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 "merci", simple and to the point. It can be used in a casual or formal setting. However, in some situations, it can seem too concise, not warm enough. So what are its variations and how do you use them? Find out here.
Non vraiment, merci ! (No really, thank you!)
One of the easiest ways to emphasize your gratitude is to add "beaucoup", "bien" or "mille":
"Merci beaucoup" "Merci bien" ("Thank you very much / Thanks a lot")
"Mille mercis" "Merci mille fois" ("Thanks a million")
And yes, in English we thank 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".
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Give thanks for a specific thing
- As in English, add "pour" (for) to thank for a gift, a dinner, .... For example:
"Merci pour les fleurs” “Merci pour cette soirée”
- If it is an action, use "de + avoir + past participle" (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
In order to thank a person who has been gracious, you can afford to be extra 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:
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart" ("Merci du fond du cœur")
The verb "remercier"
“Remercier” and “remerciements” 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 a physical thing, such as a drink or extra lasagna. For example:
– “Tu veux une bière ? ” / “Je vous ressers des lasagnes ?” ("Would you like a beer? " / "Can I get you some more lasagna?")
– “Merci.” (“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).