Saying Thank You in French is much more than just saying “Merci”. Here are all the ways we know how to thank someone in French to help you in your journey learning to speak French.
One of the first things you learn to say in French is “thank you”, which is most often just taught as merci.
In fact, the word merci is so well known that you might even know it despite never having studied French. At one point in time, it was considered fancy to respond with a merci in normal conversation.
Want to learn how to respond as well? Here are the best ways to say you’re welcome in French.
But just like how in English there is much more that you can say than just “Thanks!”, there are many more ways to thank someone in French than just saying “merci”.
So here they are.
The basic “Thank you”
It’s worth mentioning that merci is still the most basic and useful way of saying “thank you” in French. “Merci beaucoup” is very standard but works well.
If you want to add a little flair, to sound local, do these two things:
- Either say merci, but extending the end. Merciiii!
- Or do the same with beaucoup. Merci beaucouuup!
Casual but nicer
I started hearing people say merci bien! and wondered… why was I never taught this in a book?
It’s a slightly different way of saying merci beaucoup. Grammatically, merci bien doesn’t really make sense (“Thanks well!”), but people use it often.
It’s a kind of “casual formal” way of saying thank you in French. You can use it in any everyday situation with a stranger.
Again, for flair, accentuate the last syllable. Merci bieeen!
Fancy: “I thank you!”
This is quite a formal way of saying thank you in French. But not as formal as saying “I thank you” in English, which I almost never hear outside a speech.
For example, if someone goes out of their way to help you, you might say Je vous vraiment remercie, monsieur! Vous nous avez vraiment aidé! and it would be well received.
With thanks to…
Giving a speech? Being awarded a doctorate? Receiving a César award (basically the French Academy Awards)? Well, you might want to thank some other people. This is how you say “thank you” in French in a formal way.
For example, lead with the line Avec mes remerciements à mes collègues distingués...
Thank you in advance
This is mostly a written form of thank you in French. You might want to add a verb to the end of it, e.g. Merci d'avance d'examiner ma proposition.
Thank you for… coming/the chocolates
Getting these mixed up is common. Considering “merci de” vs “merci pour” is tricky.
My hack is you can always use merci de.
You say merci de OR merci pour if you’re putting a noun on the end, e.g. Merci beaucoup pour votre aide!
You say merci de if you’re putting a verb on the end, e.g. Merci bien d’être venu!
So merci de works in every situation, but merci pour only works for nouns.Merci d'avoir lu jusqu'à ce point!
A huge thanks to… Many thanks…
Sometimes you want to exaggerate how much you’re thanking someone. In these cases, you use one of these two phrases.
Thank you for not…
- Merci de ne pas... (infinitive)
This is used quite similarly to merci de (which, again, can be used with nouns AND verbs), but can be used as a polite request.Merci de ne pas fumer , “Thank you for not smoking”, is a common example.
You can also use it for passive-aggressive requests, like “I would thank you to not bring outside food to our restaurant”, Merci de ne pas apporter de nourriture de l'extérieure dans notre restaurant.
Comments or suggestions? All welcome!