How to Say Thank You

Three Methods:Saying Thank You in PersonSaying Thank You over the PhoneSaying Thank You in Writing

There are many reasons to say "thank you." You could be thanking someone for giving you a gift, for doing you a favor, or for making a monumental impact on your life in some way. Whatever your reason for saying thank you, you should be sincere and let the person know how grateful you really are. Whether you want to say thank you in person, over the phone, or in writing, follow these easy steps to find out how to do it the right way.

Method 1
Saying Thank You in Person

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    Be sincere. The most important part of saying thank you in person is being sincere. The person you are thanking should understand that you mean what you say 100% and that you aren't just saying "thank you" out of obligation when you don't really mean it. Here's how to do it:
    • Have a sincere tone of voice. Don't say "thank you" as if it's an afterthought or as if someone else just told you to do it. Speak clearly with an even tone, and show that you really mean every word you say. Don't mumble.
    • Use sincere words. Be specific and show that your thank you means something. Don't just say, "Thanks," but really mean it say, "Thank you so much for helping me with my homework. I never could have figured this out without your help."
    • Be honest. Being honest is a part of being sincere, so open up and say what you really mean. Tell the person, "I don't know what I would do without you," if you really mean it.
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    Be grateful. To say thank you in person, you have to show that you are truly grateful for what the person has done. You should say that the person has impacted you in some way, whether it's big or small. Your thank you should not be perfunctory, but it should show that the person's action really made a difference. Here's how to explain how grateful you are:
    • Be specific. Don't just say, "Thank you," but say, "Thank you for taking the time to help me pick out a prom dress. I wouldn't have been able to do it alone. If it wasn't for you, I never would have even tried on that blue dress, and now I can't imagine my prom without it."
    • Show that you understood the person made a sacrifice. Whether the person made a big or small sacrifice to do something nice for you, you should demonstrate that you appreciate that he or she had time to make the effort. Say, "Thank you so much for letting me crash at your place last week. I know it was a really busy time for you and it wasn't easy to have a house guest, and I really appreciate that you took me in anyway."
    • Show that you're grateful for the results of the person's help. If the person gave you an amazing book for your birthday, you can tell the person that you read the book, loved it, and that it had a big impact on your life.
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    Use the right body language. Maintaining the right body language will help you fully demonstrate how thankful you are. If your body doesn't communicate how much you mean it when you say thank you, then your words may be lost on the person you're thanking. Here's how to have the right body language:
    • Maintain eye contact while you're thanking the person. Look into the person's eyes and give the person all of your attention to show that you really care about what the person did.
    • Face your body toward the person you're thanking. Keep your arms open and gesture if you need to. Don't fold your arms at your sides, or you may look like you're reluctant about thanking the person and like you don't really want to be there.
    • Touch the person if it's appropriate. While you don't want to scare off a person whom you don't know very well with your unwarranted touches, if you're thanking a friend or a family member, a light touch on his or her arm or shoulder, or even a hug if it feels right, can help communicate your true feelings.
    • Show your emotions. If the person impacted your life in a big way, you don't have to cry, but let your face show how touched you are by that person's help.

Method 2
Saying Thank You over the Phone

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    Say thank you in a phone call. Whether you're thanking a friend, colleague, or a near-stranger over the phone, it can be a bit trickier to thank someone over the phone because it's harder to communicate your true feelings without face-to-face contact. But thanking someone over the phone is easy if you pay attention to a few key points:
    • Speak clearly. Communicating over the phone can be tricky, so make sure you enunciate your words, speak slowly enough for the person to hear you, and that you aren't calling from a place that is loud or has bad reception.
    • Give the person your undivided attention. Though it's tempting to multitask when you're on the phone, don't call the person while you're driving home, cleaning your apartment, or watering your plants. Tell yourself that the phone call should only take a few minutes and that if you're really grateful, then that person deserves your undivided attention.
    • Call at a good time. Make sure you're making a call at a time when the recipient isn't likely to be busy and that you're not calling too early in the morning or too late in the evening. If you're calling a person who lives far away, make sure to account for the time difference.
    • Have the right body language. Though it may sound silly to use body language over the phone, maintaining an open posture or gesturing with your hands can help you emphasize your true feelings. If you're calling when you're laying down or using your hands to make a sandwich, you won't be able to show the person how grateful you really are.
    • Know your audience. If you're talking to a family member or a close friend, you can be open, honest, laugh, and be more free about how grateful you are. If you're calling to thank a potential employer for interviewing you, you should still give them your attention, speak clearly, and use proper body language, but you should also keep things short and sweet. Just because you're on the phone doesn't mean you are free to ramble and be chatty; if you're thanking someone for professional reasons, then keep things professional.
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    Say thank you in a text message. Sometimes, saying thank you in a text message can be more effective than saying thank you in a phone call. If you just saw the person and wanted to thank him or her for a great time, or if you just wanted to send someone a quick thank you without making a big deal about it or taking up the person's time, then a text message may work best.
    • Maintain your sincerity through texting. You can just say something like, "Hey! Thank you so much for helping me clean up after my party. You're a great friend and saved me a lot of time."
    • Use the person's name. Even if you're texting, saying, "Thanks, Amy!" makes your message sound more personal.
    • Don't sound overly enthusiastic. There's no need for a million exclamation marks to show the person how grateful you are. That will just make it look like you're trying too hard and don't really mean it.
    • Pay attention to your words. Though texting is more casual, aiming for correct grammar and punctuation will show that you took time to craft the message.

Method 3
Saying Thank You in Writing

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    Say thank you in a thank you card. Thank you cards are a more formal and old-fashioned way to say thank you, and it can be tricky to know exactly what to write in them. Thank you cards are perfect for thanking your professors or teachers for helping you with your work, or thanking your wedding guests for their generous gifts. Here's how you do it:
    • Whether you're writing or speaking, you should always remember to be sincere and to show how grateful you are.
    • If you're thanking your professors or teachers for a great year of school, leave a specific note about how their hard work has influenced you and made you a better person.
    • If you're writing thank you cards to your guests at your wedding, party, or other social event, you may not have enough time to personalize each note, but you can try to call the person by a nickname, or write a quick line about the specific gift he or she gave and how it's a big help to you.
    • Pick a meaningful card. If you really mean it when you say thank you, you should pick a serious and subtle card to help you communicate this message.
    • Send your thank-you card as promptly as you can. If you want to say thank you, don't delay it. If you thank someone months after they did something wonderful for you, it may look like you were putting it off or don't really care that much.
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    Say thank you in an email. An email is less formal than a thank you card, but it should still communicate your feelings with sincerity, clarity, and honesty, and should be sent in a prompt fashion. Here's how to say thank you in an email:
    • Be direct. Write "Thank you" as the subject.
    • Address the person as "Dear (name)" and sign off by saying "Sincerely, (your name)." Even if you're only sending an email, you should follow the conventions of a letter to show that you're taking the process seriously.
    • Choose your words carefully. The person should know that you spent a lot of time crafting complete sentences that clearly state your feelings.
    • Show the results of the person's gesture. For example, if the person gave you an amazing sweater, send a picture of yourself wearing it. If the person gave you a lot of money for your birthday, send a photo showing the amazing new kitchen table you were able to buy with it.


  • Remember to always smile! This will help the person see how grateful and sincere you are.
  • Don't overwhelm the person. It's important to communicate how grateful you are, but you can only say "thank you" so many times before things may get uncomfortable.
  • Only say thank you if you truly mean it.
  • Don't disturb the person to say thank you; they will get annoyed.

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