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I know "No, thank you" means rejection.

Me: Hey, Bob. You want some drink?

Bob: No, thank you.

But I was involved with this kind of conversation

Me: Thanks, Mr Jordan for teaching me.

Mr.Jordan: No! Thank you!

Did he reject my thanks? Does this mean that it's something like No Problem, or is he trying to say that I'm the one who should thank you!. Or has he had enough of me? He has taught me for 5 years, so we have a good relationship (I hope).

  • 2
    I think your response would better be written: Mr. Jordan: No! Thank you. Emphasis is on the you. @StoneyB's answer is correct. It is a very pleasant response to receive. – Spehro Pefhany Sep 13 '14 at 15:36
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    The "no" means "No need to thank me." Mr Jordan is thanking you for the opportunity to teach you (or whatever). – Drew Sep 13 '14 at 16:54
66

He is saying that you don't owe him thanks, he owes you thanks. He clearly regards you as the sort of student who makes teaching rewarding. He may even imply that he has learned from you, from the sorts of questions you have asked which made him think about things which he took for granted.

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    +1. In some sense, he is rejecting your thanks (by suggesting it was not necessary to thank him) but this is not rude; it is a concept that shows up in many polite responses to thanks: "Don't mention it." "No problem." "It was nothing." It doesn't really mean that you shouldn't thank them or that they don't appreciate your thanks. – Nate Eldredge Sep 13 '14 at 19:40
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    You can think of his response in much the same way another common exchange: "It was a pleasure meeting you." response: "No, the pleasure is all mine". @stoneyb is correct, your teacher thinks it is him who should thank you for being such a great student. The pleasure was all his. – ThaDon Sep 14 '14 at 2:35

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