How to Express Gratitude in English

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Have you ever felt lost or found no satisfactory way to express gratitude to someone? Of course, you might buy a precious gift for someone as a token of appreciation. But unfortunately, a gift cannot always help you express your gratitude, but your words can.

If you are wondering what those words can be, worry not. In this post, we’ll learn some general English expressions and tips on expressing gratitude in English.

A polite and sincere “thanks” or “thank you” is always enough to express genuine gratitude in English. However, your body language and tone should show enough sincerity and enthusiasm while expressing gratitude.

Are you looking for a book or a guide to help you learn and improve your English? You may try English Made Easy Volume One: A New ESL Approach: Learning English Through Pictures (Amazon Link).

Now, let’s learn 10 general expressions you can use to express gratitude in English. I’ll also share 10 tips to best express gratitude later in the post. So, keep reading.

10 General English Expressions to Express Gratitude

There are different ways you can express gratitude to someone. To do that, you can appreciate someone for their effort or compliment them about their contribution to show that you are grateful to them. When you thank someone, it will not just make them happy, but you too.

On many occasions, you can also show your gratitude to someone for appreciating or complimenting you for anything you’ve done well. But, you must also know how to respond to compliments in English.

General English expressions to express gratitude

So now, let’s learn some general expressions to express gratefulness to someone.

  1. Thank you so much.
  2. Thanks a lot/ton/bunch/million.
  3. Thank you for your help/support/effort/assistance/contribution.
  4. Thank you for being so kind/helpful/supportive.
  5. All I can say is thank you/thanks.
  6. I really/truly/sincerely appreciate your help/support/effort/assistance/contribution.
  7. I’m so grateful/thankful to you for being so kind/helpful/supportive.
  8. My sincere appreciation/thanks/gratitude for your help/support/effort/assistance/contribution.
  9. My sincere appreciation/thanks/gratitude to you for being so kind/helpful/supportive.
  10. Many thanks for your help/support/effort/assistance/contribution.

To find some more example sentences on expressing gratitude in English, read 65+ Examples of Expressing Gratitude in English.

10 Tips on How to Express Gratitude in English

Now, here I’ve come up with some tips that you may consider to express gratitude to someone. These 10 tips can give you different ideas for showing your gratefulness to others.

1. Be Genuine, Enthusiastic & Specific

While expressing gratitude, you should mention why you are grateful to that person. Also, you must be genuine while expressing your feelings about someone’s contribution to your life.

You should know the words that can help you to sound enthusiastic or express your excitement while expressing gratitude in English. Being genuine, specific, and enthusiastic can make a conversation very effective.

2. Use Easy but Appealing Words

I believe that words are more powerful than guns. Appropriate words at the right time and place can make a big difference. So, while expressing gratitude, your words matter a lot. Therefore, you should learn specific words and phrases to help you express yourself well in different situations.

Earlier in the post, I mentioned some expressions you can use to express gratitude. Use those words to express your gratefulness towards someone.

While expressing gratitude, I suggest you go deep and choose words creatively. You must use those words that can genuinely express your feeling. However, try to use easy but appealing words.

3. Express Gratitude in Front of Others

Expressing gratitude to someone in front of others will give them a good positive feeling about you. It’ll also help to prove how genuinely you feel grateful to them. So, whenever you express gratitude, if possible, make it public.

Express gratitude in front of others

Suppose, for example, you asked for a ride from one of your friends to go back home after a party. As your friend dropped you home, you were so grateful. However, many of us in such a situation would prefer to thank that friend via text as some other people were in the car.

However, I suggest thanking that helpful friend right away, even if there are other people. There is nothing bad in thanking someone, no matter who else is present here.

4. Give Compliments & Appreciate Them

You can do so many things to express gratitude to someone. You indeed can familiarly thank them, but you can also do something else. What can you do?

You can compliment them for their good things and appreciate their other qualities too. Suppose, for example, a painter friend gifted you one of his art pieces. What do you do? You thank that friend, right?

Well! Besides thanking them for the gift, you may also appreciate their skill as a painter. You can also mention some good things about that friend as well. However, try to be relevant and genuine when you express yourself.     

5. Thank Them in Person

Many of us prefer expressing gratitude via phone call or text. Yes, you can certainly do that but thanking someone in person creates more significant value. Therefore, whenever it’s possible to meet someone in person, do it and thank them for their contribution to your life.

No one can deny the importance of face-to-face communication. David Grossman, a communication expert with over 30 years of experience, discusses some crucial benefits of face-to-face communication in his article Face-to-Face Communication: 6 Benefits of Leading in Person. He also gives some tips to improve face-to-face communication in the mentioned article.

6. Write Something for Them Too

Besides expressing gratitude in person, you can also write something about someone to express your appreciation. For example, you can write gratitude notes or give gratitude cards (Amazon link) to express your feeling artistically.

Write something to express gratitude.

7. Give Gratitude Gifts

Who doesn’t like gifts? Everyone does, right? So, gifting someone something as a token of gratitude can be an excellent idea to express your feeling differently. You can find what the person likes most and give them that.

Another good idea can be a gratitude jar or a photo album. You can write about good things and photos of good memories with the person, keep them in the jar or the album, and gift them to the person you are grateful to.

8. Make Gratitude Visits

To show gratitude, you may also have a surprise visit to the place where the person is. Suppose, for example, you have an online friend, Lisa, who lives in South Dakota, and you live in North Dakota. For many days your friend has been asking you to visit her place, but you couldn’t make it.

However, last month Luisa helped you a lot regarding your Ph.D. dissertation. So now, the best way to express gratitude can be to have a gratitude visit to your friend’s place.

Gratitude visit

If you have that gratitude visit, your friend will be delighted, and she will realize how genuinely you are grateful to her.

9. Consider Your Tone & Body Language

Your voice tone and body language matter greatly when talking to anybody. Sincerity and politeness are the keys to a good conversation, whether you request someone or order or give them instructions to do something for you or express gratitude.

Your tone and body language must be genuine and sincere. While you use words to express gratitude, body language and tone can help you to make the process even easier. For example, making eye contact and putting a polite smile on your face can have a magical effect while you express gratitude.

10. Consider the Context: Formal & Informal

Your words, tone, and body language vary depending on the formality of the situation. For example, your words and attitude should be formal and professional. On the other hand, if you are at a party with friends, you can behave casually.   

So, while expressing gratitude, you must consider the context. Your language must be formal, especially when you write a gratitude letter for professional purposes.

In Conclusion

Showing gratitude is a good human quality. It can magically make people happy and motivated. By showing gratitude to others, you can have benefits in both your personal and professional life.

I have shared some tips and general expressions to express gratitude in English.

Through regular practice, you can master English skills.

Happy learning!

Good luck.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 7 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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