Replying "No problem" when someone asks a favor.

I think “no problem” in response to a request is fine.

However I do not like it in place of “you’re welcome”.


Dude1: Hey thank you for XYZ.
Dude2: No problem.

I used to use it all the time, then one day I heard someone else say it and it seemed to refuse the thank you. It was unsatisfying, so I changed it.:cool:

5 minutes? I had a full 8 hours of ‘positive language’ training.

My personal preference would abolish “no problem.” By that ship has sailed. It does not impress me as mgmt mumbo jumbo to encourage/require employees to avoid phrases that MIGHT be misconstrued by customers, cow-orkers, etc. Especially when there are so many substitutes. Certainly. My pleasure. Sure thing.

May not be entirely valid, but I think of social conventions where there seem to be so many instances where one is encouraged to tailor their language to avoid any possible bad feelings on the listener’s part. Refer to groups the way that group prefers. Avoid correct words if they might be misinterpreted. In such a climate, it seems to make sense to avoid even innocuous phrases that might be interpreted unfavorably.

You want me to stop saying it? OK, no problem!

What about all the languages where “you’re welcome” is some form of a literal “it’s nothing?” De nada, de rien, etc. Are whole countries rude?

“No problem” and “it’s nothing” seem to be opposites, so no, those countries aren’t rude. When saying “no problem,” the connotation is that you really did go out of your way, but you don’t really mind.

If someone tells me thank you for stopping and changing his grandmother’s car tire, I might say “no problem.”

If my server hands me the hamburger I ordered and I say “thank you,” he shouldn’t say “no problem.”

Meh, I don’t see a whole lot of air between “it’s no problem” and “it’s no thing” in the grand scheme. I think the implication is the same, “I was not put out by this request,” as opposed to “you’re free to use my time and labors,” which is what “you’re welcome” implies.

That’s not how I understand it.

I think it’s just a loaner from French, y’all probably didn’t even commit violence in order to acquire it, and that as someone already put it,

Last year I had the opportunity to audit a two-day course on “running worker evals” during a visit to the US; I was doing some work and people were getting trained in that same room. One of the things the trainer said must never be done was use the word “but”. Apparently someone has decided that the word “but” is always negative, therefore something such as “I know you didn’t quite reach the objectives we had set, but it is clear to everybody that this was due to [some specific unexpected situation] and your response to that was superb” is inappropriate. Because it’s negative. So it shouldn’t be done. An’ stuff. And boy am I glad I don’t have to give a shit whether my conjunctions offend HR, because I’d feel tempted to do my evals in sign language and Spanish is a bit more emphatic than English when it comes to those.

Pro tip: “To fulfill your slightest whim is all that gives meaning to my lonely existence” is not generally considered an improvement.

My feet are as wings to serve thee,

OP is absolutely correct, same reason I don’t say “hello” anymore (because it starts with “hell”)

Is “Yes, Mistress” still appropriate in certain situations?

A related thread voicing a complaint about the Swedish phrase “ingen fara,” which literally translates to “no danger” [of being obligated], but colloquially translates to “no problem.”

No worries, mate.

“No problem” was become a catchall phrase meaning “You’re welcome” and “I’ll do it,” depending on context. No one gives it any more thought or deeper meaning, though older folks find the change annoying.


By which I mean I don’t agree. In my experience “no problem” means that the person really has no problem with the favor. When they agree to do it but have reservations (or just flat-out hate even being asked) the response is more often than not “sure”.

I recall reading in one of those gender communication book (Tannen, perhaps?) that women generally don’t like to hear “no problem,” because it unnecessarily brings up the concept of the request being a problem and maybe also implies that the criteria for doing things for someone is whether or not it’s a problem. Instead of, say, “I do things for you because I love you.”

Agree with the sentiment. Plus, whenever I hear someone say this, I automatically assume they work or have worked at Chick-Fil-A.

That a phrase contains a negative or a positive seems completely irrelevant.

E.g., “Have a good one.” just grates on me. I hate it. OTOH, “Don’t be a stranger.” seems quite friendly.

In particular, “No problem.” indicates a relaxed response. They’re cool, I’m cool, we’re all cool. No worries, mate.

Sounds like someone is over analysing the phrase ‘no problem’ in order to have something pseudo meaningful to say in order to make you think it was a worthwhile course.
Management course are full of this bullshit where someone comes up with nonsense reasons to do or not do something perfectly innocuous.
My scale of accommodation goes from ‘no problem’ all the way to NEFM (not even fucking maybe)

Whenever I hear that you shouldn’t use “No problem” because it’s “negative,” I always wonder about all those other acknowledgements of “Thank you” that are also negative in their construction, such as:

[li]Think nothing of it.[/li]
[li]Don’t mention it.[/li]
[li]Not at all.[/li]
[li]Don’t give it another thought.[/li][/ul]
No one seems to object to any of those, but for some reason “No problem” irritates people. I don’t usually have much sympathy for the idea of “Looking for something to be offended by,” but in this case I think it really does apply.

You just can’t parse stock phrases that closely.