French Word of the Day: Pas de quoi

French Word of the Day: Pas de quoi
Need a gracious reply after you've committed a random act of kindness or helped someone out? Here's an option.

Why do I need to know 'pas de quoi'?

Pas de quoi is the informal way to say you're welcome if someone has just thanked you for something. It is similar to de rien but is a little more friendly and informal. But it's not a slang term that can only be used with close acquaintance, but it is just friendlier and more informal than de rien, but perfectly appropriate to use for strangers and older people.  

What does it mean? 

Pas de quoi literally translates to not of what, which is similar to the English not of worth, as in it is not worth mentioning it, or not worth making a fuss about it. So to say that the word could be translated into 'it's not worth thanking me' or more informally 'it's nothing' 'no problem', 'think nothing of it', 'not at all'.

For example, if you give up your seat to an old person or a pregnant woman on the Metro and they say Merci you can respond with pas de quoi. 


It is argued that this expression started being used around the 20th century, and is still been used since. 

You are more likely to hear this expression being used by younger generation as it is a friendlier term than the de rien which is generally still taught to foreigners in French classes. 

For more words, expressions and phrases that are in everyday use in France, check out our word of the day section.

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