the different ways to say 'thank you' in French

What’s the best way to thank someone in oral and written French? This is a very popular question that many of my students often ask. In fact, like we saw with saying Yes or saying No, there are a lot of ways to express your gratitude in French!

In this new article we will look at the different ways of saying “thank you” in French and how they differ in a number of situations.

    1. The most used thank you expressions in everyday life
    2. Should we use merci de or merci pour ?
    3. The verb remercier 
    4. How to thank someone in writing (formal) ?
    5. How to write a thank you email after a job interview ?
say thank you everyday

The most used 'thank you' expressions in everyday life

Apparently, people who know how to say thank you on a daily basis were healthier !

Why ? They were just happier, and therefore less stressed. People who show gratitude generally feel healthier, which has an influence on our mental health. It’s a virtuous circle: the better we feel, the better we are ! 

Below are the most common ‘thank you’ expressions in French you can use every day :

  • Merci beaucoup ! = Thank a lot
  • Merci Monsieur / Madame = Thanks Sir / Madam
  • Super / Génial / C’est top, merci ! = Great / Awesome / It’s great, thanks !
  • Mille mercis ! = Many / thousand thanks
  • Merci, c’est très gentil à toi / à vous = Thanks, it’s very kind of you
  • Merci, c’est gentil de ta part / de votre part = Thanks, it’s nice of you
  • Merci du fond du cœur = Heartfelt thank you / Thank you from the bottom of my heart
  • Cela m’a fait super plaisir / cela m’a touché ! = It made me very happy / I was moved by
  • Un grand merci pour (cet adorable mot / cette gentille attention / ce cadeau) = A big thank you for (this lovely word / this nice touch or lovely thought / this gift)
common used thank you in french

Should we say 'merci de' or 'merci pour' ?

Prepositions in French are essential words placed after a verb, noun, or adjective in order to indicate a relationship between that word and the noun or pronoun that follows. When you use ‘merci‘ different prepositions are possible :

Merci de + infinitif

  • Merci de ne pas fumer = Please do not smoke
  • Merci de faire attention à la porte = Please pay attention to the door
  • Merci d’être venu = Thank you for coming

Merci pour / de + nom

  • Merci pour /de ta visite = Thank you for stopping by
  • Merci pour / de votre aide = Thank you for your help
  • Merci pour vos délicieux gâteaux = Thank your for your delicious cakes
  • Merci de votre attention = Thank you for your attention

Often, we can use either ‘de’ or ‘pour’ + noun but remember :

  • De + abstract noun
  • Pour + concrete noun
merci de ou merci pour

Le verbe 'remercier'

Remercier is a verb of the first group which means to thank someone. We will use it more in writing thank when speaking.

  • Je te / vous remercie (pour votre aide) = I thank you for your help
  • Je te / vous remercie infiniment =  I thank you a lot / infinitely
  • Je te / vous remercie de tout mon cœur = I thank you with all my heart
  • Je te / vous remercie par avance = Thank you in advance
use the verb remercier

Etre remercié can also means to be fired Il a été remercié après plus de 20 ans à la tête du groupe XYZ = He was dismissed after more than 20 years at the head of the group XYZ

How to thank someone in writing (formal French) ?

Furthermore, writing and speaking French can sometimes be quite different. Writing acknowledgments and thank you emails belongs more to the register of convenience, but remains as fundamental (and necessary) as ever. You will find in this useful article how to write academic thank you and below some formulas in written French : 

  • Je vous suis très reconnaissant(e) pour votre aide = I am very grateful for your help.
  • J’aimerais vous exprimer / adresser mes plus sincères remerciements = I would like to express / address you my deep appreciation
  • Veuillez accepter mes plus sincères remerciements = Kindly accept my most sincere thanks
  • Je voudrais tout d’abord vous remercier grandement = First of all, I would like to thank you very much
  • Je tiens à témoigner toute ma reconnaissance = I want to express my gratitude
write thank you

How to write a thank you email after a job interview ?

Finally, we saw in a previous article how to prepare for a French interview. In France like in many countries, the job interview doesn’t end at the company door.

Recruiters generally appreciate receiving a thank you email after the interview. Indeed, they see it as a positive signal to the future employer. In general it is preferable to send this email approximately 48 hours after the interview. The objectives of the email after an interview are :

  1. First, thank your contacts for the wealth of discussions during the job interview. Politeness is always a winning value and can make the difference with other candidates.
  2. Then, reiterate your motivation for the position (this obviously assumes that you are still interested in it). The post-interview thank you email allows you to show the recruiter that you have understood the issues presented. You are then able to reformulate them briefly.
  3. At last, to make it possible to maintain contact with recruiters.

Therefore, a thank you email could contain one of the following phrases :

  • Je tiens à vous remercier pour votre disponibilité / le temps que vous m’avez accordé hier = I want to thank you for your availability / time yesterday
  • Je vous remercie pour l’attention portée à ma candidature = Thank you for your consideration of my application
  • Je vous remercie de notre entretien et de la pertinence de nos échanges le (date) dans vos bureaux = Thank you for our discussion and the relevance of our discussions on (date) in your offices
  • Pour faire suite à l’entretien que nous avons eu, je tenais tout d’abord à vous remercier de l’excellent accueil que vous m’avez réservé, mais aussi de la qualité de nos échanges = To follow up on the conversation we had, I wanted to thank you for the excellent welcome you gave me, but also for the quality of our exchanges
how to write a thank you email

In conclusion, thank someone can be done in many different ways. But don’t forget : you can also be thank someone without a word ! You can be grateful and say thank you with your eyes, with your heart or with a nice gesture.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If you have any questions, feel free to use my contact form or send me an email to bonjour@frenchwithagnes.com. Looking forward to hearing from you. Merci !

how to say thank you in french

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