Bitte and Beyond: The Best Ways to Say You’re Welcome in German

Grover Laughton9 min
Created: Nov 24, 2023Last updated: Nov 24, 2023
Ways to Say You’re Welcome in German

Knowing how to express gratitude is very important for basic human interactions. However, it is also essential to understand how to accept it, especially regarding foreign languages. Today, we’ll discuss various ways of saying you’re welcome in German, from polite Bitte to colloquial Na klar. So please, make yourself comfortable, and let’s begin!

You’re Welcome in German: Formal Expressions

There are numerous expressions used as a response to gratitude in German. However, not all of them are suitable for different situations. Some are way too polite to say to friends, and others are not good for official settings. So, for starters, take a look at the table below. Here, you can find a list of formal welcome in German phrases.

Bitte.[ˈbɪtə]Please/You are welcome.
Bitte schön.[ˈbɪtə ˈʃøːn]You are pretty welcome.
Bitte sehr.[ˈbɪtə ˈzeːɐ̯]You are very welcome.
Aber gerne doch.[ˈaːbɐ ˈɡɛrnə ˈdɔx]But gladly/But of course.
War mir ein Vergnügen.[ˈvaːɐ̯ ˈmiːɐ̯ ˈaɪ̯n fɛɐ̯ˈɡnyːɡn̩]It was a pleasure.
Gern geschehen.[ˈɡɛrn ɡəˈʃeːən]You are welcome.

These expressions can be used in various situations, whether you need to show great respect or simply stay polite. And to memorize them better, here are some of the ways to implement them in casual conversations.

A: Danke für deine Hilfe! 

B: Bitte schön, es war mir eine Freude.

(A: Thank you for your help! B: You’re pretty welcome; it was a pleasure.)

Q: Vielen Dank für das Geschenk!

A: Gern geschehen, ich hoffe, es gefällt dir.

(Q: Thank you very much for the gift! A: You’re welcome; I hope you like it.)

X: Das Essen schmeckt fantastisch, vielen Dank!

Y: Aber gerne doch, ich freue mich, dass es dir schmeckt.

(X: The food was fantastic, thank you! Y: But you’re welcome. I’m glad you like it.)

How to Say You’re Welcome in German: Informal Phrases

Colloquial expressions are great for daily conversations. You can use them casually with friends, family members, colleagues, romantic partners, and even strangers in the street. Below are the best examples of such you’re welcome in German phrases.

  • Gerne – [ˈɡɛrnə] – Happy to.

This versatile phrase is great for saying you’re welcome in German. It means “gladly” or “my pleasure” and emphasizes your positive attitude toward an accomplished task. For example:

Q: ​​Danke für deine Hilfe bei den Hausaufgaben.

A: Ich bin immer gerne dabei.

(Q: Thank you for your help with the homework! A: I am always happy to.)

  • Nichts zu danken – [ˈnɪçts ˈtsuː ˈdaŋkn̩] – Nothing to thank for.

When you believe that the thing you’ve done for another person is very insignificant, but your interlocutor still expresses their gratitude, you can use this common phrase. For example:

X: Vielen Dank für deine Zeit und Mühe.

Y: Es gibt nichts zu danken.

(X: Thank you very much for your time and effort. Y: There is nothing to thank me for.)

  • Kein Problem – [ˈkaɪ̯n proˈbleːm] – No problem.

This is another great informal phrase used to highlight that doing something for another person hasn’t bothered you whatsoever. For example:

A: Danke, dass du mir beim Make-up für mein Date geholfen hast.

B: Kein Problem! Du weißt, wie gerne ich das tue. 

(A: Thank you for helping me with my makeup for my date. B: No problem! You know how much I like doing it.)

  • Keine Ursache – [ˈkaɪ̯nə ˈuːɐ̯zaxə] – No bother.

This you’re welcome expression is quite similar to the previous one and literally means the same thing. For example:

Q: Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis! 

A: Keine Ursache. Es war schön, mit Ihnen zu sprechen.

(Q: Thank you for your understanding! A: No bother. It was nice talking to you.)

  • Nicht dafür – [ˈnɪçt daˈfyːɐ̯] – Don’t even mention it.

You can use this phrase to emphasize that the thing you’ve done to your companion was so insignificant that it isn’t even worth mentioning. For example:

Q: Danke für deine Geduld während des Projekts.

A: Nicht dafür, es war eine interessante Erfahrung.

(Q: Thank you for your patience during the project. A: Don’t even mention it. It was an interesting experience.)

  • Passt schön – [ˈpast ˈʃøːn] – It’s ok.

Literally, this phrase means, “it fits okay.” However, Germans often use it as an equivalent to “you’re welcome,” meaning “all good” or “it’s ok.” For example:

X: Danke, dass Sie gewartet haben!

Y: Passt schön, es war nicht zu lang.

(X: Thank you for waiting! Y: It’s ok, it wasn’t too long.)

  • Na klar – [ˈna ˈklaːɐ̯] – Sure.

Meaning “sure” or “of course,” this phrase is among the most widely used by Germans. It is very casual and nonchalant and really great for informal interactions. For example:

A: Ich bin so dankbar für Ihre Unterstützung.

B: Na klar, du kannst immer auf mich zählen.

(A: I am so grateful for your support. B: Sure, you can always count on me.)

  • Jederzeit wieder – [ˈjeːdɐtsaɪ̯t ˈviːdɐ] – Anytime.

The last phrase on this list emphasizes that you’re absolutely ready to do the same thing you did to receive gratitude anytime again. For example:

X: Danke für deine Gastfreundschaft.

Y: Jederzeit wieder, es war ein Vergnügen.

(X: Thank you for your hospitality! Y: Anytime, it was a pleasure.)

7

You’re Welcome in the German Language: Slang Terms

Slang expressions are the ones you should be very careful with. They are very fun and exciting, but it is essential to know when and with whom you can or cannot use them. Such terms are only appropriate in very casual conversations, mostly with close friends and peers. Let’s explore the examples of how to say you are welcome in German slang.

  • Vergiss es – [fɛɐ̯ɡɪs ˈɛs] – Forget about it!

This casual phrase is a perfect way to say that your action wasn’t a bother to you, and the person expressing gratitude shouldn’t even worry about it. For example:

A: Danke für deine Hilfe gestern.

B: Vergiss es, es war nichts.

(A: Thank you for your help yesterday. B: Forget about it, it was nothing.)

  • Wofür hat man denn Freunde! – [voˈfyːɐ̯ ˈhat ˈman ˈdɛn ˈfrɔɪ̯ndə] – What are friends for?

This casual expression should only be used when you are interacting with people you consider your friends. For example:

X: Danke fürs Zuhören.

Y: Wofür hat man denn Freunde!

(X: Thank you for listening. Y: What are friends for!)

  • Bitte sehr im Voraus – [ˈbɪtə ˈzeːɐ̯ ˈɪm foˈraʊ̯s] – You’re welcome in advance!

When someone expresses gratitude for something you haven’t done yet, but you are a hundred percent positive you’ll accomplish the task, this phrase should be your go-to choice. For example:

Q: Können Sie ihn bitte bitten, mich anzurufen? Ich danke Ihnen im Voraus!

A: Sicher! Bitte sehr im Voraus.

(Q: Can you please ask him to call me? Thank you in advance! A: Sure! You are welcome in advance.)

  • Schon gut – [ˈʃoːn ˈɡuːt] – All good.

This phrase signifies that everything is fine or okay. It’s used to reassure someone that there’s no issue or concern. For example:

A: Vielen Dank, dass Sie auf Nancy aufgepasst haben, während ich weg war.

B: Schon gut, du weißt, dass ich dein kleines Mädchen vergöttere.

(A: Thank you for babysitting Nancy while I was away. B: It’s all good; you know how I adore your little girl.)

  • Kein Ding – [ˈkaɪ̯n ˈdɪŋ] – No problem.

This colloquial expression is a relaxed way to say “no problem” or “it’s nothing.” It’s a casual response to show that something wasn’t a big deal. For example:

Q: Danke fürs Einkaufen!

A: Kein Ding, es war schnell erledigt.

(Q: Thank you for shopping! A: No problem, it was done quickly.)

  • Kein Thema – [ˈkaɪ̯n ˈteːmaː] – Not an issue.

Like the previous example, this phrase reassures a person expressing gratitude that something is not a problem or an issue at all. For example:

A: Danke, dass Sie mir den Rücken freihalten! Ich habe diese 15 Minuten wirklich gebraucht. 

B: Kein Thema vergessen Sie’s.

(A: Thank you for covering my back. I really needed those 15 minutes. B: Not an issue, forget about it.)

  • Quatsch – [ˈkvatʃ] – Nonsense.

The last expression on this list dismisses the seriousness of the gratitude. It implies that saying thank you is absolutely unnecessary in this particular case. For example:

X: Du weißt gar nicht, wie viel es mir bedeutet, einen Freund wie dich zu haben. Ich bin so dankbar, dass du hier bist.

Y: Quatsch. Du weißt, dass ich immer für dich da bin.

(X: You don’t even realize how much it means to me to have a friend like you. I am so grateful that you are here. Y: Nonsense. You know that I’m always here for you.)

Learning German Welcome Phrases with Promova

Mastering foreign languages can be much easier with the help of different tools and resources. Since there are so many of them, finding the perfect one might be quite challenging. But you don’t have to worry! Today, we will tell you about the Promova app – your one-stop solution for fluency. 

The application is available for both iOS and Android devices, so you can install it on your gadget and start practicing in a matter of minutes. The Promova app is perfect for those aiming to study on the go – you can access all the materials anywhere and anytime you want. 

All the interactive lessons within the app are created by passionate language professionals, so you won’t feel bored during your studying. Moreover, in Promova, we offer bite-sized learning to reduce information overload and allow you to focus only on the things that truly matter.

Finally, with the Promova app, you have the opportunity to learn German, French, Korean, English, French, and many other languages. There is no need to limit yourself to just one tongue. You can try and see which one works best for you. Install the Promova app today and become one step closer to becoming fluent.

Conclusion

To sum up, we can say that accepting gratitude, especially in a foreign language, is as important as expressing it. Whether you’ve helped your friend, supported a family member, or wished a Happy Birthday to your colleague, you need to know how to find the appropriate way to say you’re welcome. Today, we’ve covered over a dozen German welcome expressions suitable for various situations, and we hope this article was useful for you.

FAQ

What does the phrase Segne es Gott mean in German?

Literally, this phrase means, “God bless it.” It is mostly used in Swiss German as a response to the words “Vergelt’s Gott” – “May God reward you.” The last expression is commonly used as a way to show gratitude, and the phrase Segne es Gott is the most appropriate way to respond to it, basically saying, “You’re welcome.”

Can I use Willkommen as a German word for you’re welcome?

While this word indeed translates to welcome, it is not typically used as a response to thanks. It is primarily used to greet someone or to convey “welcome” in the sense of welcoming someone to a place or event.

Are there any tips to know when responding to gratitude in German?

First and foremost, it is essential to determine the appropriate level of formality based on the situation and the relationship dynamics. Avoid using overly casual expressions in formal settings or with people you are not familiar with. Also, try not to repeat the same response multiple times.

Why is knowing how to express and accept gratitude essential?

Expressing and accepting gratitude plays a crucial role in fostering relationships, improving mental well-being, and creating a positive and supportive environment. It contributes significantly to personal and societal growth by encouraging kindness, appreciation, and empathy.

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