The Best Ways to Say Thank You in French
Updated: April 19, 2021 by Mylene in French Expressions ▪
Saying thank you is by no means a perfect way that people around the world to express their gratitude. There are many ways to express gratitude in different cultures and in different languages.
Likewise, there are numerous ways to say thank you in French, from a simple merci, or thank you, to an ultra-polite expression of appreciation.
In this article you’ll discover the many ways of saying thank you in French:
- How to say thank you in French?
- When to use merci de?
- When to use merci pour?
- When to use merci à?
- How do you say thank you in French formal?
- Other common expressions
How to say thank you in French?
Thank you in French is merci. I’m sure that you already know that these five letters are used to say thank you in French. Here is how to use it in a sentence:
- Vous m’avez apporté des fleurs? Merci!: You brought me flowers? Thank you!
- J’aimerais dire un grand merci à mon mari qui m’a soutenu. : I would like to say a big thank you to my husband who has supported me.
Note that it’s always more polite to add something after your thank you.
- merci madame: thank you, madam
- merci monsieur: thank you, sir
- merci + name such as: merci Marie
Merci de vs. Merci pour vs. Merci à
When to use merci de?
Knowing how to be polite in French is essential for any French language learner. You can use the preposition “de”:
- If what follows thank you is a French verb
- When you are saying thanks for an intangible gift.
- merci de me rappeler: thanks for reminding me (you have the construction: merci + de + verb)
- merci de ton aide: thanks for your help (you have the following construction: merci + de + intangible help)
When to use merci pour?
If you want to be more precise about your gratefulness, you can use instead the construction merci + pour:
- when followed by a noun
- when you are giving thanks for an object or something tangible
- Merci pour ton cadeau: thanks for your gift. (you have the construction: merci + pour + something tangible)
- Merci pour le verre d’eau: thanks for the glass of water. (you have the construction: merci + pour + something tangible)
When to use merci à?
Do you want to thank a specific person? Or a group of persons? If so, you need to add the preposition “à” to the word merci in order to thank a specific person or group.
Merci à toi is an informal way to say thanks to you in French.
- merci à vous: thanks to you
- merci à tous: thank you everyone
- merci à Marie: thank you Marie
To explore other useful phrases, check our guide to learn common French expressions. Learn a plethora of French expressions, it’s a sure way to make you sound like a true French!
How do you say thank you in French formal?
The verb remercier
Another way to say thank you is to use the verb remercier.
The verb remercier is followed by a direct object:
- if you wish to be more formal in expressing your thanks, you can use it.
- Je vous remercie pour votre compréhension: I thank you for your understanding.
- Je vous remercie de tout cœur: thank you very much.
Other ways to say thank you In French
Saying thank you in French with merci
When merci is not enough, you can add a personal touch to it. Here is a list of different ways that you can use to say thank you in French:
- Merci beaucoup
- Un grand merci
- Merci infiniment
- Mille mercis
- Merci du fond du coeur
- Merci bien
The best option for thank you very much in French is merci beaucoup.
Its alternative is un grand merci which literally means a big thank you.
The other option is to say merci infiniment or mille mercis which both translate to thanks a million.
If you want to include more emotions, then say merci du fond du coeur. This French expression means thanks from the bottom of my heart. Once again, it’s a strong way to express gratitude to someone.
The next one is merci bien which is also used to say thank you in French. Be careful with this French expression as it can mean, or interpreted, in a sincere or sarcastic way!
Saying thank you in French without merci
Another way French speakers express gratitude is by saying “c’est gentil de”:
- C’est gentil de ta part (informal): it’s kind of you.
- C’est gentil de votre part (formal): it’s kind of you.
- C’est gentil de m’aider: thanks for you help.
If you’re looking for ways to strongly thank someone in French, then here are a few useful expressions. You can use one of these two phrases when someone does a big favor to you and you want to show you owe them.
- Je ne sais pas comment vous remercier: I don’t know how to thank you.
- Je vous suis extrêmement reconnaissant: I am very grateful to you.
Saying thanks in advance in French
To extend your gratitude for something that will happen soon, here’s how to say thanks in advance:
- Je vous remercie par avance: I thank you in advance.
- Je vous serais reconnaissant de… : I would be grateful to you to…
Thank You without a word in 2020
Sometimes you can say thank you without a word.
People all over France took to their windows every evening during the lockdown to give applause and to show their respect for the country’s health workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Now you know how to say thank you, the next step is to learn how to respond to a thank you in French. Discover 12 ways to say you’re welcome in French.
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