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Someone told me he was thankful for being invited to my party. I guess saying "I was thankful" is used because the party is now over, so the feeling of being thankful faded away.

Would I answer "You are welcome"?

Or would I have to answer "You were welcome"?

Im a little bit unsure, since "You were welcome" could imply in my understanding that I'm not welcoming it anymore.

Is that right?

  • You are (you're) welcome is a fixed phrase. A native speaker would rarely say the three word sentence You were welcome. The same goes for You'll be welcome, you're gonna be welcome, etc. We might use welcomed in these other tenses. – GoDucks Jan 31 '16 at 19:40
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You would answer, "You are welcome," because your sentiment is in the present. You are correct that "You were welcome" would imply things you don't intend. Don't worry; you have this right. (Also, see Peter's excellent comment, below.)

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    Another way to express "You were and still are welcome" is "You are always welcome". – Peter Jan 31 '16 at 19:22
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    @Peter- An elegant and appropriate suggestion. +1 – Mark Hubbard Jan 31 '16 at 19:26

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