37

In order to be polite and answer in a social way I have had some hesitation to choose which phrase I should use.

  1. You are welcome. I'm glad it helped.
  2. You are welcome. I'm glad I could contribute.
  3. You are welcome. I'm glad that I could help.
  4. No problem. I'm happy that I could help.

If you have better phrases, please add, since it's fun to learn more.

41

All your examples are fine. I would offer the following advice to make it sound more natural to a native, however, the most important of which can be summarised by saying keep it short.

  • Shorten "You are welcome" to "You're welcome".
  • You don't necessarily need to say I'm in the follow-up sentences, as this is obvious to the reader from context. Saying something like "Happy to help" or "Glad it helped" is fine. In fact, if you use the word "I" or "me" too much, it can come across as being self-congratulatory/boastful/self-centered/self-important.
  • The simple acknowledgement of thanks is often sufficient ("You're welcome"), you don't necessarily also need to state your happiness for being helpful.
  • (Flagrantly stealing from Robusto's comment) You can often shorten "you're welcome" or "no problem" to the acronyms YW or NP.
  • Use exclamation marks or smiley faces to appear more jovial, e.g. "Happy to help!" or "You're welcome :)".
  • Contribute is probably more appropriate if it was a group effort, e.g. a discussion, otherwise, help is probably more appropriate. You can also use "to be of service" (e.g. "Glad to be of service"), but "help" is again probably more informal/generally appropriate.
  • If you don't know whether the OP has found something helpful yet, you can use "I hope" to indicate that you would like your contribution to be helpful. You could say something like "I hope you find it useful/helpful".
  • (Especially if you are Australian/speaking to an Aussie) You can use the phrase "No worries" in a similar way to "No problem".
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    I'm not so sure about "YW" or "NP". I would have no idea what you're talking about. Better to just write it out in full. – user42899 Apr 20 '17 at 17:00
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    as a Brit, "happy to help" sounds like an Americanism and often seems insincere, in the same way that people are required to say "have a nice day" as part of their job, not because they mean it. – alephzero Apr 20 '17 at 17:09
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    While well written, this answer doesn't actually address the context - Stack Exchange. We don't do that here; see ell.stackexchange.com/a/127222/27657 – T.J.L. Apr 20 '17 at 19:28
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    @T.J.L. You're absolutely correct, and that's why the answer that has addressed it has got a higher score so far! – SteveES Apr 20 '17 at 19:31
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    FWIW, as an AmE speaker, "No worries" sounds more like a way to respond to somebody apologizing for a minor inconvenience. Outside of an Australian context, I'd be concerned that "no worries" would imply to the other person that they inconvenienced me. – PeterL Apr 20 '17 at 22:31
94

I commend your desire to be polite!

However, since your question is specifically about “stackoverflow sites”, I recommend you do not respond to “thank you” comments or post your own “thank you”-type comments. The “What should I do when someone answers my question?” section of the site's Help Center says this:

Please do not add a comment on your question or on an answer to say "Thank you". Comments are meant for requesting clarification, leaving constructive criticism, or adding relevant but minor additional information – not for socializing. If you want to say "thank you," vote on or accept that person's answer, or simply pay it forward by providing a great answer to someone else's question.

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    Thank you for bringing this up. I was hoping someone would. – J.R. Apr 20 '17 at 16:13
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    @J.R. Please do not use comments to say "Thank you" ;-) Joking aside, I just learned this rule existed. The More You Know 🌠 – walen Apr 21 '17 at 7:40
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    @T.E.D.: A warm fuzzy back? No thanks, I already have one. – TonyK Apr 21 '17 at 17:16
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    Yet, is a full answer on ELL a place to teach the users stackexchange rules? Doesn't that break the rules on answering in its own right? Chatrooms are also a part of SE sites and the OP might be responding to a thank you there? Just wandering... – Lucky Apr 21 '17 at 20:43
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    A good answer to the context of the question — if it were posted on Meta. As for here, let us take it to concern the broader question of how to reply to a compliment or the like. – can-ned_food Apr 23 '17 at 21:43
7

None of the above. Comments are not supposed to say thank you or anything in return.

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:

  • Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/comment


Edit: Comments are not for extended discussion either.

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    You're correct, but in the context of ELL, the other answers are more fitting - the responses are not limited to SO. This is a good comment for the OP. – JPhil Apr 20 '17 at 19:15
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    @Bohemian: What I do sometimes if I feel that a thank you is warranted (e.g. they went out of their way to accommodate my perhaps unreasonable request, such as provide something tangentially related to the answer) is say thank you, then come back a few days later after they've had a chance to see it and delete the comment. Both missions of sincere expression of thanks and reduced clutter are accomplished. – user42899 Apr 22 '17 at 15:40
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    @FighterJet don't do that; that's not what comments are for. Comments are for clarification. If you really want to thank someone, award a bounty. – Bohemian Apr 22 '17 at 15:45
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    @Bohemian: Technically, by your definition, I should never have made the request then, but I don't see it as a problem. And what if the answer doesn't warrant an up-vote or a bounty? "something tangentially related to the request" usually means something like a link to a high-res version of an image used in the answer that I want for other reasons, even if the answer is not great. I don't see why you're complaining, because I delete them after a few days, and it's not like this happens very often. – user42899 Apr 22 '17 at 16:30
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    @FighterJet if you're asking for "more", that's a kind of clarification. If it's outside the scope of the original question, you should ask a new question. Don't use comments to ask questions, thanks/you're-welcome or other "conversational" content, or extended discussion. – Bohemian Apr 22 '17 at 16:59
5

Your responses #1, #3, and #4 are entirely appropriate since you're answering directly to an individual.

#2 might be more for a general or bigger audience/community.

Depending on what the original question was

Glad I could help. Good luck!

may also be appropriate.

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    #2 works with an individual as well. – Robusto Apr 20 '17 at 13:43
1

When people thank me I usually say:

You're welcome, glad it helped. By the way thanks are immaterial in the Stack Exchange sites, so you can vote on or accept my answer if you find it useful.

By saying so you also have the chance to get an upvote.

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