If you're totally new to French and don't know the way to say thanks in French, then you're definitely in the right place! In today's blog, we'll look at 10 different ways to say thank you in French.
Before diving into the ultimate tips to saying thank you in French, you must know that there are various ways to say and express one's gratitude in the language. You'll later find out that all the words and expressions used to say thank you are more or less the same - the only difference they carry is in the weight of meaning, exaggeration, and contexts. Now, let's see what the French people would use when expressing gratitude in their mother tongue.
Saying Thank You in French - Common Words & Phrases
This is probably the only thank you phrase you know in French because it's the most common word used to say thank you in French - we hear it pretty much everywhere; on the TV, radio, and Internet. Merci simply means thanks and it suits every kind of occasion. You can use this word as a way to say thank you to your friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, or even strangers. It's short and simple, but may not always sound friendly. Merci may sometimes sound a bit short, cold, and ingenuine (in certain contexts).
As an alternative, you can add monsieur, madame, or mademoiselle to your merci. Addressing your interlocutor is the perfect way to get rid of the cold tone from merci, as it adds a sense of respect and politeness. So, instead of just saying merci, you can say:
If you want to emphasize the gratitude you're feeling towards a certain French person, use merci beaucoup (thank you very much). In French, beaucoup means 'a lot' and by saying so, you will sound more friendly, genuine, and engaging than just merci. So, feel free to roam around France and say 'thanks a lot' in French to the French community there.
Apart from saying thank you so much or thanks a lot, you can say merci mille fois to profoundly signify your appreciation and gratitude towards someone. This phrase carries the same meaning with mille mercis, which means thanks a million (or thank you a thousand times). Alternately, merci infinitement also has the same relative meaning, which is thank you infinitely (or thanks a million).
So, you can say merci to the mailman who delivers your parcel, but for a friend who comes over to your house and does all the Christmas decorations alone, you should use merci mille fois, mille mercis or merci infinitement instead!
In a formal context, this is the most suitable phrase to use. From the verb remercier, you should say je vous remercie to mean I thank you. Normally, this phrase is followed by the preposition pour (for) to include the thing you are grateful for. The use of the phrase is as below:
Je vous remercie pour votre hospitalite
I thank you for your hospitality
Je vous remercie pour votre attention
I thank you for your attention
Je vous remercie pour ce repas
I thank you for this meal
Another tip you should know - even being in the formal context, the phrase je vous remercie has its own formal and informal version, depending on the type of pronoun 'you' used. Based on the types of 'you' you use, the French people can tell what kind of relationship you have with the other person.
In a formal setting, you use tu when talking to a friend, family, or colleague.
In the same setting, when you're talking to a superior or stranger, you use the word vous (you).
Another great way of saying thank you informal situations is by using avec tous mes remerciements.
Typically, the phrase 'with many thanks' is used as a closing remark when signing off an email, a business letter, or a newsletter. Well, the same condition goes for the French language. You'll normally see the phrase avec tous mes remerciements if you subscribe to a French company's newsletter.
If you want to know another way of saying thank you to some French person, try giving a compliment instead, like "that's very kind of you" or "this is very nice on your part". By using this phrase, it implies how we appreciate their actions, gestures, and efforts. It's another unique way to say thank you. In French, such phrase is known as c est vraiment gentil de votre part.
So, if you get any kind of gifts or someone did an extra favor for you, you can appreciate their efforts by saying c'est vraiment gentil de votre part!
Another trick to say thanks and extend your gratitude in French is by using merci du fond du coeur, which means thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can also say alternate the word merci in front with je vous remercie to produce another varied expression, je vous remercie du fond du coeur, which means "I thank you from the bottom of my heart".
So, if you want to say thanks in French, with emphasis on your appreciation, you can say merci du fond du coeur! If writing a formal letter (in French) and you want to sincerely say thanks, one of the common ways is to say je vous remercie du fond du coeur.
If you're speaking in a front of a crowd or a few Frenchman, you can opt for another way of thanking your listeners collectively by saying merci à tous (thank you all).
This phrase carries a similar meaning with thanks a million because it adds the intensity of one's gratitude. You can use un grand merci to say big thanks. A common way of using this phrase is by adding the preposition 'to' after it;
In spoken French, if you would like to thank people in advance, you can use merci d'avance, which translates to thank you in advance. This phrase can be used in all informal contexts. For formal situations, it would be much better for you to say merci par avance instead. It's a more standard version of thanks in advance.
From the 10 various ways of saying thank you discussed above, you can see how there are so many ways to thank someone in French. Is it really important to say thank you in French culture? Well actually, it is! Saying thanks in French mirrors someone's personality - it tells how a person is culturally intelligent, polite, and humble. It's also important to learn French and understand the culture behind their language. You can study more about the French language by downloading the Ling App. Its best interactive features and creative graphics will make you want to learn French even more!