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Consider:

“Thanks for the ride.” “You're welcome.” (Merriam-Webster Learner’s)

[i] ‘You’re welcome’ seems like a perfunctory or a mechanical saying when somebody responds to a person that expresses their appreciation, not having that serious meaning. They would gladly receive the one again that is giving the thanks remark.
[ii] Nonetheless, the two have this shared meaning: “You’re welcome (if you come for help again.)" Are both [i] and [ii] the proper imagination?

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Please clarify. Which two sentences have a shared meaning? –  CopperKettle Jul 19 at 3:34
    
@CopperKettle, the two speakers would share this meaning: “you’re welcome (even if you come again for another help.)" –  Listenever Jul 19 at 3:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

When someone says "you're welcome", they are just talking about that one act of help that they just did for the other person. They aren't necessarily saying that they will be willing to help in the future. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

If you want to say that you are willing to help in the future, then you could say something like one of these:

  • You're welcome, anytime.

  • You're welcome. Anytime you need help, just let me know.

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The question is tricky!

The word in concern is welcome. The origin of the word is wilcuma in Old English. This means Wil (pleasure) and cuma (guest). The word has been used to show getting some kind of pleasure. You welcome guest because you are pleased by their coming. You welcome an offer because after getting it, you'll be happy.

I'm not sure when this was used in response to Thank you! But in my opinion it is another way of telling someone that it’s your pleasure or the pleasure is yours. Again, if you check, one of the early uses of the word welcome (as I mentioned in the first paragraph) was to refer to something that gives you pleasure. Other ways to respond to 'Thank you' is here.

On the other hand, to avoid ambiguity, I would prefer saying, "You are welcome anytime for the ride."


A psychological approach to why you shouldn't say "You are welcome" in response to "Thank you" is here.

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