Basic ways of thanking
You thank someone when they have just done something for you or given you something. You say `Thank you' or, more casually, `Thanks'.
`I'll take over here.' – `Thank you.'
`Don't worry, Caroline. I've given you a marvellous reference.' – `Thank you, Mr Dillon.'
`There's your receipt.' – `Thanks.'
`Would you tell her that Adrian phoned and that I'll phone at eight?' – `OK.' – `Thanks.'
Some speakers, especially speakers of British and Australian English, say `Cheers' to thank someone in a casual way.
Some British speakers also say `Ta' /tɑː/.
`You're pretty good at this.' – `Cheers, mate.'
`This is all the material you need.' – `Ta.'
If you need to say why you are thanking the other person, you say `Thank you for...' or `Thanks for...'.
Thank you for a delicious lunch.
Well, then, good-night, and thanks for the lift.
Thanks for helping out.
Emphatic ways of thanking
People often add very much or very much indeed to be more emphatic.
`Here you are.' – `Thank you very much.'
`I'll ring you tomorrow morning.' – `OK. Thanks very much indeed.'
You can say `Thanks a lot', but you can't say `Thank you a lot' or `Thanks lots'.
`All right, then?' – `Yes, thanks a lot.'
If you want to show that you are very grateful, you can say something like `That's very kind of you' or `That's very good of you'.
`Any night when you feel a need to talk, you will find me here.' – `That's very kind of you.'
`Would you give this to her?' – `Sure. When I happen to see her.' – `That's very good of you, Nicole.'
You can also say something like `That's wonderful' or `Great'.
`I'll see if she can be with you on Monday.' – `That's wonderful!'
`Do them as fast as you can.' – `Yes. OK.' – `Great.'
Even more emphatic ways of thanking are shown below.
`All right, Sandra?' – `Thank you so much, Mr Atkinson; you've been wonderful. I just can't thank you enough.'
`She's safe.' – `I don't know how to thank you.'
I can't tell you how grateful I am to you for having listened to me.
More formal ways of thanking
People sometimes thank someone more formally by saying `I wanted to thank you for...' or `I'd like to thank you for...', especially when expressing thanks for something that was done or given a little while ago.
I wanted to thank you for the beautiful necklace.
I want to thank you all for coming.
We learned what you did for Ari and I want to tell you how grateful I am.
I'd like to thank you for your patience and your hard work.
You can also express thanks more formally by saying things like `I'm very grateful to you' or `I really appreciate it'.
I'm grateful for the information you've given me on Mark Edwards.
Thank you for coming to hear me play. I do appreciate it.
Thanking someone for an offer
You can say `Thank you' or `Thanks' when accepting something that is offered.
`Have a cake.' – `Thank you.'
You say `No, thank you' or `No, thanks' when refusing something that is offered.
`There's one biscuit left. Do you want it?' – `No, thanks.'
Don't refuse something by just saying `Thank you'.
Thanking someone for a present
When you have been given a present, you say `Thank you', or something like `It's lovely'.
`Here's a little gift for your birthday.' – `Oh, thank you! It's lovely.
People sometimes say `You shouldn't have' as a polite way of showing that they are very grateful.
`Here. This is for you.' – `Joyce, you shouldn't have.'
Thanking someone for an enquiry
You also say `Thank you' or `Thanks' when replying to someone who has asked how you are or how a member of your family is, or if you have had a nice weekend or holiday.
`How are you?' – `Fine, thank you.'
`Did you have a nice weekend?' – `Lovely, thank you.'
Thanking someone in a letter or email
When thanking someone in a letter or email, you most commonly say `Thank you for...'. In a formal business letter, you can say `I am grateful for...'.
Dear Madam, Thank you for your letter replying to our advertisement for an assistant cashier.
I am grateful for your prompt reply to my request.
If the letter or email is to a friend, you can say `Thanks for...'.
Thanks for writing.
Replying to thanks
When someone thanks you for handing them something or doing a small service for them, it is acceptable not to say anything in reply in Britain.
However, people in the United States, especially employees in shops, often say something like `You're welcome' or `No problem'. When someone thanks you for helping them or doing them a favour, you reply `That's all right', `Don't mention it', or `That's OK'.
`Thank you, Charles.' – `That's all right, David.'
`Thanks. This is really kind of you.' – `Don't mention it.'
`Thanks. I really appreciate it.' – `That's okay.'
If you want to be both polite and friendly, you can say `It's a pleasure', `My pleasure', or `Pleasure'.
`Thank you very much for talking to us about your research.' – `It's a pleasure.'
`Thank you for the walk and the conversation.' – `Pleasure.'
`Thanks for sorting it out.' – `My pleasure.'
`Any time' is more casual.
`You've been very helpful.' – `No problem. Any time.'
If someone thanks you in a very emphatic way, you can reply using the expressions below.
`He's immensely grateful for what you did for him.' – `It was no trouble.'
`Thanks, Johnny. Thanks for your help.' – `It was nothing.'
`I'm enormously grateful to you for telling me.' – `Not at all.'
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