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Expressing Gratitude in French

Idiomatic French expressions


There are many different ways to express gratitude in French, from a simple thank you to ultra-polite expressions of appreciation. Learn how to thank everyone for everything with this list of expressions related to gratitude.

Simple ways to say thank you

   Merci    Thank you

   Merci beaucoup
   Thank you very much

   Merci bien
   Thanks a lot (may be sincere or sarcastic)

   Merci mille fois, Mille fois merci
   Thanks a million

Expressing thanks in general

   Je te/vous remercie.
   I thank you.

   Je tiens à vous exprimer notre gratitude.
   I wish to express our gratitude to you.

   C'est (vraiment) gentil de ta part.
   It's (very) kind of you.

   Je vous remercie de tout cœur.
   I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

   Je ne sais pas comment vous remercier.
   I don't know how to thank you.

   Je vous adresse mes plus vifs remerciements.
   I send you my most sincere thanks.

   Nous vous sommes extrêmement reconnaissants.
   We are very grateful to you.

   Avec tous mes remerciements.
   With thanks.

   Remerciez-le de ma part.
   Thank him for me.

   Transmettez mes remerciements à Jean.
   Pass on my thanks to Jean.

   À votre bon cœur !
   Thank you kindly!

Expressing thanks for something specific

You can use most of the expressions above to name the thing that you are thankful for but, depending on what the thing actually is, you must choose between two prepositions:

1. To thank someone for something abstract or for doing something (expressed with the French past infinitive), use de.

   Merci bien de votre assistance.
   Thank you for your help.

   Merci de toutes vos bontés.
   Thank you for all your kindness.

   Merci de m'avoir corrigé.
   Thank you for correcting me.

   Je vous remercie de l'avoir trouvé.
   Thank you for finding it.

   Merci mille fois de nous avoir aidés.
   Thanks a million for helping us.

   C'est gentil de votre part d'être venu.
   It's kind of you to come.

2. To thank someone for something more tangible, use pour:

   Merci beaucoup pour les livres.
   Thank you very much for the books.

   Je te remercie pour le dîner.
   Thank you for dinner.

   Je tiens à vous exprimer notre gratitude pour votre gentillesse.
   I wish to express our gratitude for your kindness.

   Remerciez-le de ma part pour les oranges.
   Thank him for me for the oranges.

Expressing future thanks

There are two expressions commonly used in French business letters to make a very polite request.

   Je vous serais reconnaissant de (bien vouloir) ...
   I would be grateful to you (to be so kind as to) ...

   Je vous serais très obligé de (bien vouloir) ...
   I would be obliged if you could (be so kind as to) ...

More grateful vocabulary and verbs

   merci d'avance
   thanks in advance

   remercier (quelqu'un)
   to thank (someone)

   dire merci à (quelqu'un)
   to say thank you to (someone)

   des remerciements (masc)

   grâce à
   thanks to

   reconnaissant (adj)

     ...être reconnaissant de + infinitive - to be thankful for + present participle
     ...être reconnaissant de + noun - to be thankful for something
     ...être reconnaissant envers + person - to be thankful to/for + person

   la reconnaissance
   recognition, thankfulness

   avec reconnaissance

   la gratitude
   gratitude, thankfulness

   ingrat (adj)

Gestures of gratitude

Depending on your relationship with the person, you can also say thank you by kissing cheeks or shaking hands.

What about a thank you hug?

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