Say thank you in French + examples

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Say thank you in French + examples

To thank someone in French according to the context

Assuming that you are polite, you will have to say thank you at some point.

Everyone knows the classic "thank you", simple and to the point. It can be used in both casual and formal settings. However, in some situations, it can come across as too concise, not warm enough. So what are its variations and how do you use them? Find out here.

No, really, thank you!

One of the simplest ways to emphasize your gratitude is to add "a lot", "well" or "a thousand":

"Merci beaucoup" "Merci bien" ("Thank you very much / Thanks a lot")

"Mille mercis" "Merci mille fois" ("Thanks a million")

Yes, in English we say thank you a million times, but only a thousand in French!

Complete with "Madame" or "Monsieur"

In a more formal context, to address someone in a respectful manner, it is customary to use "Merci Madame / Merci beaucoup Monsieur".

Give thanks for a specific thing

- As in English, add "for" to thank for a gift, a dinner, .... For example:

"Merci pour flowers" "Thank you pour cette soirée”

- If it's an action, use "de + avoir + participle passé" (Thank you for doing something).

"Merci de m'avoir ramené"("Thank you for driving me back") 

"Merci d’avoir fait la vaisselle” ("Thank you for doing the washing up")

- If we simply thank a person for the way he or she is, then we use "to + être" (Thank you for being something).

"Merci d’être la meilleure collègue du monde” (“Thank you for being the best colleague in the world”).

"Merci d’être si gentil” (“Thank you for being so kind”).

NB: when "de" is followed by a vowel, it is contracted ("d'be", "d'have").

When someone does you a favor

To thank someone who has been kind to you, you can be even more sincere:

“Merci infiniment” (“Thank you so much”)

“C’est gentil à vous” (“That’s kind of you”)

“Vous êtes bien aimable” (“You’re too kind”)

“Je ne sais pas comment vous remercier” (“I don’t know how to thank you”)

“Merci pour votre aide” (“Thank you for your help”)

“Merci pour votre gentillesse” (“Thank you for your kindness”)

NB: If, on the other hand, the person was not able to help you, but you still want to thank them, say "Thanks anyway".

Expressing immense gratitude

To express great gratitude, with deep feelings, French has these beautiful expressions:

"Merci du fond du cœur" ("Thank you from the bottom of my heart")

The verb "remercier"

"Thank you" and "thanks" are more suited to written communication, or a very formal conversation such as a job interview or an exchange in sustained language. For example:

“Je tenais à vous présenter mes remerciements pour votre soutien” (“I wanted to thank you for your support)”

“Je vous remercie pour votre attention” (“Thank you for your attention”)

“Je vous remercie beaucoup” (“Thank you very much”)

When merci means "yes"

Thank you can be used to accept something physical, like a drink or extra lasagne. For example:

- "Would you like a beer? " / "Would you like a lasagne?"

- "Thank you." ("Yes please")

Using merci (thank you) in this situation can lead to ambiguity. The gesture is important because it will help the other person understand the answer, which will be "yes" in the vast majority of cases. To refuse and avoid any ambiguity, say “non, merci” (no, thank you).

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