I am learning Spanish and ran across "De nada" and "No hay de qué". Both mean "You're welcome". What's the difference?

  • I would prefer to say :"El placer es mío " . I do find this more polite than "de nada"..This sounds so rude...my opinion.😉
    – user12967
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 19:30
  • But that @user12967 is not an expression in Spanish but a direct translation from English, so I'm afraid none or only English speaking people would say that in Spanish... Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 14:29

13 Answers 13


It's just a matter of regional preferences.

No hay de qué might be a bit more formal in some contexts, but they mean exactly the same.

  • 5
    Am I the only one who gets a “don’t worry about it” sense from No hay de qué?
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 16:02

There is another way in Spain:

No hay por qué darlas

It means that you don't need to thank me because helping you was easy for me, or our personal relation is so strong that helping you is taken for granted. Actually, the three forms have the same sense, as 'De nada' and 'No hay de qué' can be considered shorter forms of 'No hay por qué darlas'.

All the three forms are common, with 'De nada' being the most common due to its shortness.

  • 4
    If you say "No hay por qúe darlas" in Mexico people will screw with you. That's because "darlas" can also be tought as "dar las nalg** a alguien". In Mexico that's called "alburear". You can find the definition here: rae.es/alburear Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 21:17
  • Yup, that is a totally no-no in Mexico, it'd imply a sexual innuendo more commonly known as "albur" Commented May 22, 2015 at 19:35
  • In Spain we use 'de nada', while in several southamerican countries they say 'para nada'.
    – JLPrieto
    Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 21:15
  • @JLPrieto - Are you sure you didn't mean to write "por nada"? Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 13:35
  • 1
    @JLPrieto - We can also ask here at Spanish Language StackExchange! That will make a great question. Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 17:05

In Mexico de nada - or por nada- is a common reply to gracias. I am now studying Spanish in Costa Rica where they take de nada more literally hence offensive. To the locals de nada means more like "it was unimportant and I don't care".

Here the appropriate response to gracias is mucho gusto ("it's my pleasure").

Similarly me da igual is appropriate while no me importa is somewhat offensive.

  • me da igual is not equivalent in any way to de nada in most of the Spanish speaking countries, I agree that's rude to reply that to a gracias but it's not the same meaning that de nada. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 14:34
  • 1
    @EugenioMiró - There's no connection in meaning. User540 only meant, by the way, here is another interesting case where two phrases that in some regions are equivalent, carry a very different tone. Commented Jun 30, 2018 at 13:31

I'm beginning to learn Spanish as well. I just learned of the phrase, "No hay de que'" and had the same question. When I typed out the individual words in the phrase for literal meaning they mean the following: (Español/English)

No = no;

hay = there is;

de = of;

que = what.

The direct English translation would be, "No there is of what." The "correct" translation would be, "There is no of what." There are several English sayings that have a similar context such as, "What of it?" or "There is nothing to it." or "Make nothing of it."

This is similar to, "De nada." Which is, "Of nothing". The English phrase similar to this is: "It is nothing."

At least this is how I'm rationalizing the Spanish to English context beyond the literal translation.

I hope that helps. Happy learning!


They both serve the same function and the difference is a matter of style/nuance. In English, you might say one of the following:

you're welcome

my pleasure

no problem

of course

Or any number of other variations. In Spanish you'll find the same is true:

de nada

no hay de qué

faltaría más


No hay de qué might have been built in the early 19th century upon the French:

Il n'y a pas de quoi

The latter being a shortcut of

Il n'y a pas de quoi me remercier


There is no reason to thank me

This is not something that I deserve to be thank for


No hay de que, translates directly to "No There of that" or "There's none of that".

I have heard people say it translates to "don't mention it" but I think it really means means "there is no need to thank", which people interpret "it was my pleasure". However, it would be like English people saying "there is no need to thank", which we really don't say. or everyone once in a while you hear it.

  • 1
    this is true, but this is the beauty of idioms: they are not to be translated literally
    – fedorqui
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 19:17

In Argentina it is: No hay por qué.

It is sort of diminishing, like: "no, it was nothing" or "you have no reason to thank me, it was nothing."


Reply to gracias

Fue un placer

Very polite

A la orden / a sus órdenes

Express subordination

¿De qué?

Quite common although a bit rude

De nada / por nada / no es nada

Very common

No hay por qué / No hay de qué

Very common

No hay por que darlas

You can use it; but, in Mexico, you will get a reply. So be aware!

Las que hace el chango / las que hace el perro

Naco: Bad taste; great lack of style


Both expressions are responses to "thank you" that diminish the importance of the thing given. "De nada" means you're thanking me for nothing. "No hay de que" literally means "there is nothing for which" (in other words, there is nothing for which to thank me.)

The rough equivalent in English is "you're welcome." Even though English takes a different tack from Spanish (and French). Rather than diminish the thing given, English indicates that you're thanking someone for something you were always welcome to have.

Of the two expressions, "de nada" is less formal and what you'd expect to hear among friends and family members. "No hay de que" is slightly more formal and you'd expect to hear it when thanking someone in a professional context, although "de nada" could be used there as well.


De nada: literal translation is close to, "It was nothing." but as everyone knows, the usage is pretty much exactly translated to, "You're welcome."

No hay de que: literal translation is close to, "No reason to thank me." but the feeling is more formal, closer to, "It was my pleasure."

This is based on my experience, and this obviously varies among different Latin cultures.


De Nada means you're welcome. No hay de qué can mean, don't mention it, it was nothing, think nothing of it, pretty much a more elaborate form of thank you.


"De nada" purely means, "you're welcome", but not literally. "No hay de qué" more directly translates to, "It's my pleasure." This is what I have gathered from just several years in learning Spanish.

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