The French phrase "De rien" explained

Get ready to discover all the things you need to know about the basic sentence “De rien”.

Are included a full explanation of what it is and how to use it in a normal conversation with an audio example. Together with the cool things we sprinkled like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio, synonyms and more!

If you want, on this page you can find our others sentences pages plus all our pages about French words on this page. Have fun!

Table of Contents

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French to English

Pronunciation example

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

De rien meaning


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 compare 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 sounds 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 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 appropriated ones regarding to 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“.

Synonyms and similarities

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 worr-y(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)

Dialogue example

Audio dialogue from French people

Dialogue audio

Dialogue script

” Au revoir “
” Goodbye “
” Au revoir et merci pour tout ! “
” Goodbye and thanks for everything! “
” De rien “
” You are welcome “
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