What is exactly use of "you welcome"?

Suppose there are two scenario:

  1. If someone come to me for help and I did then he might say "thanks". In this scenario I will reply "you welcome".

  2. If I go to shop and buy something and paid bill then shopkeeper said "thanks".

In scenario 2 what do I need to reply him? As I gone there to buy something I can't reply him as "you welcome", right? So, how to reply in that case and what are different ways to reply for thanks as per different scenario?

  • What is your native language? I ask because someone might be able to explain the relevant English idioms in terms of idioms you’re familiar with. Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 3:57
  • 1
    When the shopkeeper says “thanks” to me, I usually say “thanks” back Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 3:58

3 Answers 3


I suspect you mean "you're welcome", short for "you are welcome". The phrase "you welcome" is unidiomatic.

Yes, "you're welcome" is the traditional, idiomatic response to "thanks". It would be very difficult to find a situation where it wasn't appropriate. But there are lots of other appropriate responses as well. For example:

"My pleasure" is appropriate to indicate that whatever they are thanking you for was enjoyable on your part and not a chore. This might be appropriate if you enjoyed helping someone but probably not for a shopkeeper.

"No problem", "Don't mention it", or "Any time" are common to indicate that whatever help you provided was help you're willing to provide as needed. Again, not appropriate for a shopkeeper.

Also, you can just reply "thanks". That's appropriate situations where the other person has helped you as well, such as the shopkeeper.


The expression is you're welcome and it is used as a polite answer when someone thanks you for doing something. ​

"Thank you so much for helping." "You're welcome."

As for your description of scenario 2, I don’t think you need to reply to the “thanks” in that specific case, or you may just reply “thanks”.

Other options, according to contexts, are:

1) Don’t mention (it)

2) ((It’s a) pleasure

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


Are you speaking British English or American English? Americans say "you're welcome" a lot; British people are less likely to say it (though it varies from person to person). It is primarily (though not solely) an American expression (and, interestingly, wasn't recorded in print until the 20th century).

Other ways of acknowledging thanks include "not at all", "don't mention it", "no problem" or "my pleasure" - or you can just nod and smile, which is what I do most of the time.

In the shop scenario I say "thanks" or "thank you".


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .