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Ways to Say “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome”

We’ve had a few questions about how to say “thank you” and I thought I’d post a message here. I’ve split up (divided) the ways to say “thank you” and the appropriate (suitable; acceptable) responses under two categories: “more formal” and “less formal.” However, the situation and your inflection (change in your voice) will help determine how formal it is.

~ Lucy

thank.gif

More Formal:
Thank you very much/Thanks very much
Thank you so much
Many thanks
Thank you

Responses (More Formal):
You’re welcome
It’s my pleasure
It was the least I could do
That’s really not necessary
. . .

Less Formal:
Thanks
Thanks a lot
Much appreciated
Thanks a million

Responses (Less Formal):
No problem
No sweat
Don’t mention it
Forget it
Anytime
It’s nothing

16 Responses to “Ways to Say “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome””

  1. Mohammed Osama Says:

    Much appreciated Lucy, but where are the ” letters” lessons?

  2. Isabel Says:

    Hello, Lucy

    When I was a child, I went to Gibraltar (the British colony in South Spain) in a school trip to practise English, and I remember that we use “Not at all” as a response to “Thank you”. Is this an old fashion expression, or a British English ones?

  3. Jamshid Says:

    Thanks a milliard dear Lucy and dear Jeff for so interesting podcast
    We Love you
    Kiss kiss kiss…

    Jamshid from Berlin Germany

  4. Dr. Lucy Tse Says:

    In answer to Isabel’s question, “not at all” isn’t a common response to “thank you” in the U.S. It’s possible to say, but after asking the ESL Podcast staff, we all agree that none of us use it regularly. It’s not that it’s old-fashioned. It’s just not as common as, for example, “no problem” or “anytime.”

    However, you will hear “not at all” use in this way:

    A: “I’m sorry to cause so much trouble.”
    B: “Not at all.”

    It may be more acceptable in British English, but none of us here know.

    ~ Lucy

  5. oleg Says:

    2Mohammed Osama

    “Letters” lessons were already mentioned plenty of times here in different sections.
    I even remeber there was an English Cafe where Dr. Jeff explained how to begin and how to end letters.
    Good luck!
    Oleg

  6. Gustavo Says:

    Thanks a lot for such a magnificent website and podcast. It’s really wonderful to have the chance to learn vocabulary and grammar in such a natural, spontaneous and fun way! Just a short question: Would you say “Welcome” is more common or less common than “You’re welcome” in informal speech? I heard “Welcome” as a reply to “thank you” a million times in the US and Canada, but there’s no way to find it in a dictionary or on a website.

  7. Dr. Lucy Tse Says:

    In answer to Gustavo, “welcome” is short for “you’re welcome,” and yes, you do hear it quite often in very informal situations.

    ~ Lucy

  8. Sam Says:

    Hi Lucy and others,

    First of all “I’m so thankful” of your efforts in helping us learn english more easily by creating such a cheerful and motivating atomosphere. Honestly, words fail to adequatly thank you. By the way, what about the expression: “I’m so thankful”?, perhaps it is very formal way to thank someone.

    Cheers
    Sam

  9. Fred Says:

    I think it will be helpfull.

    T h a n k y o u !
    Fred, France

  10. emiliano Says:

    Yes, as Isabel told before I was teached to say “not at all” in reply to “thank you”….but I never liked that answer and I do not know really why. I think it is less natural that “no problem” or “It’s nothing” just how you say in U.S.
    May you reply “doesn’t matter”? I ask this Lucy because that was my reply instead of “not at all” that dislike me a lot, may be because it is difficult for us (spanish) to pronounce.
    Thanks a million.

  11. Hla Says:

    I also want to learn second language as english, so i search website, this webside is good for learn who study second language. But I think most comment from all over the world.

  12. wong wong Says:

    i very much enjoy this website and am full of imagination about that “beautiful Los Anglese,California”. A question that is looking forward to an answer: do you say”i can’t thank you more” in response to others’ generous assistance?

  13. Dr. Lucy Tse Says:

    As a couple of you mentioned, yes, you can use phrases like, “I am thankful/grateful for/that…” and “I can’t thank you enough” to express thanks. These are all fairly formal and used to express thanks for something pretty significant or major.

    Can you respond with “doesn’t matter”? While I can imagine a situation where that is possible, it’s not common. We use “doesn’t matter” in response to something that may be unpleasant or that isn’t want we wanted.

    A: I’m not able to give you the hotel room you wanted. / These theater seats aren’t very good.
    B: Doesn’t matter.

    The closest response would probably be “no problem” or one of the other informal responses above.

    ~ Lucy

  14. matteo mescalchin Says:

    Hallo Lucy,
    hallo Jeff,

    Since I’ve been working a couple of months with an English guy and I remember he saying ‘no worries’ (while replying to ‘thank you’) I’m wondering if and how this expression is used in American English.

    Thanks a lot for having me here.

    ciao dall’Italia!

    Matteo
    P.S. many times I have noticed on the web (fast writing, chatting, texting etc) the short-form ‘thx’ meaning ‘thanks’.

  15. Harsh Says:

    Hi can we say “Thanks” in reply to Thanks? I have been wondering this from long time as I have heard this while speaking to Britishers and Aussie’s.

  16. Abner Castro Says:

    Hi guys!

    It’s my first visit in this blog. I have to congratulate you all. Congratulations! I will always come back here to improve my English more and more.
    Thank you very much.
    From Brazil.