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I am a foreigner and I am wondering how to respond "thank you" and "sorry".

I think I could respond to "thank you" like this:

  1. You’re welcome.

  2. Don’t mention it.

  3. Not at all.

  4. (It’s ) my pleasure.

  5. That’s all right./That ok.

  6. No problem.

I think I could respond to "sorry" like this:

  1. It doesn’t matter.
  2. That's all right./That’s OK.
  3. Never mind.

Am I right? Do you have something else to add? Thank you so much.

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    All could be used but different situations require different responses. Your question (in fact you have 2 different questions) is far too broad and context should be added.
    – None
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 6:15

1 Answer 1

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I'm an American native speaker. For "Thank you." I often use these:

"You're welcome." "I'm happy to help." "No problem." (Informal, and can sound a little arrogant in some situations, but it really means "It was no trouble to help you.".)

And, in America, we often return the thanks, especially when it's a mutual exchange such as buying food or something from a store: "Thank you."

For "sorry":

"Oh, that's okay." / "That's alright." "No big deal." Informal, but friendly. It's a nicer way to say "It doesn't matter.". "No problem." Also informal. (Yes, we can use it to answer "Thank you." and also "Sorry." -- in each case it means that you weren't bothered. But I don't recommend using this phrase in formal settings until you are really comfortable with how it feels.) "Don't worry about it."

I would not say "It doesn't matter.", because that can sound like "It's not important.", which can sound dismissive, or someone might misunderstand you to be saying "It doesn't matter to me that you're sorry.". I wouldn't use it!

Also, "Never mind." sounds funny in America. We usually use it to say, "You can forget what I was talking about, because it's not important.".

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  • Do you say "that's all right/Ok." to respond to "thank you"?
    – user37841
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 3:18
  • Responding to "Thank you" by saying "Ok" would be perceived as bizarre and confusing (and perhaps rude, depending on the context). Responding to "Thank you" by saying "That's alright" would also be perceived as strange. These are not typical responses to "Thank you".
    – Dr. Funk
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 14:39

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