029 – How to Show THANKS in English for Intermediate Students

In this episode of the Can Learn English Podcast I teach you three ways to say thanks in English. 

When someone does something nice for us, the obvious thing is to thank them.

We change the way we thank someone based on who we’re speaking with and the situation we’re in. We thank a stranger completely differently than we would thank a friend. 

An informal situation with a stranger:

You can use if someone holds a door for you, let’s you butt ahead of them in line, or offers you their seat on a bus. 

  • Thanks!
  • Thanks a bunch!
  • Thanks a lot!
  • Thanks, you’re so kind
  • Thanks so much.

An information situation with a friend or family member:

Saying thanks when someone does a favour:

If a friend or family member offers you a ride somewhere, drops you off at the airport or lends you something of their you can use these phrases.

  • Thanks, I really appreciate it.
  • Thanks, I owe you one!
  • You’re always so helpful.
  • What would I do without you?
  • I can always count on you.
  • I’m so grateful that you’re helping me.

How to thank someone after a surprise like a gift:

You can use this formula:

How it makes you feel + a compliment + a thank you phrase

How it makes you feel:

  • I can’t believe it
  • I’m so surprised
  • This means so much to me

A compliment:

  • You’re the best
  • You’re so awesome
  • A thank you phrase
  • I can’t thank you enough
  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In a workplace setting:

In a workplace setting, we tend to be more formal.

You will be especially formal when interacting with those you are more senior than you or if you are with clients or customers.

How to thank for attending a meeting:

  • I appreciate your time.
  • Thank you for attending this meeting.
  • I’m grateful everyone could make it.

Sample Transcript

Audio begins at 03:40

But we don’t just need to express gratitude once a year. We often express gratitude many times in the day. Right? And since this is something we do so often in this episode you will learn a few ways that we can say thanks in English. And then I’m going to tell you a famous Canadian story about gratitude.

When someone does something nice for us. The obvious reaction is to thank them in some way. How do we thank them will depend on a few factors. These can be the type of relationship we have with that person. So if they’re a stranger, a close friend or a colleague and really the type of favour. So we’re going to think someone differently if they hold the door for us versus if they don’t lend us their car. Right?

So we’re gonna do three situations and three examples with each. They’ll be a casual situation with a stranger, a friend who does something really nice for you and then a business situation. So I want you to imagine you’re at a local coffee shop. We’re in Canada, so let’s just make it Tim Hortons. That’s a lot easier for everyone. And someone says to you, you can go ahead in line. So this sometimes happens. Maybe the person still can’t decide what they want or maybe you look like you’re in a rush and they’re just going to be nice.

So obviously, we need to thank this person because they did something kind. So the most obvious one is just “thanks” or we might say “thanks a bunch” or “thanks a lot”. So depending how we say this could mean different things. So a lot of times people might say, “thanks a lot”. Now, I hope you can hear from my voice. That’s not a good thing. So I’ll show you the two. “Thanks a lot” and “thanks a lot”. So I’m changing my intonation. “Thank a lot” more means like it’s sarcastic. I’m like not thanking you when I do that.

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