“Thank You!” How Many Ways Can You Say It?

by Cindy Post Senning on March 29, 2011

This post originally appeared at my parenting blog The Gift of Good Manners. I will be cross posting some of my favorite content from that blog here at the Etiquette Daily periodically. I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them.

“Say, ‘Thank you!’”

“Don’t forget to write a thank you note.”

“Did you say, ‘Thank you’?”

Parents sometimes think they’re all alone out there reminding their kids day after day to say, “Thank you.” I want you all to know that you are not alone. All over the world parents have to remind their kids to say, “Thank you.” In Spain they say “Muchas Gracias,” in France it’s, “Merci,” and in China it’s “Xie xie.” No matter what the language, it’s still magic. Saying thanks lets someone know you appreciate what they did or gave. Without that thanks people feel bad; with it they feel glad. Now that’s magic! Please let us know if you have another way to say thanks. Thanks!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Just Laura March 29, 2011 at 1:25 am

In ASL, one says “Thank you” by holding up the hand with palm towards oneself at the lips/chin, then extending it out.
ASL Thank You
My coworker who happens to be deaf says “thank you” for big favors with his fresh-made brownies… they seem to work well in any language.


Cindy Post Senning March 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Hello Laura,

Thank you for sharing the photos of ASL thank you. In the programs I do for children and teens, I always end by showing them how to say the “magic words” in American Sign Language – http://emilypost.com/communication-and-technology/the-good-conversationalist/110-emilys-magic-words-in-american-sign-language. I then suggest the children teach their parents using flash cards that I make for them.
Maybe I should try telling them about fresh-made brownies also! Sounds good to me.


Lizzie Post March 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I like “Driving Thank Yous” – when someone lets you go first, you wave to say “thank you”, maybe you even say thank you aloud so they see your lips move. Yesterday a small bus was waiting on the other side of the intersection to make a left hand turn and I let them go first when the light turned green. The driver enthusiastically waved a thank you, and a bunch of the little kids waved their little mitten covered hands at me in thanks. It really warmed my heart and made me remember why it feels so good to do these little things.


Jody March 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I try to remember the “driving thank you” when somebody lets me into traffic — but I also am careful to wave my entire hand so the driver doesn’t mistake my friendly wave for a rude gesture.


Sara Z March 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm

On the same note, when you’re walking and someone in a car lets you cross, wave your thanks to him or her as well!


NicoleT March 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I did study abroad in Australia in college. They say “Ta!” for “thanks”- it stuck and I still say this sometimes.

A big hug also works quite well – even my one year old seems to get the message. :-)


Alicia March 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Thank you for saying this. A person I work with somewhat is from Australia and always says “Ta” when he should be saying thank you. I had been taking it as “ta” like “ta ta ” as in “bye”. If australians says “ta” for thanks then that makes a lot more sense and makes him a lot more polite. I’m thilled you posted.


daniel post senning March 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I learn something new every day.


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