Thank you is one of the most important phrases in the English language. It is a polite way to show appreciation and gratitude for something someone has done for you. Whether it is a simple gesture or a grand gesture, expressing your gratitude is essential. In English, there are many different ways to say thank you. Depending on the context, you can choose from a variety of idiomatic and slang expressions. In this article, we will explore the different ways to say thank you in English.

When Should You Say Thank You In English?

It is appropriate to say thank you in a variety of situations, such as when someone has given you a gift, done a favour for you, or provided you with assistance. It is also appropriate to show gratitude when someone has offered you a compliment or expressed their appreciation for something you have done.

In general, it is best to say thank you as soon as possible after someone has done something for you. This shows that you are grateful and appreciative of their efforts. Additionally, it is important to be sincere when expressing your gratitude.

A simple word or phrase that expresses thanks can go a long way in showing someone that you appreciate their help. In some cases, it may be appropriate to say thank you more formally. For example, if someone has done something particularly special for you, you may want to write a thank you note or card. This is a great way to show your appreciation and express your gratitude in a more meaningful way.

Common Phrases:

Let’s start with some common phrases that can be used in most situations when we want to express gratitude:

  • Many thanks
  • Thanks
  • Thanks a lot
  • Thank you very much


Idioms are phrases that have a figurative meaning. These expressions are often used to express gratitude in a more creative way. Here are some of the most common idiomatic expressions used to say thank you in English:

  • I’m so grateful – A formal way of showing extreme gratitude.
  • I can’t thank you enough – Used to express deep gratitude.
  • I owe you one – This phrase is used to show that you are in debt to someone and will repay them in the future.
  • Much appreciated – Used to express appreciation.
  • Much obliged – A formal (or old-fashioned) phrase used to express that you are very grateful for something.
  • Thanks a bunch – Used to express extreme gratitude. This expression is often used sarcastically. For example, “You’ve given me a 0.01% pay-rise? Thanks a bunch.”
  • Thanks a million – This is a very common idiom used to express extreme gratitude.
  • You’re a lifesaver – This phrase is used to thank someone for helping you out of a difficult situation.
  • You’re the best – This phrase is used to thank someone for their kindness and generosity.

Related Expressions and Actions:

We can say thank you (or thanks) in advance if we want to thank someone for something they will do for us in the future.

A pat on the back is another way to show gratitude. We can also give a thumbs up to someone to say thanks. Another action to show gratitude is a tip of the hat – although this is quite old-fashioned.

If you are publicly giving thanks to someone (like during a presentation or formal event) you can give someone a shout-out. You may hear this expression during concerts or award shows.

You can add mate, fam, y’all, bro, sis or dude to your thanks. “Thanks, mate!”


Slang is informal language used in everyday conversations. Here are some of the most common slang phrases used to say thank you in English:

  • Cheers (UK / Australian slang) – Cheers can be used to say thanks, goodbye or to wish good luck before drinking. This term is very common in the UK, and may even be the most popular way to say thanks today! Read more: ‘Cheers’ overtakes ‘thank you’ as favourite offer of gratitude, poll finds.
  • Ta (UK slang) – The British expression ta is used to give a quick and easy thanks for something. You can even use the phrases ta very much or ta muchly.

Internet slang:

  • thx
  • ty (thank you)
  • TYVM (Thank You Very Much)

As you can see, there are many different ways to say thank you in English. Depending on the context, you can choose from a variety of idioms and slang expressions. No matter which phrase you choose, expressing your gratitude is essential – and don’t forget to reply with a you’re welcome if somebody thanks you!

Further Reading:

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