English Idioms – 8 Ways to Respond to Thank You

In English, there are many idiomatic responses to thank you. The standard response to Thank You in America
is “You’re welcome.”

You’re welcome and all other thank you responses are actually English idioms.

In the following video, I present eight of the most common alternatives. Although each of these idioms can have its
own subtle shade of meaning and their own specific allusions, they are used routinely offhand (that’s an idiom!) offhand as standard substitutes for “You’re welcome.”

See video on YouTube.

Use the following text to follow along with the video. Each individual idiom is linked to the corresponding complete article here on Idioms.Online when available.

Don’t Mention It

When someone thanks you for something and you say “Don’t mention it,” you are saying that there is no need to thank you and, in fact, there is no need to even mention it.

This is a warm response to gratitude, and you are telling someone that your help is to be expected and no expression of gratitude is needed.

Examples Of Use

“Thanks for picking me up for work, I don’t know what I would have done without you,” said Maurice. “Don’t mention it,” replied Richard.

“Thanks for helping me move out of my apartment. I owe you a six pack of beer!” said Ben. “Don’t even mention it,” said Travis, “but I could use a beer!”

Don’t mention it has been used as an idiom since the early 1900s.

Not At All

Not at all is similar to don’t mention it. Translate it as “your thanks are not needed at all. I was glad to do it.”

Example Of Use

“I appreciate your help in this matter,” said Janice. “Not at all,” said Scott.

My Pleasure

And also [used is] the more formal version ‘The pleasure was all mine.’

When you use this response you are telling the person who thanked you that it was your pleasure to help them; they do not need to thank you because you actually enjoyed helping.

Examples Of Use

“Thanks for writing that letter of recommendation, Mr. Foster.” “My pleasure,” replied Mr. Foster.

“If you hadn’t helped me with that computer problem I never would have finished my report on time, Tom. Thanks so much!” said Tina. “It was my pleasure,” said Tom.

My pleasure has been used as a thank-you response since the mid-1900’s.

No Problem

Saying no problem when someone says thank you means ‘it caused me no problem.’

This is a way of saying that helping was no trouble or required little effort. A variation of this expression is no trouble or it was no trouble at all.

Examples Of Use

“Thanks for lending me that ten dollars,” said Sarah. “No problem,” said Don.

“Thanks for taking Timmy out sailing with you,” said Ms. Tanner. “Hey, no problem,” said John.

No problem as a thank you response has been used since around 1960.

No Sweat

No sweat, as a thank-you response, is quite similar to the last idiom no problem although it is more slangy.

It means, figuratively, “helping you was not hard work for me and it did not cause me to sweat.”

This idiom is very informal.

Examples Of Use

“Thanks for picking me up for work,” said Emily. “No sweat!” said Drummond.

“It’s no sweat. I’ll have your car ready by this afternoon,” said the mechanic.

This one has been used since around 1950.

These last two, no problem and no sweat, in some instances, can seem to lack warmth unless combined one of the other standard idiom responses.

Forget It

This response means much the same as don’t mention it or not at all.

Example

In fact, it “forget it, not at all” is often heard.

“Thanks so much for helping me.” “Forget it.”

I personally never say “forget it” as a thank you response. To my ears, it sounds rude.

This next idiom is a confusing one for those learning to speak English. It is a simple one-word response:

Sure

This is very informal but means much the same as the more formal response ‘certainly.’ It basically means “of course I don’t mind helping you.”

As well, it is sometimes combined with the other responses such as:

Sure, no problem
Sure, don’t mention it.
And, sure, my pleasure.

Despite the allusion, I would advise you to use the word sure alone sparingly and only with close friends as it does tend to sound terse and detached.

When a statement is terse, it means that it uses very few words and this can sometimes seem abrupt and unfriendly.

Examples Of Use

“Thanks for your help earlier,” said Chris. “Sure,” replied Seth.

“Thanks a million for fixing my car again,” said Clark. “Sure, no problem at all,” replied Rick.

Being that the word sure is such a common English word, it is difficult to ascertain the origin of this idiom.

That’s all right, It’s all right, and That’s (it’s) OK

All of these are very informal and should be used primarily with close friends and family.

They mean something like “helping you was alright with me. I didn’t mind.”

These responses may tend to be used when someone is being apologetic for having troubled you.

Examples Of Use

“Can you bring in those papers I left on the table? I need them for work,” said Jessica. “Sure,” said Jackie. “Thanks, I’m so forgetful in the morning, Jackie!” said Jessica. “It’s all right,” said Jackie.