The French phrase "De rien" revealed

Are you ready to discover all the things you have to know about the basic French phrase “De rien”?

It includes a detailed explanation of what it is and how to use it in a dialogue with an audio example. And also the cool informations we added like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

If you are interested, you can find more of these phrases guides on this page plus the directory of all our French words content on this page. Have fun!

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French to English translation

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does de rien mean?


The literal meaning is:

  • De → Of
  • Rien → Nothing

“De rien” is the most basic way to say in French “You’re welcome” or “It was nothing“. It’s neutral register and works for most situations, but it doesn’t express much gratitude compared to other variations.

So, if you have to keep in mind just one expression, it’s this one, but as you will see below, there are plenty of other ways to express it.

To sound like a true French you will need to master these variations and use them appropriately depending on context, whom you are talking to and how much you want to be polite.

Let’s see a few examples!

How to use

A very basic example: you do something for someone and the person says: “Merci” (Thank you). Then you answer: “De rien” (You are welcome) or “Avec plaisir” (My pleasure).

But now let’s take the same situation and change it a little. The person who says “Merci” is your boss and you want to show some extra respect, so you can use instead: “Je vous en prie” (Literally: “I beg of you“).

Another case: the person is now your sibling/family or a close friend. No need to be formal anymore, right? So you can use instead: “Pas de quoi” (That’s nothing) or “T’inquiète” (Don’t worry) or “Pas de souci” (No worry).

Finally, imagine you think you don’t deserve the “Thank you” or you think the other person is actually the one to thank. In this case you can use an expression to redirect the “Merci” toward the other person.

Examples: “C’est moi qui te remercie” → “No, I am the one who thank you” (Informal) or “C’est moi qui vous remercie” (Formal). Other options would be: “Tout le plaisir est pour moi” → “All the pleasure is for me” (Neutral) or “Merci à toi/vous” → “Thanks to you“. (Informal/Formal)

Check the variations below to find the most appropriate ones regarding your situation!

Fun stuff

If you are texting someone and want to use a shorter version of “De rien” you can say: “2ri1” because “Deux (2)” sounds exactly like “De” and “Ri-un (1)” sounds like “Rien“.


In France, the variations you can use are:

  • Je t’en en prie → You are welcome (“I beg of you“)
  • Je vous en prie → You are welcome (“I beg of you“)(Formal)
  • Pas de souci(s) → No worry(ies) (Informal)
  • Pas de problème → No problem (Informal)
  • T’inquiète → Don’t worry (Informal)
  • T’inquiète pas → Don’t worry (Informal)
  • Ne t’inquiète pas → Don’t worry (Informal)
  • C’est moi qui te remercie → No thank you (“No, I am the one who thank you“)
  • C’est moi qui vous remercie → No thank you (“No, I am the one who thank you“)(Formal)
  • Merci à toi → Thanks to you
  • Merci à vous → Thanks to you (Formal)
  • Avec plaisir → My pleasure (“With pleasure“)
  • Tout le plaisir est pour moi → My pleasure (“All the pleasure is for me“)
  • Tout le plaisir était pour moi → My pleasure (“All the pleasure was for me“)
  • Pas de quoi → That’s nothing (“No need“)(Informal)
  • Y’a pas de quoi → That’s nothing (“There is no need“)(Informal)
  • Il n’y a pas de quoi → That’s nothing (“There is no need“)

In other French-speaking countries, you can also use:

  • Service → At your service (“Service“)(Switzerland)
  • Ça me fait plaisir → My pleasure (“It gives me pleasure“)(Canada)
  • Bienvenue → You’re welcome (“Welcome“)(Canada)
  • S’il vous plaît → You’re welcome (“Please“)(Belgium)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
Un maître de la drague
A cruising master
Marc:   Salut ! Je m’appelle Marc. Tu es jolie.
Hi! My name is Marc. You are pretty.
Rosalie:   Bonjour, Marc. Merci… Je suis Rosalie.
Hello Marc. Thanks… I’m Rosalie.
Marc:   Ravi de te rencontrer, Rosalie !
Nice to meet you, Rosalie!
Rosalie:   Ravi de te rencontrer également !
Nice to meet you too!
Marc:   Je peux t’offrir quelque chose à boire ?
Can I get you something to drink?
Rosalie:   Non merci, je ne bois pas d’alcool.
No thanks, I don’t drink alcohol.
Marc:   Tu peux prendre une boisson sans alcool.
You can have a non-alcoholic drink.
Rosalie:   Alors pourquoi pas…
Then why not…
Marc:   Qu’est-ce que tu veux ?
What do you want?
Rosalie:   Un verre de Coca-cola.
A glass of Coca-Cola.
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