Sometimes a simple merci just isn’t enough to show your gratitude. Learn many other ways to say “thank you” in French and how to show your appreciation.
You are in the Bois de Vincennes, hopelessly lost, looking for the Parc Floral, some botanical gardens recommended by your friend, who happens to be a bumblebee. You stop a passerby and ask for directions. The kind Samaritan not only gives you directions, but offers to take you there. Kind of creepy, but you’re getting a good vibe from them, because they have a dog and 3 parrots. Standing before the entrance, a simple merci or “thank you” suddenly doesn’t feel like enough. Read on to learn some different ways to say “thank you” in French.
You probably already know that merci, one of the basic French words, means “thank you”, especially if you were a fan of Pepé Le Pew growing up (he’s been canceled since). However, like another basic greeting, “hello”, there are many different ways to express yourself depending on the context.
The basic way to say “thank you” in French
When learning French, one of the first greetings that any student learns is merci, along with its correct pronunciation, which is a bit easier than most French words. It is the most common way to say “thank you” and can be used in almost all social situations. However, just like in English, native speakers use a wide variety of expressions to communicate their appreciation depending on the situation. The expressions vary from formal, like “thank you very much”, to informal, like “cheers” or “thanks”. With practice, the different variations of merci will begin to feel natural and easy.
20 different ways to say “thank you” in French
Many beginners are taught to use merci until they understand the nuances of the French language, but in many cases, a simple merci can come off as cold or dry. Imagine someone saves your life by pulling you back from a speeding car running a red light. A simple merci would be a bit of an understatement. Luckily, expanding on the basic merci can change many things, from the level of formality to the level of gratitude. The table below shows different ways you can expand on merci and when each expression should be used.
|Merci beaucoup||Many thanks||Formal/informal|
|Merci à toi||Thank you||Emphasis on “you” and often used in dialogue; informal|
|Merci à vous||Thank you||Emphasis on “you” and often used in dialogue; formal|
|Merci à tous||Thank you all||Formal/informal|
|Un grand merci à…||A big thank you to…||Formal/informal|
|Mille mercis||Thank you so much (literally “ a thousand thanks”)||Formal/informal|
|Merci mille fois||Thank you a thousand times||Formal/informal|
|Merci bien||Thank you (very) much||Formal/informal, but can be perceived as sarcastic|
|Cimer||Thank you||Slang in verlan, used only by younger generations|
|Je vous remercie||(I) thank you||Formal; often used in writing|
|Je te remercie||(I) thank you||Informal; often used in writing|
|Merci infiniment||Thank you a million||Formal/informal|
|Merci d’avance||Thank you in advance||Formal/informal; often used in writing|
|Merci Monsieur/Madame||Thank you Sir/Madame||Formal; when spoken, Mademoiselle is also used|
|Merci du fond du coeur||Thank you from the bottom of my heart||Formal/informal|
How to say “no thank you” in French
As you can imagine, given all the different ways of saying “thank you”, there are also different ways to say “no thank you”. The most basic way is to simply say “no thanks” or non merci, but also just as common is ça ira pour moi or “I’m alright” or “that’s ok”. If you find yourself in a very formal situation, sans façon is a good phrase to use. You can also say merci, mais non merci, or “thanks, but no thanks”, but be careful because it can come off as cold or sarcastic like in English. Be sure to check out our article on how to say “I’m sorry” if you accidentally say something sarcastic.
Receiving thanks in French
At this point, you are probably wondering how to say “you’re welcome” in French. The most common, albeit very informal way of saying “you’re welcome” is de rien. When replying in a more formal situation, je vous en prie is the most common response. There are a wide range of ways to reply when receiving thanks. The most popular expressions are listed in the table below.
|De rien||You’re welcome (literally “it’s nothing”)||Informal|
|Je vous en prie||You’re welcome||Formal|
|Je t’en prie||You’re welcome||Informal|
|Ça me fait plaisir||My pleasure||Informal|
|Avec plaisir||My pleasure||Informal|
|C’est normal||It’s natural||Informal|
|Ne vous en faites pas||Don’t worry about it||Formal|
|(Ne) t’en fais pas||Don’t worry about it||Informal|
|(Ne) t’inquiètes (pas)||Don’t worry about it||Informal|
|Il n’y a pas de quoi||It’s no big deal (literally “there’s nothing worth being thanked for”)||Formal/informal; used only when it was truly no trouble at all|
|Pas de problème||No problem||Informal|
|À votre service||At your service||Formal|
|C’est moi||No, (I should be the one to) thank you||Formal|
Showing thanks with more than merci
There are other ways to express your gratitude or acknowledge thanks without using merci at all. Give your vocabulary a workout by incorporating these common phrases used by native speakers.
- C’est vraiment gentil de ta part, meaning “It’s really nice of you”
- Je suis reconnaissant de…, meaning “I am very thankful for…”
- C’est très attentionné, meaning “It’s very thoughtful”
- Je suis honoré(e), meaning “I am very honoured”
- Ça me touche, meaning “I am touched”
These phrases can also be combined with the different ways of saying “thank you” in French for a heartfelt. Thanks for reading this far! We’re so very grateful.
A big “thank you” to Frantastique
Get ready to learn how to say “goodbye” in our next article.
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