Whenever you start learning a foreign language one of the first things you do is learn how to properly thank someone. You may already be familiar with merci, the most common way to say “thank you” in French. However did you know that there are quite a few other ways to thank someone in French? In this article we are going to go over as many of them as possible. Let’s get right into it…
Saying thank you in french with merci
Merci – Thank You / Thanks
If there is one way to say “thank you” in French that you are already familiar with it is no doubt this one. Merci can be used in the vast majority of situations and isn’t too formal or informal.
There may be situations where you would like to (or should) express yourself further, but knowing just merci will already get you pretty far.
Saying thank you in french with merci beaucoup
Merci Beaucoup – Thank you very much / Thanks a lot
This is probably the second most commonly-known way of saying “thank you”. By adding the word beaucoup you transform a single “thank you” into “thanks a lot” or “thank you very much”.
Merci beaucoup is definitely stronger than just merci and can be used in most situations.
saying thank you in french with merci bien
Merci Bien – Thanks a lot
This one is similar to merci beaucoup in that it’s stronger than simply merci and can be used in most informal situations. The best translation for this one would be “thanks a lot”.
Just like with the English phrase “thanks a lot” merci bien can be taken sarcastically, so if you feel that there may be a chance that others may take you sarcastically then stick with one of the other options on this list.
If you do indeed want to be sarcastic then by all means use merci bien.
saying thank you in french with merci mille fois
Merci Mille Fois – Thanks a million
Mille mercis – Thanks a million
This one is also similar to merci beaucoup in that it’s stronger than just a simple merci. The closest English translation there is for this one would be “thanks a million”.
Just be careful because although mille may look somewhat like the English word million it actually just means thousand (thanks a thousand.) Nevertheless the meaning of the phrase remains the same.
Another way of saying this is mille mercis (a thousand thank yous) which is essentially the same thing.
saying thank you in french with merci du fond du coeur
Merci du fond du coeur – Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Je vous remercie du fond du coeur – I thank you from the bottom of my heart
This is no doubt a very strong way to say “thank you” and express gratitude to someone. Translated literally we get “thank you from the bottom of the heart” which is almost identical to how we say “thank you from the bottom of my heart” in English.
It’s only suggested to use this in situations that really deserve a heart-felt “thank you”. Another more formal way of saying this is “je vous remercie du fond du coeur” which in English means “I thank you from the bottom of my heart”. This one is more common writing than it is in common speech.
saying thank you with je te remercie
Je te remercie / Je vous remercie – I thank you
Je te remercie is comparable to just merci except that it’s more of a complete sentence. The English translation is “I thank you”.
If you are in a formal situation or just thanking more than one person then you should say Je vous remercie instead.
saying thank you in advance with merci d'avance
Merci d’avance – Thanks / Thank You in Advance
Sometimes you ask someone to do something for you and either won’t be around to thank them when they do it or just want to let them know that you appreciate it beforehand.
In this situation you can say merci d’avance which looks almost identical to “thank you in advance” in English.
Other ways of thanking someone in advance include the following:
- Je vous remercie par avance – I thank you in advance
- En vous remerciant par avance – Thanking you in advance
- Avec mes remerciements anticipés – Thanking you in advance
- Merci d’anticiper….Thanks for foreseeing… anticipating… predicting…
saying thank you to everyone with merci à tous
Merci à tous – Thanks everyone / Thank you to everyone
Merci à toutes – Thanks everyone / Thank you to everyone
Merci à toutes et à tous – Thanks everyone / Thank you to everyone
If you want to say “thank you” to a group of people you can use merci à tous which translates to “thank you everybody” or “thanks everybody”. If the group is full of men OR both men AND women then saying merci à tous is fine. If it’s full of just women then you would want to say merci à toutes.
However it’s quite common for people to recognize both men and women and say merci à toutes et à tous.
saying thank you in french with cimer
Cimer – Thanks
This one is probably the most informal one on this list. Cimer is the verlan form of merci which, if you aren’t familiar, is essentially just the two syllables in the word merci reversed.
This is extremely informal and is more popular among teenagers than adults. Nevertheless you never know when you may hear or see it somewhere so it’s good to be prepared.
saying thank you in french with c'est gentil de ta part
C’est gentil de ta/votre part – That’s nice of you (informal/formal)
C’est vraiment gentil de ta/votre part – That’s really nice of you (informal/formal)
Remercie-le / -la / -les de ma part – Thank him / her / them for me (informal)
Remerciez-le / -la / -les de ma part – Thank him / her / them for me (formal)
Remercie-le de m’avoir aidé – Thank him for helping me for me
Remercie-la pour le livre – Thank her for the book for me
Whenever you want to acknowledge something special that someone did for you you can use c’est gentil de ta part which when translated into English gives us “that’s nice of you”.
This one is especially useful when someone has specifically taken time to either do or offer you something and you want to show your appreciation. If you want to make it a little stronger you are free to say c’est vraiment gentil de ta part which means “that’s really nice of you”.
Of course if you are in a formal situation you have to use vous and thus say c’est gentil de votre part. This is also what you would say if you are speaking to multiple people regardless of the formality of the situation.
If you would like to have someone thank someone else on your behalf then you can say remercie-le / -la / -les de ma part or remerciez-le / -la / -les de ma part. You can also say remercie-le / -la / -les… de/pour and then what you’re thanking them for.
Saying No Thank You in French with Non Merci
Non merci – No Thanks / No Thank You
Sometimes when someone offers you something or offers to do something for you you have to refuse, but still want to show some appreciation or thank them for offering. In these types of situations it’s best to use non merci (literally no thanks.)
There isn’t much to say about this one as it used pretty much exactly how “no thanks” or “no thank you” is used in English.
The article How to Say No in French also provides information on using non merci.
Saying Thank You in French with Merci Infiniment
Merci infiniment – Thanks a million
Ever wish you could thank someone endlessly? Well with merci infiniment you in a way can. Translated literally merci infiniment gives us “thank you endlessly” or “thank you infinitely” which, although we don’t really say it in English, is pretty easy to understand.
This one is close to merci mille fois or “thanks a million” in English.
saying thank you with un grand merci à...
Un grand merci à… – A big thanks to…
Oftentimes when someone is in front of a crowd perhaps giving a speech they may want to call out someone else and thank them. In that type of situation a lot of the ways on this list would work, but what you’re most likely to hear is un grand merci à… which is simply “a big thanks to…”.
In many cases this is also followed by the word pour or de and then the reason why they are being thanked. For example:
Un grand merci à Patrick pour son travail extraordinaire – A big thanks to Patrick for his extraordinary work
Un grand merci à Patrick de nous avoir reçus – A big thanks to Patrick for having us
If the context is clear however then you can just leave out the pour or de and say un grand merci à Patrick.
saying thank you in french with avec tous mes remerciements
Avec tous mes remerciements – With all my thanks
Avec tous nos remerciements – With all our thanks
This is a rather formal way of saying “thank you” in French that is found most often in written letters or emails. Translated literally we get “with all my thanks”.
If by chance you are writing along someone else OR on behalf of you AND someone else then you can say avec tous nos remerciements (with all our thanks.)
Saying Thank You in French with je tiens à vous addresser mes plus vifs remerciements
Je tiens à vous adresser mes plus vifs remerciements – I express to you my deepest gratitude / I express to you my warmest thanks
Je vous adresse mes plus vifs remerciements – I express to you my deepest gratitude / I express to you my warmest thanks
This is another one that’s used when writing letters and means “I express to you my deepest gratitude” or “I express to you my warmest thanks”. Again this is quite formal and really is only used in written letters or emails.
In addition to je tiens à vous adresser mes plus vifs remerciements you can say je vous adresse mes plus vifs remerciement which means the same thing.
When to use merci de vs merci pour
One of the hardest parts of thanking someone for something in French is knowing whether you should say merci de or merci pour. In English we always say “thank you for…” and because pour is commonly-known as the French word for “for” we tend to always say merci pour whether it’s correct or not.
The good news however is that the difference between merci de and merci pour is actually quite easy to understand and can be learned without too much difficulty. Here are the rules..
You must use merci pour when you are thanking someone for any of the following things.
- An object (something tangible)
- A noun
Merci pour l’argent – Thanks / Thank you for the money
Merci pour la voiture – Thanks / Thank you for the car
Merci pour le chocolat – Thanks / Thank you for the chocolate
Merci pour la robe – Thanks / Thank you for the dress
Merci de is just a little bit more complicated but still pretty easy. Use it whenever what follows is any of the following…
- A verb
- An object that is NOT tangible (i.e. advice)
Merci de me tenir au courant – Thanks / Thank you for keeping me updated
Merci de m’avoir écouté(e) – Thanks / Thank you for having listened to me
Merci de votre attention – Thanks / Thank you for your attention
Merci de ton soutien – Thanks / Thank you for your support
If you follow the above rules regarding merci de and merci pour you’ll be totally fine. Just keep in mind that people debate on these two forms and you’ll hear people mix them up a lot.
The only other thing that should be mentioned is that some people say that in sentences like “thank you for your attention” you would translate it by merci de votre attention if you are thanking people for HAVING given you their attention and merci pour votre attention if you are wanting them to give you their attention (for example if people are speaking and you want them to listen to you.)
Saying “thank you” is one of the most important and common things you will do in your French-learning journey.
Hopefully this article has helped you to say it properly no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Want to know how to say You’re Welcome? Check out this article to learn more.