ESL – Thank you! Part 1

26 October


Thank You!  Part 1


Is there a language which does not use the expression ‘ thank you ‘?  There are probably some countries in which a gesture is often used instead e.g. ‘ a bow in Japan or in some societies a small gift is appreciated well.  Sue and I always receive a thank-you present from the parents here in France, who send their children to stay with us for their Sejour Linquistique Anglais.

The British however can easily be accused of over-saying ‘thank you’.  So as a general rule, if there is an opportunity to use one of the following ways to express your gratitude, it’s a good idea to do it.  British courtesy expects it!

Remember that fluency in any language is not only what you say that matters. It is also how you say it  Here’s an example of what I mean.  Recently a French speaking guest said to me ” Thanks a lot “.  It was meant as a genuine heartfelt expression of gratitude.  Indeed it’s a direct translation of ‘ merci beaucoup’.

However this happens to be a bitter sarastic expression in English e.g.
“Wayne, any idea what happened to the packet of crisps I opened?”
Harry “yes, I thought you were finished with it, so I ate the rest”.
Wayne “Thanks a lot Harry! I was looking forward to finishing them later”)

So here’s 25 better ways to say thank you properly.

Thanking someone casually

The checkout clerk rings up your items at the grocery store. Your friend or co-worker hands you a cup of coffee or a sandwich. A random stranger gives you directions for getting to the nearest train station. What do you say?

Below is the simplest and most basic way of saying thanks. You can’t go wrong with this. It’s suitable for both casual and formal situations.

(1) Thank you.

Below is a shorter, more casual form of thank you that you could use with friends, family and peers.

(2) Thanks!

To emphasize (stress) your thanks, you could say:

(3) Thanks so much.

With close friends and family, you could use this even more casual version:

(4) Thanks a million.

When someone has done you a favor

When someone does you a favor (helps you with something), they’re often not only willing to help but sometimes they may even offer to help without you asking. For example, you might request help with your class project from another student, or your neighbor might offer you a ride to the train station if it’s raining or snowing outside.

Here’s how you can thank them for their kindness and help:

(5) That’s very kind of you.

Or, if they made your day a little less unpleasant and more bearable (by keeping you from getting caught in the rain or snow, for example):

(6) You made my day.

Or, if you want to thank them for being such a wonderful and caring person:

(7) You’re awesome!

When someone does something unexpected for you

Has someone ever done something for you that you didn’t expect? Your brother who never cleans his own room offers to clean your house and do your errands after noticing how busy you are. Your friend drives 100 miles to visit and bring you a housewarming gift after you move to your new job in another city. Surely that would have you both surprised and grateful at the same time.

You could even be so surprised at someone’s thoughtful words or actions that you simply can’t find the words to thank them enough. In that case, you could say:

(8) I don’t know what to say!

Though you may be pleasantly surprised, you may also be feeling a little awkward or shy about someone having gone out of their way to be so thoughtful towards you in their words or actions. Here are a couple ways to express that feeling:

(9) Oh, you shouldn’t have!

(10) How thoughtful of you!

When someone has helped you achieve an important goal

Achieving success or an important goal isn’t always easy. Oftentimes, it’s the encouragement and support of people around you that push you to succeed. Maybe it’s your parents who have cheered you on, your friends who have been there for you or your team members who have put in their time and effort.

Here are some ways to thank those people who have played a part in your success:

(11) I couldn’t have done it without you.

(12) I really want to thank you for your help.

(13) I really appreciate everything you’ve done.

See the remaining 12 ways to say ‘thank you’ in a few days time!

Thank you for visiting my blog


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