There are a few ways to say "You're welcome". Which is the best for somebody in the workplace (inside and outside the team and of about the same level as myself)

  • どういたしまして
  • いいえ
  • いえいえ
  • others?
  • 2
    Dependent on to whom you're speaking. Subordinate? Equal? Boss? Customer? Vendor? There is no catch all, but remember that a typical Japanese work place is one of the stiffest places on the planet. Most verbal exchanges are formal. Jul 21, 2015 at 12:18
  • @kiss-o-matic I was thinking of somebody on about the same level at the workplace but given that it might be different for people inside and outside the team I asked for both those possibilities. I'll update the question.
    – paullb
    Jul 22, 2015 at 5:38

3 Answers 3


A phrase that hasn't been mentioned and may prove very useful would be



It's a polite way of saying "not at all".

I think どういたしまして is polite, but somehow carries too much the nuance of "You're welcome" in that it accepts the fact that whoever is thanking you is correct in thanking you. とんでもない rejects the very idea of needing to be thanked and in that way is more humble.


It is common for Japanese people to return a thank you rather than accepting the thank you for themselves and saying 'you're welcome'.

Aさん: 「〇〇いただき、ありがとうございました。」

Bさん: 「いえいえ、こちらこそありがとうございました。」


I'm a non-native. But, in my experience 3 options might be:


would be formal enough for a non-native.
Less formally, I'd say:


and, most informally simply:


  • I didn't downvote but these seem far too informal for a Japanese workplace. These phrases are probably more suited to people you know very well.
    – tangrs
    Jul 22, 2015 at 6:32
  • Even for people you are close with, 「別に」is not appropriate nor is it used. I've heard 「別にいいよ」.
    – user224579
    Jul 22, 2015 at 17:20
  • @user224579 I think it is used, but I wholeheartedly agree that it's not appropriate.
    – Earthliŋ
    Jul 22, 2015 at 18:01
  • @Earthliŋ I decided to down-vote mysql as well. But, I'll just conclude that, for me, mostly what counted was timing and word emphasis. Just the sounds of Japanese. I was cut a lot of slack with regard to grammatically correct "business style" Japanese with pinpoint keigo. Obviously, this approach is not appropriate for a Q&A forum. :-)
    – david.t
    Jul 23, 2015 at 15:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .