English Usage Topics > Thanking someone
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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