How to Say Thank You in German - When A Simple Thanks Just Won’t Do.
Expressing gratitude is a monumentally important thing in any language. In English, we have a ton of ways to say thank you, all with different contexts.
While simply saying thank you works, sometimes you want to go above and beyond to express just how grateful you are to someone.
Bitte schön (or simply just Bitte) is the standard way to say thank you in German.
..but there are plenty of other commonly used colloquial expressions that can serve you well in German.
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The German Frequency dictionaries are a great source, if you want to expand your practical German vocabulary fast. They give you the top 10.000 most used German words. The German entries come with their English translation, the correct German pronunciation, detailed grammatical information and a German-English example sentence, showing you word usage in context.
How to say thank you in German
1. Ich bin dir dankbar – I am thankful to you
While the meaning of this is very similar to how to say thank you in German with Bitte schön, this phrase has a whole lot more formal usage.
The biggest trick here is that dir is a pronoun that should change with your audience. If the audience is someone you know, like a friend, you can use dir or euch, if you are speaking to a group.
For something more formal, you’d use the pronoun Ihnen to say thank you in German appropriately.
2. Tausend Dank – A thousand thanks
In English, the phrase “thanks a million” is a common informal way to express gratitude. The German equivalent is Tausend Dank, which literally translates to a thousand thanks.
Apparently, Germans aren’t as hyperbolic as English speakers as a thousand thanks in German has the same meaning as a million in English!
3. Danke, gleichfalls - Thank you, likewise to you
The operative word in this phrase is gleichfalls which can be used on its own to say “the same to you.”
In fact, on its own, the word is often used to express agreement with the original speaker. However, when paired with Danke, the phrase is a great way to express gratitude and well wishes. A common usage of this would be in response to someone wishing you well.
Then Danke, gleichfalls will literally mean “thank you, I wish the same for you,” making the response more polite than simply “same to you.”
4. Danke sehr aufmerksam - Thank you, that is very kind of you.
Actually, the word Danke is optional in this phrase as sehr aufmerksam can stand alone in polite conversation.
Literally translated to “that’s very attentive of you,” this phrase can be an example of how to say thank you in German without using the same old Danke.
Considered very polite, it is a perfect response when someone does you a favor.
5. Ich möchte mich recht herzlich bedanken – I would like to thank you, sincerely
Another very formal phrase, this mouthful of a statement is reserved for formal situations or, most commonly, a professional setting.
Herzlich is the important word here that means “heartfelt” and ups the sincerity and formality of this way to say thank you in German.
More ways how to say thank you in German
- (I am) fine, thank you. (Mir geht es) Gut, Dank.
- thank you, God. Danke, Gott.
- Thank God. Gott sei Dank.
- Thank you, Jesus. Danke dir, Jesus.
- Thank you, friend. Danke, Freund.
- Thank you in advance. Vielen Dank im Voraus.
- Thank you, next. Danke dir, nächster.
- Very good thank you. Sehr gut, danke Ihnen. (formal)
- Very well thank you. Sehr gut, danke. (informal)
- No, thank you. Nein, danke.
- Please and thank you. Bitte, und Danke schön.
Adding a variety of ways to say thank you in German to your repertoire can ensure that you are always expressing your gratitude in a polite and proper manner.
In addition, these phrases give you options other than simply saying thanks and can let you show off your emotions in any situation.
If you want to know more useful practical German vocabulary, take a look at the German Frequency dictionary series. You will learn only the most important German words, so you can build a practical German vocabulary fast.