Formal One: Je t’en prie

Does this phrase look familiar? Je t’en prie is basically the very same as je vous en prie. The formal friend pronoun, vous, has actually simply been replaced with the unshened tu.

The result is a semi-informal means of speak “you’re welcome.” It’s informal because you use it with people who you attend to as tu, yet it’s likewise formal because it has actually the same construction and also sense that permission as je vous en prie.

In various other words, it’s much more formal than de rienbut less formal 보다 je vous en prie.

So when specifically would you usage it? Je t’en prie is a good option if you simply want to be extra polite or if her gesture was particularly generous, like offering someone an high-quality or deeply meaningful present.


A: Merci mille fois to water le cadeau! J’adore ce jeu. (Thank you an extremely much because that the present! ns love this game.)

B: Je t’en prie. (You’re welcome.)

4. The Reassuring You’re Welcome: Pas de problème

Here’s one that’s easier to understand, one that actually have the right to be take away literally! Pas de problème is simply and directly interpreted as “no problem.”

As in English, this phrase have the right to be provided to reassure your interlocutor the your sort gesture wasn’t one inconvenience to you.

Think about it: as soon as someone goes the end of their way to aid you, girlfriend might concern that your need expense them their time, or friend may also feel like you were a burden.

Pas de problème would certainly encourage you no to tension over it. Likewise, you have the right to say it to ease the psychic of someone you’ve helped.


A: Merci de m’avoir attendu. Le train est arrivé en retard. (Thanks for waiting for me. The train arrived late.)

B: Pas de problème. (No problem/you’re welcome.)

A comparable phrase, pas de soucis (no worries) features in lot the very same way. You deserve to use it to respond to a say thanks to you or to otherwise encourage someone no to it is in so anxious.

5. The Casual One: Il n’y a pas de quoi

Unfortunately, this one isn’t so straightforward. Il n’y a pas de quoi literally way “there is no what,” which probably doesn’t tell you much around what it in reality means.

The expression derives indigenous il y a (there is), the an adverse particle pas de (no, none) and the interrogative short article quoi (what). In short, it’s ideal to think the it together “there is no reason .”

In sense and function, it’s comparable to de rien, as it might suggest the appreciation isn’t necessary. Il n’y a pas de quoi is also casual, so you’d most likely reserve making use of it for those basic, day-to-day gestures and also avoid saying it in a formal situation.


A: Merci pour la pizza. (Thanks for the pizza.)

B: Il n’y a pas de quoi. (You’re welcome.)

You can use it fairly interchangeably through de rien, yet this one is harder come say (since it’s longer) and also a bit much less common.

Since il n’y a pas de quoi is a little bit long, in practice, it’s frequently shortened come a fast ‘ya pas de quoi.

6. The southern French Option: Avec plaisir

French isn’t just about the textbook Parisian French most civilization learn. The language is spoken around the world, and each region has its unique accent and expressions.

Next, we’ll be looking in ~ a couple of “you’re welcome” phrases particular to different regions the the French-speaking world. Because that these phrases, the key factor in picking which to usage is not formality, just like the previous ones, however location.

Avec plaisir(with pleasure), because that instance, is a common solution used in southern France, specifically in Toulouse, yet it might sound azer in other areas.

Fortunately, though,avec plaisiris straightforward, especially for English speakers, since it’s practically the exact same as “my pleasure.”

Pay attention, though, becausemon plaisir, the straight translation the “my pleasure,” isn’t really used in French and would sound a little strange.

But in southerly France,avec plaisir is an enticing choice to diversify your vocabulary and sound much more like a local.Avec plaisir please conveys the you enjoyed what you did or to be glad to help.


A: Merci pour la lettre que tu m’as envoyé. (Thanks for the letter you sent out me.)

B: Avec plaisir. (With pleasure/you’re welcome.)

7. The Swiss Choice: À votre service

Now we’re headed to one of France’s neighbors, Switzerland. One of their neighborhood expressions isàvotre service, which way “at your service.”

It could seem a bit chivalrous, but it’s a polite method of saying the you were simply doing your duty.

Also, note that because this phrase includes the formal possessive pronoun votre, it’s suitable to usage with world you don’t know very well. This especially makes feeling if you’re exhilaration in an main capacity, such as a waiting tables in ~ a restaurant or working at a hotel.


A: Merci beaucoup! Le dîner était excellent. (Thank you very much! The dinner to be excellent.)

B: À votre service. (You’re welcome.)

Most likely, though, you’re feather to take trip in Switzerland, not work-related in the Swiss hospitality industry. Yet now you’ll recognize the expression if someone offers it come respond come your very own “thank you.”

And, you can still rental it you yourself if you desire to be extra courteous or exercise your Swiss French.

8. The Canadian Option: Bienvenue

Next, we’re off to the Canadian district of Québec, whereby a distinct type of French, québecois, is spoken. Among their local phrases isbienvenue.

However, it’s no thebienvenue you’re used to. There’s a good chance among your first French native wasbienvenue, definition “welcome” (as in “welcome to my home”).

While this is indeed a common and also certainly valuable expression, in Québec, the specific same native is sometimes employed to communicate “you’re welcome.”


A: Merci pour le café. (Thanks for the coffee.)

B: Bienvenue. (You’re welcome.)

It may seem strange in ~ first, but ironically, this is almost exactly what us say in English: “you’re welcome.”

Be careful, though; outside that Québec, the word is rarely offered in this sense.

In fact, in other parts that the world, speak bienvenue in an answer tomerci would seem about as out-of-place as it did to you as soon as you started reading this section.

So… Which execute I Use?

We’ve certainly opened up your choices for speak “you’re welcome.” adding to your French repertoire is always a plus, however we understand that in the middle of a conversation, you most likely don’t have time to run with a perform of feasible responses, weigh each one, think about the contextual factors and also finally clear up on the most appropriate choice.

When in doubt, simply remember:je vous en priefor formal instances andde rien for informal ones. These two are widely used and also aren’t unique to a details region.

Still no sure? Formality in French culture can be complicated to interpret, yet in general, too official is better than also informal.

Je vous en prie might sound over-the-top in details cases, but it’s much better than perhaps offending who by being as well familiar.

I expect this article has increased your French horizons.

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If the did, permit me simply say, “You’re welcome.”

Rachel Larsen is a lifelong francophile and freelance writer who desires of living in France one day. She’s right now a college student at Moody scriptures Institute in Chicago. To find out more, visit she LinkedIn page.

Download: This blog write-up is available as a convenient and portable PDF that youcan take it anywhere. Click here to obtain a copy. (Download)