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Ways to Say “Thank You” in English

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Intermediate/Advanced Reading Level

When someone does something nice, you should be polite and say, “Thanks” or “Thank you!”

Did you know there are many ways to show gratitude and thank someone? Some ways are formal or professional, whereas others are informal or friendly.

In this lesson, you will learn several ways of saying thanks in different situations.

Formal “Thanks”

  • Much obliged. (Very formal, uncommon)
  • I would like to thank you for [something].
    or I’d like to thank you for...
  • I’m very grateful [for something]
  • Thank you very much!
  • Thank you. I appreciate it very much.
  • Thank you. I appreciate it.
  • I appreciate your [something]

Much obliged is a the most formal way of saying thanks. It implies a sense of “obligation;” you did something for me, now I am obligated to return the favor. It is also somewhat dated . You do not hear people say that very often.

You can follow your thanks with what you are thanking the person for. For example, you can say,

  • Thanks for your help.
  • I’d like to thank you for your assistance.
  • Thank you very much for helping me with the project.
  • I appreciate your help.
  • I appreciate your helping me with this.
  • Thank you very much for your assistance.
  • I’d like to thank you for inviting me to the party.

To be grateful is another, slightly more formal way of saying to be thankful for something.

When you say “I appreciate it” after thanking someone, you are saying that you understand the importance or value of what they are doing or did for you; therefore, you are expressing even more gratitude than just “thanks.”

Informal, Friendly “Thanks”

Informal situations are those where, for example, you are talking to family members, friends, or people you have a close relationship with.

You can say “Thank you very much” in an informal situation, but it may sound a little too formal. There are several ways to be polite, grateful, and friendly as shown below.

The following examples of informal “thanks” are in decreasing order of formality:

  • Many thanks for [something]
  • Thank you! You’ve very kind.
  • Thank you!
  • Thanks!
  • Thanks a lot!
  • Thanks a bunch!
  • Thanks a million!
  • Thanks. You’re awesome!
  • Cheers! (mostly in British English)

Thanking for a Gift

In addition to the various ways of thanking someone we have seen so far, there are a few things you can say to someone for giving you a gift.

In addition to saying “Thank you!” or “Thank you very much!” you can add these expressions:

  • That’s very thoughful of you!
  • That’s very kind of you!
  • You shouldn’t have.
  • It’s beautiful!
  • I love it!

Examine the following dialogs

Dialog 1

— Happy Birthday! Here’s a little something for you.

— Oh, thank you so much! You shouldn’t have.

Dialog 2

Arriving at a dinner party, to which you were asked to bring a dessert:

— I thought you might like a cherry pie. I baked this afternoon.

— Oh, thank you! I love cherry pies. How did you know?

— Well, I hope you like it.

— I’m sure it tastes as delicious as it looks.

Dialog 3

At work, talking to a colleague who helped you complete a project:

I really appreciate your assistance. I don’t know what I would have done without your help.

— I’m glad I was able to help.

Note. In spoken English, “would have done” is usually contracted to “would’ve done.”

Notes about Formality

Learn more about it...

For more information about levels of formality, see Level of Formality in American Language and Culture.

The above article is also available for intermediate/advanced readers.

When in doubt...

Sometimes you are unsure if you should be formal or informal in a certain situation. If you are unsure, it is better to be formal than informal.

A formal, polite “Thank you very much” is a safe way to thank someone, especially if you are not sure how formal a situation is.

Next Lesson...

When people say “Thank you,” what do you say back to them? You say, “You’re welcome!” right?

Did you know there are many other ways to say that? Learn about that in the next lesson.

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