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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2005, 10:31 am
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Default Thank you.... You're welcome???

I was in class teaching with a Japanese teacher at a JHS and he was teaching 'Thank you.' 'You're welcome.' and it dawned on me that I hardly say 'you're welcome.'

I told him it sounds like you're accepting gratitude and we generally reject or become a bit humble and generally reply with:

1. It was my pleasure.
2. No Problem.
3. Not at all.
4. Don't mention it.

I tell students to use 1 and 2.

What are you're thoughts?

Should we teach 'You're welcome' as the answer? all of them?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 27th, 2005, 05:58 pm
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Default

Interesting question and i know what you mean, I never user 'You're welcome.' (Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever taught it... )

But I think students should at least be aware of it. I think teaching 2-3 different ways to respond makes sense. For me, I think i would teach 'You're welcome' & 'No problem'.

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Last edited by Eric : Oct 13th, 2005 at 05:02 am.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 30th, 2005, 08:20 pm
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Default you're welcome is not dead

I do use "you're welcome". But now you have me wondering whether I use it because I teach it out of the textbooks (the "thank you you're welcome thank you you're welcome thank you you're WELcome" song from Supertots springs immediately to mind ).

But no, I think I use it naturally. Perhaps I grew up in a more conservative neighborhood than you or something. I agree that teaching more than one response is the best way to go, though -well, except when your students are 4 or 5 years old- including "you're welcome" which, never fear, is still in use.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing "I'm fine" to the question "How are you?". I only say "I'm fine" when I'm extremely angry and don't want to have a conversation at all, but how do you explain that to kids? Sometimes, I ban the answer "I'm fine" and force the kids to reply with any one of a large number of alternatives (which, come to think of it, could be taught by printing out a pageful of smilies)

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Unread Sep 30th, 2005, 11:34 pm
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Thanks for your thoughts.

I forgot to say that I do teach "You're welcome." but I tell them to use one or two of the others and at least be aware that there are a few responses.

For "How are you?" I don't teach I'm fine to kids. I start them all off with "I'm good. Thank you." or "I'm great. Thank you." After a while I start asking them "How are you doing?"

For older kids I teach them, "Not bad." as a response for those students who are too cool to be "good" or "great." and "OK." for those somewhere in between.

All of the students come in someday with the "I'm fine." response and I know someone's been messing with my things. I usually tell them "I'm fine." doesn't tell me anything. Fine as compared with ... Why did I ask?

All my adult students say "I'm fine." originally. I tell them the above and they usually can break away.

I think it's a good idea to teach them the others and even better idea to get away for "How are you?" Maybe not get away, but move on to the next step.

How are you doing?
How have you been?
How's everything?
How's it going?
What's up?

That my 2 cents, again.

- Mark
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 2nd, 2008, 08:45 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I always feel insulted when someone replies, "No problem." I didn't assume there was a problem. It doesn't make sense. How about, "Thank YOU!" And there's nothing wrong with "You're welcome." (English teacher for 30 years.)
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 2nd, 2008, 09:37 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

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I always feel insulted when someone replies, "No problem." I didn't assume there was a problem. It doesn't make sense. (English teacher for 30 years.)
Then why did you bother thanking me in the first place.

When you impart your will on someone with a request, there is a feeling of imposition. Otherwise it would be an imperative and like I said there would be no reason to thank the person. It was their duty and obligation (although I still feel it nice to say thatnk you in such a situation.)

I realise that English is a low context language and the meaning is mostly in the words but in general there are some higher context processes that should allow us to see past the words and understand the feeling or emotion behind the language.

Because English is a low context language we generally avoid repetition in set speech acts. That's why there are so many ways to say the same thing essentially. We don't want to be boring.

You're welcome. = No Problem. = My pleasure. = Any time. = Happy to help. = (I feel good about doing something for you. Doing something for you makes me happy. I like to make you happy.)

There are also many different English varieties even within single countries. We have to allow for other ways of expressing the same thing and possibly move English to a become more of higher context language which is very important on an international scale.

(English teacher for 8 years, but I don't think it matters)
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Unread Apr 3rd, 2008, 11:45 am
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I also hate the response "No problem" when someone has said thanks. To me, it seems grudging, it implies that the person doing the favour only did it because it was easy - if there had been a problem the favour would have been withheld.

I often use "you're welcome" and "not at all" as responses.
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Unread Apr 3rd, 2008, 05:05 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I grew up with 'You're welcome' so obviously that's the most natural form for me.
I use 'my pleasure' occasionally and that's about it.
However, 'no problem' doesn't rub me up the wrong way as it seems to with some. To me it sounds an Americanism - just another way to say the same thing. Personally I like hearing mother-tongue speakers saying things in a different way, especially Australians (G'day, beauty, beaut, ripper etc). It just makes it all the more interesting, don't you think?
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Unread Apr 4th, 2008, 12:49 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

Funnily enough, I thanked someone today for a suggestion and she replied with 'Don't mention it'. (She's a non-native speaker). I don't use it, but Id like to more often. It sounds better to me, even if instinctively I use 'You're welcome'.
:-)
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Unread Jun 26th, 2008, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

yes, me too. I teach students to reply with "Don't mention it". I just think this one makes the best impression.
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Unread Jun 26th, 2008, 06:04 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

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Quote Bagga View Post
I also hate the response "No problem" when someone has said thanks. To me, it seems grudging, it implies that the person doing the favour only did it because it was easy - if there had been a problem the favour would have been withheld.
Bagga, where are you from? I wonder if this is a regional thing.

'No problem.' doesn't refer to the favor but to the task. It's used to lower the debt of gratitude stating the work involved wasn't so grand. it's not meant to diminish the kindness of the favor.
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Unread Jun 27th, 2008, 07:53 am
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I teach my students : you're welcome, not at all
No problem sounds too French!!!
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Unread Jun 8th, 2009, 06:14 am
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

well....u see, 'u r welcome' is actually welcoming further helps and not welcoming gratitude;so...go ahead be welcome n do welcome,buddies!
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Unread Jun 15th, 2009, 07:38 am
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I think that all the answers suggested here work fine. It just depends on what you personally like and use more. I say almost all of the options suggested here. I also say you're welcome...but like a couple of people mention it sometimes feels a bit awquard to say you're welcome. Just my 2 cents in the barrel.
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Unread Mar 21st, 2010, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

Well, now I have finally learned where the stupid expression "no problem" came from: Not quite bright and somewhat lazy ESL teachers.

If someone anwers a "thank you" with "no problem", there is an implicit message that there could have been a problem, hardly an appropriate response to "thank you". Are you assuring the person that you weren't put out by helping, etc.

I was in the hardware store, and after the transaction, I thanked the clerk, who responded with a "no problem". I thought to myself, "I sure am glad that the clerk had "no problem" in ringing up my sale and taking my money.

Had I been in the clerk's shoes I would have said "Thank you" and put the emphasis on the you.

I understand that English is a living language, and like all living languages, it goes through changes on all levels, but this is really a bad direction, like the acceptance of many to the "F" word that seems to permeate present-day conversation.
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Unread Mar 21st, 2010, 04:21 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I can only tell you how it is in California. I'm a native speaker. The use of the language and the level of formality are very important. Yes, I have used "you're welcome" for many years (I learned it as a child) and it is very polite. I teach it to my students. Say there is a job interview. If the interviewer says, "Thank you," he or she almost expects the candidate to say, "You're welcome." If I was the candidate, there's no way I would say, "No problem"! Yes, I have used "no problem" countless times in my life. But in a formal setting I certainly would not use it. To me it says that whatever I did for the other person was no problem or inconvenience to me. I never say, and would never teach, "not at all." I like "my pleasure," I use it sometimes and teach it to intermediate or advanced students if I get any of those levels.
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Unread Mar 22nd, 2010, 01:52 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

Bread_baker, you have a good strategy, and I agree with you, but I still have a bit of a problem with "no problem".
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Unread Mar 22nd, 2010, 11:59 pm
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Default Re: Thank you.... You're welcome???

I agree with most of you on here concerning 'no problem.' I worked as a retail manager for four years before I became a teacher. I instructed my employees to say something else. What we do shouldn't be a problem. We were there to help. The answer I use was something along the lines of 'It was my pleasure' or 'glad i could help.'

And for 'how are you?' I'm a teacher in China. Here it seems that all the children know 'how are you' and 'fine, thank you' before we even start class. I end up teaching several responses that kids can use. I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty....etc. It makes for a fun couple of lessons. I teach about 12 responses with a lot of TPR and the kids love it. Parents like it too.
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