How To Say ‘You’re Welcome’ In Japanese

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In a previous post, we discussed the many ways to say ‘thank you’ in Japanese. In this post, we will look at the different phrases you can opt for when you are on the receiving end of gratitude and want to express ‘you’re welcome’.

It is widely known that in Japanese culture, politeness is held in very high regard. Depending on who is thanking you, there are various ways in which you can reply to a ‘thank you’. 

In a business setting, responding in too casual of a manner can come off as haughty or somewhat impolite. Whereas in a casual setting, responding too formally, although not as bad, doesn’t help in making your Japanese sound as natural as you would probably like.

In Japanese, it is a common practice to use humble speech, in order to show respect to the person you are speaking to. Therefore, when someone thanks you, it is more modest to say something along the lines of ‘it was nothing!’ or ‘don’t worry about it!’ Simply responding with ‘you’re welcome’, as that may be seen as giving yourself too much credit.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to say ‘you’re welcome’, whether you are responding to family, friends or even higher ups!

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Different ways to say you’re welcome in Japanese

Dou itashimashite


You’re welcome 

Dou itashimashite (どういたしまして, sometimes written どう致しまして) is the standard translation for ‘you’re welcome’ in Japanese.

It’s most likely what you would be taught in a Japanese lesson, as a response to ‘thank you’ and equivalent to ‘you’re welcome’.

It is perfectly fine to use dou itashimashite with close friends and family, but do avoid it when speaking with those who are older or higher up, as the phrase lacks the humbleness required when speaking in such circumstances!

Two Japanese women giving each other a gift box on a white background.



No no!

Ieie (いえいえ) is another casual way to respond to ‘thank you’. Directly translated, it simply means ‘no, no!’, and expresses the sentiment of ‘no need to thank me’. 



Not at all

Zenzen (全然 / ぜんぜん) is an adverb which means ‘not at all’ or ‘completely’ and is generally used in negative sentence structures. For example zenzen suki janai (全然好きじゃない / ぜんぜんすきじゃない) means ‘I don’t like it at all’.

Although, it is used in some affirmative colloquial phrases, such as when you want to express ‘you’re welcome’. You may say zenzen daijoubu (全然大丈夫 / ぜんぜんだいじょうぶ) meaning ‘it’s completely okay’ which can be then shortened to simply zenzen, which is an informal and modest way of saying ‘not at all’!

A japanese man in a suit holding a gift box.

Ki ni shinai de 


Don’t worry about it

Ki ni shinai de (気にしないで / きにしないで) is an expression which means ‘don’t worry about it’. It is casual but polite at the same time! It is another way to downplay your part when someone shows you appreciation for your help.



It’s nothing

Nandemonai (なんでもない) literally means ‘it’s nothing’. It is a conversational phrase usually said with yo (よ) at the end to emphasize that it really was nothing! 



No bother

Tondemonai (とんでもない) is a slightly more formal way of saying ‘it’s no bother’ or ‘no problem at all’. You may also add yo on at the end for emphasis and to make it sound that much more friendly! 

While tondemonai is a relatively casual response, you can add the polite ending desu (です) on at the end and the nuance becomes more polite!

Kochira koso 


No, thank you!

Kochira koso (こちらこそ) is an expression that means ‘it is I who should say so’. It is used when someone thanks you and you want to say ‘no no, thank YOU!’ In a roundabout way, it does kind of humbly imply ‘you’re welcome’ while also thanking the other person back.

⚪︎⚪︎de yokatta


I’m glad that ⚪︎⚪︎

Yokatta (よかった) is the plain past form of the adjective yoi (良い / よい) meaning ‘good’. Therefore, yokatta has the meaning of ‘was good’ or ‘i’m glad’. 

When used with the te-form of a verb, it creates the phrase ‘I’m glad that…’. 

  • O yaku ni tatete yokatta desu (お役に立ててよかったです / おやくにたててよかったです) – I’m glad I could be of use to you
  • O tetsudai dekite yokatta desu (お手伝いできてよかったです / おてつだいできてよかったです) – I’m glad I could be of help to you

By adding the honorific o (お) at the beginning and the polite desu (です) at the end, the expression sounds much more formal and therefore suitable for use with a boss or elder.

Kyoushuku de gozaimasu


I am much obliged

As you can probably tell by the structure of this phrase, this is a highly polite way to say ‘you’re welcome’, so be sure to use it in a formal business setting rather than with close acquaintances!

Kyoushuku (恐縮 / きょうしゅく) means ‘to feel obliged’. When you use the respectful term kyoushuku de gozaimasu you are humbly showing gratitude to the other person for thanking you. 

Hannah Stafford

Hannah is a half Irish/half Japanese girl living in Ireland. Her love for Japan and the Japanese language led her to studying languages and translation in university where she specialised in Japanese. She spent a year studying abroad at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. In her free time, Hannah enjoys using her sewing machine to upcycle clothes and create new pieces!

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