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Please, let me make it clear that my question is not asking how native speakers usually respond to "Thank you". Before posting this question I did some research and I also read this discussion: How do native English speakers respond to "Thank you"? In my opinion none of the suggested answers apply to my question.

This is a specific question on the appropriateness of two specific responses.

Let's take a situation when I ask my colleague to briefly explain me something. And after he has done it, I say, "Thank you".

  1. Is it polite to respond with an "OK" to my "Thank you"? (That's how a native English speaker replied to me today.)

  2. Is it acceptable in an informal situation to respond with "You welcome" (without "are") or even with "Welcome"? Responding, "You are welcome" sometimes feels too long to me :)

UPDATE. Today two different people responded with "OK" to my "Thank you" and "Thanks", so it seems it's not that rare.

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If you want to shorten "You are welcome", use "You're welcome". "You welcome" isn't grammatically correct. You could also use "No problem" instead.

"You're welcome" or "no problem" is what I would use after someone had thanked me for explaining something to them. Responding with "OK" sounds a little odd to me, though I don't think it's impolite.

  • Thank you. What about responding with "Welcome"? Is it acceptable in informal situations? – nightcoder Aug 21 '15 at 15:36
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    I think "Welcome" is a little too brief - it sounds a bit abrupt and could be construed as sarcastic. – Matt Rhoades Aug 21 '15 at 15:42
  • If I were to choose the lesser of two evils, what would be better, replying with "Ok" or with "Welcome" (let's take the situation in question)? (sorry for so many questions from me) – nightcoder Aug 21 '15 at 15:57
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1) I wouldn't use "Ok" as an answer to "Thank you". It's not something you would say. It's not rude like swearing, but it would seem distracted, as if the person didn't actually hear what you were saying.

2) You can say "You're welcome". Younger people might also respond, "No problem!" or "Sure!"

  • Thank you. What about responding with "Welcome"? Is it acceptable in informal situations? – nightcoder Aug 21 '15 at 15:37
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    @nightcoder - Yes, you could use just "Welcome" informally. But it could come off as curt or terse or even childish depending on the tone you deliver it in. – Zwi Aug 21 '15 at 15:43
  • ah!! the troubles we get into in this life – divine Jul 19 '18 at 12:44
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Rarely, native english speakers do respond to "thank you" with "ok". When they do it's likely they're indicating that the "thank you" was inappropreate.

If I slap your face and your responce is "thank you", my reply of "ok" may mean I think you're an idiot for thanking me for slapping you. Particularly if I'm rolling my eyes at the time.

Ok is very expressive. Litteraly it means "all correct". In typical usage though, what it means depends a lot on the tone used when it's said.

  • Why would anyone respond with a "thank you" after being slapped in the face? The OP's question describes a perfectly normal, typical situation. You do me a courtesy, I express my gratitude. You reply with: That's OK., now do some people omit the that, I can't say, but it's plausible. – Mari-Lou A Aug 22 '15 at 16:03
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    @Mari-LouA I'm using it as an example precisely because it makes the "thank you" an inappropriate response. Responding to an appropriate "thank you" with "ok" is not typical and (without knowing the tone used) can easily be taken as being itself inappropriate. The most typical sincere response to "thank you" is another "thank you". I'd put any of these other answers ahead of "ok" as a likely response to an appropriate, "thank you". – candied_orange Aug 22 '15 at 19:15
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Is it polite to respond with an "OK" to my "Thank you"? (That's how a native English speaker replied to me today.)

Well, I wouldn't respond that way, but there are people who do. Don't take offense.

Is it acceptable in an informal situation to respond with "You welcome" (without "are") or even with "Welcome"? Responding, "You are welcome" sometimes feels too long to me :)

I can't imagine a native speaker saying "You welcome." Perhaps you misheard?

"Welcome", in a casual situation, is okay, especially if the speaker is not much of a talker, or needs to move on quickly, for example, to the next customer.


I hope I may now be forgiven if I relate something short and funny. When I ask my twelve-year-old to do something he finds onerous, such as put the dishes away, and I thank him when he's done, he likes to say, "A problem!!"

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I respond with "anytime" or "happy to" sometimes. I use "you are welcome" and "no problem" mostly.

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