thank you in Chinese

Thank You in Chinese: 46 Ways for All Scenarios

“Thank you” in Chinese is probably one of the very first words that you learn when you started learning Mandarin. Certainly, this is one of the most spoken phrases on a daily basis in different languages in the world. Now, you are going to see all the 46 ways to say thank you in Chinese that you can use in all kinds of scenarios. You will also see one section about how to say thank you in Chinese when receiving compliments.

Thank You in Chinese: The fundamentals

  1. 谢谢(xiè xie) Thank you/ Thanks: This is the most common and basic way to say thank you in Chinese. It can be formal or casual depending on the tone of how you say it.
  2. 多谢(duō xiè) Many thanks: This one is not so formal, but not so casual either. It’s in between, depending on the tone of how you say it too.
  3. 感谢(gǎn xiè) Grateful: This one is more formal to express your gratitude, and it is often used in formal speech. For instance, when a class representative of the graduating student body gives a speech to thank their teachers, 感谢 is very likely to be used in the speech.
  4. 谢谢你 (xiè xie nǐ) Thank you: This one is similar to 谢谢, and the difference is that 谢谢你 emphasizes the word “you.”
  5. 谢谢您 (xiè xie nín) Thank you: This is the same as the above, emphasizing the word “you.” However, “您(nín)”, instead of “你(nǐ), ” is used which shows more respect and politeness. “您(nín)” is often used for the elderly, people who have seniority than you, such as grandparents, teachers, government officials, etc.
  6. 谢啦 (xiè la) Thanks: This one is a casual way to say thank you in Chinese. Generally speaking, it is being used in small favors, such as when somebody holding the door for you or passing something to you, you say t谢啦 (xiè la). Or it is also being used among close friends or family.
  7. 谢了(xiè le) Thanks: This is also the causal way. It’s the variation of 谢啦(xiè la).

Thank You Very Much in Chinese

  1. 非常谢谢 (fēi cháng xiè xie) Thank you very much: This is the most common and typical way to say thank you very much in Chinese. Literally, it means “extremely thank you.”
  2. 非常谢谢你 (fēi cháng xiè xie nǐ ) Thank you very much: This is the same as the one above, but just emphasize the word “you.”
  3. 很谢谢你 (hěn xiè xie nǐ ) Thank you very much: “很(hěn)” means very, so the literal meaning is “very thank you.”
  4. 太谢谢你了 (tài xiè xie nǐ le) Thank you very much: Here is a variation of all of the above, just in case you want to use a variety of ways to say thank you in Chinese.
  5. 十分感谢你 (shí fēn xiè xie nǐ ) Thank you very much: This is slightly more formal and it really shows heartfelt appreciation. This would be used in scenarios where somebody really did you a huge favor.

How to Say Thank You Without Literally Saying Thank You

While you can definitely say thank you in Chinese when you would like to, there are certainly other ways to say thank you without literally saying “谢谢(xiè xie, thank you).” Below are three ways to give somebody a compliment which is a way to show appreciation without saying thank you in Chinese. Basically, it’s to compliment on people how good they are and how kind they are when they helped you, instead of saying thank you directly.

  1. 你最好了! (nǐ zuì hǎo le!) You’re the best!
  2. 你太好了! (nǐ tài hǎo le!) You’re really good!
  3. 你人真好! (nǐ rén zhēn hǎo!) You are a really kind/good person!

For instance,
A: 我的车子坏了。 (wǒ de chē zi huài le.) My car is broken.
B:没关系,我可以载你。(méi guān xi, wǒ kě yǐ zài nǐ.) It’s ok. I can give you a ride.
A: 你最好了! (nǐ zuì hǎo le!) You’re the best.

Thank You in Chinese: When Thank For More Than one Person

  1. 谢谢你们 (xiè xie nǐ men) Thank you all of you: This one is used when you want to thank more than one person (2 people or more) because 你们 (nǐ men, you) is the plural form of “你 (nǐ, you).”
  2. 谢谢大家 (xiè xie dà jiā) Thank you all/ Thank you everybody: This is the variation for showing gratitude to more than one person. 大家 (dà jiā) means “everybody.” This would be suitable for saying thank you to a crowd audience. After all, 大家 (dà jiā) kind of implies there is a group of people that you can call “everybody/all.”

Thank You for…

There are two main sentence structures for this.
First Sentence Structure:
thank you + your + noun
谢谢 + 你的 + noun

  1. 谢谢你的耐心 (xiè xie nǐ de nài xīn) Thank you for your patient
  2. 谢谢你的礼物 (xiè xie nǐ de lǐ wù) Thank you for your gift
  3. 谢谢你的关心 (xiè xie nǐ de guān xīn) Thank you for your caring
  4. 谢谢你的帮忙 (xiè xie nǐ de bāng máng) Thank you for help
    Second Sentence Structure:
    thank you + verb
    谢谢你 + verb
  5. 谢谢你帮我 (xiè xie nǐ bāng wǒ) Thank you for helping me
  6. 谢谢你告诉我 (xiè xie nǐ gào sù wǒ) Thank you for telling me
  7. 谢谢你让我知道 (xiè xie nǐ ràng wǒ zhī dào) Thank you for letting me know.
  8. 谢谢你替我做的一切 (xiè xie nǐ tì wǒ zuò de yí qiè) Thank you for everything: Literally, it means “Thank you for all you have done for me.”

Thank You in Chinese: And Also Sorry for the Trouble

Sometimes people go out of their way to help you with something. In these scenarios, you are most likely to say thank you in Chinese which also shows that you are sorry for the troubles they went through for you.

  1. 辛苦你了 (xīn kǔ nǐ le) Great efforts and hard work: This doesn’t say thank you out loud, but it certainly implies. So, it would read as “thank you for all the efforts and hard work” if translated it with context.
  2. 麻烦你了 (má fán nǐ le) Troubles you go through: Again, this one doesn’t say thank you directly, but it certainly shows your appreciation. Translating it in English with context, it would read as “thank you for all the troubles you go through for me.” It could be the troubles they already went through for you or the troubles they will go through for you to do you a favor.
  3. 真不好意思 (zhēn bù hǎo yì si) It’s embarrassing: This is the similar idea that you know somebody going through the trouble for you to help you. Then, you can say 真不好意思 (zhēn bù hǎo yì si) to show you are embarrassed by the huge favor they have done for you; therefore, you are appreciative.

Thanks to You/Good to Have You:

  1. 还好有你 (hái hǎo yǒu nǐ) Thanks to you/good to have you: If it weren’t for somebody’s help, you would have been in a bad situation. In this kind of scenario, you can say 还好有你 (hái hǎo yǒu nǐ) as a thank-you. Generally speaking, after you say 还好有你 (hái hǎo yǒu nǐ), you would say otherwise what kind of bad situation you might end up with.
  2. 多亏你了 (duō kuī nǐ le) Thanks to you/good to have you: This is the same thing as 还好有你 (hái hǎo yǒu nǐ). It’s just a variation.

Thank You in Chinese: for Written Chinese

These three thank-you phrases are more for written Chinese. Even though you can still say them verbally, people might don’t use them in spoken Chinese on a daily basis. It would be nice to learn them in the scenarios of writing thank-you cards or something formal.

  1. 感激不尽 (gǎn jī bú jìn) Can’t thank you enough: This is one of the four-word idioms (成语chéng yǔ). It shows your thank you immensely. P.S. If you are interested in learning one more four-word idiom (not related to thank you), you can read the story and meanings of mamahuhu here.
  2. 万分感谢 (wàn fēn gǎn xiè) Extremely thank you: Literally, it means “ten thousand thank you.” 万(wàn) means ten thousand. Although 万(wàn) is not the biggest number, it certainly shows that you are emphasizing how much you really appreciate it.
  3. 衷心的感谢 (zhōng xīn de gǎn xiè) Heartfelt gratitude: It highlights the thank you from the bottom of your heart, and it’s wholehearted gratitude.

How to Say: No, Thank You in Chinese

All of these “no, thank you” are straightforward, and no confusion!

  1. 不用了,谢谢 (bú yòng le, xiè xie) No need to, thank you
  2. 不需要,谢谢 (bù xū yào, xiè xie) No need to, thank you
  3. 不要,谢谢 (bú yào, xiè xie) No, thank you
  4. 不了,谢谢 (bù le, xiè xie) No, thank you

How to Say Thank You When You Received Gifts

When you received gifts, there are ways to say thank you rather than 谢谢(xiè xie). Here is how.

  1. 你太客气了 (nǐ tài kè qì le) You are too polite: When people give you gifts, you can say 你太客气了 (nǐ tài kè qì le). It means you are being too kind and too polite to give me the gift. It’s certainly not a complaint. Instead, it’s a way to say thank you in Chinese for being polite.
  2. 你太多礼了 (nǐ tài duō lǐ le) You are over courteous: Similar to the one above, it’s to say thank you in Chinese by saying you are really too courteous to give me gifts.
  3. 这怎么好意思呢? (zhè zěn me hǎo yì si ne?) It’s too polite of you and it makes me embarrassed: This one is hard to have a direct translation without explaining in contexts. So, Chinese people don’t accept other people’s kindness/gifts/favor immediately which is a way to show their own politeness. Traditionally, when Chinese people received gifts, they can say 这怎么好意思呢? (zhè zěn me hǎo yì si ne?) which means you are so polite and makes me embarrassed because I receive your gift for free. Most importantly, you should know that it’s in the Chinese culture that people are taught to be polite by saying these phrases. You might ask “are they going to take the gifts?” The answer is– of course, they are going to take the gift. Saying these phrases doesn’t mean they want to reject the gifts. It’s just a way to show gratitude for your kindness.

How to Say Thank You When You Received Compliments

谢谢 is one of the most common ways to say thank you in Chinese. However, it’s certainly not what Chinese people say when they received compliments. Before we get into how to respond to compliments in Mandarin, you should know about how Chinese culture influences the way how people respond to compliments.

Well, in Chinese culture, people have been educated to be humble, and not appear as arrogant. Therefore, under this cultural background, when Chinese people received a compliment, their first response will definitely not be “thank you.” For instance, people give you a compliment saying you look pretty today. If you say thank you, that implies you agree with the compliment that you think yourself is pretty. In this case, you might appear to be an arrogant person and you don’t want that reputation. Therefore, you are most likely to say one of the following phrases to show that you are not arrogant and still be polite to the compliments.

  1. 哪里哪里 (nǎ lǐ nǎ lǐ) Where where/ where is it: This is a popular response when receiving compliments. Let’s continue to use the “you look pretty today” as an example. When you respond with 哪里哪里 (nǎ lǐ nǎ lǐ), it shows “where is pretty that you are talking about? I don’t think myself is pretty (therefore, not arrogant) at all.” You might then ask– when people say 哪里哪里 (nǎ lǐ nǎ lǐ), do you as a compliment giver point out where he/she/they look pretty today? If you want to, yes, but you don’t have to take it literally. This is a rhetorical question and you just need to know that they are being polite and it’s the response with Chinese culture in it.
  2. 不,不,不 (bù, bù, bù) No, no, no: It’s the same idea that you deny the compliment in order to show you are humble and not arrogant.
  3. 没有没有 (méi yǒu méi yǒu) No really not really: A variation of the one above.
  4. 还好还好 (hǎi hǎo hái hǎo) Not bad not bad: Again, it’s to be modest and courteous.
  5. 是吗? (shì ma ?) Is that so?: Again, a rhetorical question to show humbleness.
  6. 真的吗 (zhēn de ma ?) Really?: A variation of 是吗? (shì ma ? Is that so?)

How to Say “You’re Welcome” in Chinese

After knowing a variety of ways to say thank you, I bet you want to ask– how do I say “You’re welcome” in Chinese? Here are the choices for you.

  1. 不客气 (bú kè qì) You’re welcome: This is the most standard response to a thank you in Chinese. It can be formal or casual, depending on the tone of how you say it.
  2. 不用谢/不谢 (bú yòng xiè/bú xiè) No problem/No need to say thank you
  3. 没事 (méi shì) It’s nothing: This is a casual way to say you’re welcome.
  4. 没什么 (méi shén me) It’s nothing
  5. 别担心 (bié dān xīn) No worries
  6. 别放心上 (bié fàng xīn shang) Don’t take it to heart
  7. 别往心里去(bié wǎng xīn lǐ qù) Don’t take it to heart: An variation of the one above.
  8. 小事一件 (xiǎo shì yí jiàn) No biggie/It’s a small thing:

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