Learning to say thank you in Spanish, or in any other language, is one of the fundamentals for polite social interaction. At the same time, knowing a few alternatives to gracias will expand your possibilities when having real world conversations in Spanish.
In this post we’ll cover different ways, contexts, and degrees of being grateful, starting with the basic gracias and moving on to other ways to express thanks in Spanish. We’ll also touch on a couple of responses when being thanked, though for more we recommend our related post on different ways to say you’re welcome in Spanish.
For now, if you’re interested in being polite in Spanish and you want more than the humble gracias, this is the post for you. Now, let’s get started!
The Importance of Saying Thank You in Spanish
Being grateful is very important to all Spanish speaking cultures. Parents and teachers even raise kids to remember this by referring to por favor (please) and gracias (thank you) as “the magic words!”
Using thank you in Spanish demonstrates a fundamental human side to our interactions, showing that we care about other people and that we are capable of appreciating what other people do for us.
Gracias: The umbrella term to express gratitude in Spanish
Gracias is the word for thank you in Spanish that can be used in any situation and context. It’s quite a neutral term, suitable in both formal and informal situations. Whether you’re thanking a complete stranger or you’re being grateful to your mom, using gracias is always a safe bet.
- You’re entering a store and someone holds the door open for you. Simply saying ¡Gracias! is perfect.
- Your mum has cooked your favorite dish. You can show your gratitude by saying: ¡Gracias, mami!
Adding emphasis to gracias
Moving on from the simple gracias on its own, we have a couple of common ways to emphasize our thanks in Spanish. Let’s learn these expressions here.
Muchas gracias means thank you very much or thanks a lot, and just like gracias is a neutral term that can be used in any situation. Note that since gracias is feminine, the adjective muchas is feminine too (“muchos gracias” is incorrect).
- Thank you very much for the gift. – Muchas gracias por el regalo. (Informal)
- Many thanks for your purchase. – Muchas gracias por su compra. (Formal)
Muchísimas gracias is used to intensify the expression muchas gracias. It can be roughly translated as thank you so much. This emphasis is achieved using the superlative suffix “-ísimas.”
- Thank you so much for lending me the book I needed. – Muchísimas gracias por prestarme el libro que necesitaba.
- Thank you so much for not telling anything to my parents. – Muchísimas gracias por no decirle nada a mis padres.
Other gracias expressions
A handful of popular Spanish thank you expressions are built around gracias, each of which is suitable for a range of contexts.
Mil gracias, Un millón de gracias
If you want to really intensify your gratitude, mil gracias is a good choice. Its literal translation is a thousand thanks. Likewise, we have un millón de gracias which is used to emphasize gratitude even more, meaning a million thanks or thanks a million.
- You’ve done so much for me. A thousand thanks! – Has hecho tanto por mí. ¡Mil gracias!
- You’re a lifesaver. Thanks a million! – Me salvaste la vida. ¡Un millón de gracias!
Gracias de todo corazón
We use gracias de todo corazón in informal situations, and when we want to express some kind of affection. This sweet phrase translates to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
- Your advice was great. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. – Tus consejos fueron geniales. Gracias de todo corazón.
Gracias por todo
Translating as thanks for everything, gracias por todo implies that someone has done many favors for you. This expression can be used in both formal or informal contexts.
- Thank you for hosting me. Thanks for everything. – Gracias por hospedarme. Gracias por todo.
- We had a great time at your house. Thanks for everything. – La pasamos muy bien en tu casa. Gracias por todo.
When we want to express thanks in Spanish for something specific, we build our sentence on this phrase, meaning thank you for…. We can follow gracias por with a verb in its infinitive form, or with a noun, using the following structures: gracias por + infinitive or gracias por + noun.
- Thank you for being so kind to me. – Gracias por ser tan amable conmigo.
- Thank you for the party you organized for me. – Gracias por la fiesta que organizaste para mí.
Other expressions to express gratitude
In addition to all the options for expressing thanks in Spanish based around gracias, we also have a few everyday expressions for expressing gratitude where we don’t explicitly say “thank you.”
Eres muy amable, Qué amable
When someone offers you help, you can show your gratitude by telling them eres muy amable – you’re so nice, or qué amable – how nice.
- Can I help you cross the street? / Oh! How sweet. – ¿Puedo ayudarla a cruzar la calle? / Qué amable.
Eres un sol
Of course, rather than just telling someone that they’re nice, sometimes we use metaphors to compare them with other wonderful things. With this popular expression of gratitude in Spanish, you’re literally telling someone “you’re a sunshine.”
- Let me help you with your luggage. / You’re a sunshine. – Déjame ayudarte con el equipaje. / Eres un sol.
Spanish thank you verbs
Agradecer is the verb for to thank in Spanish, generally used for addressing people in formal situations. Its use is often better translated as to appreciate, depending on the context.
When conjugated, agradecer often triggers the use of direct object pronouns for whoever is being thanked, while also taking indirect object pronouns for whatever is being thanked for. If we’re thanking tú, for example, we say te lo agradezco, while if we’re thanking usted we say se lo agradezco. In both cases the indirect object pronoun lo refers to the thing we’re appreciative of, so the translations would be I thank you for it.
- You dropped your keys, miss. / Oh! I appreciate it, I hadn’t noticed that. – Se le cayeron las llaves, señorita. / Ay, se lo agradezco, no me había dado cuenta.
- I thanked Viviana for having taught me so much. – Le agradecí a Viviana por haberme enseñado tanto.
Dar las gracias
The verb dar translates as to give in Spanish, so this expression is literally to give thanks. Note that for this act of giving thanks, it’s just as common to simply translate this expression into English as to thank. We use it in either formal or informal contexts.
- I thank you for having helped me so much. – Te doy las gracias por haberme ayudado tanto.
- They thanked us and left. – Nos dieron las gracias y se fueron.
Estar agradecido, Sentirse agradecido
These expressions are based on the adjective agradecido, meaning grateful, thankful, or appreciative. The most common verbs we use with this adjective are estar (to be) and sentirse (to feel), allowing us to be grateful and feel grateful. These phrases are normally used in formal contexts.
Remember that, since it’s an adjective, agradecido needs to change form to match the subject here. Notice its different forms in the following examples:
- We’re really grateful for the work the staff has done this year. – Estamos realmente agradecidos por el trabajo que ha realizado el personal este año.
- Your girls feel very grateful for the chances they’re given. – Tus hijas se sienten muy agradecidas por las posibilidades brindadas.
You’re welcome in Spanish
Just as in English, Spanish has an assortment of specific responses for when someone tells us gracias. Rather than go into too much detail here, we’ll rather point you to our full post on how to say you’re welcome in Spanish. To get you started though, here are the most common responses to gracias:
- de nada
- por nada
- no hay por qué
We’ve covered quite a variety of different expressions for saying thank you in Spanish. Starting off with the neutral gracias, we then moved through the other gracias phrases like the affectionate gracias de todo corazón, before going into alternative methods to express thanks in Spanish using an assortment of verbs and adjectives.
We hope you enjoyed this post, and we thank you for getting to the end! – ¡Te agradecemos por llegar hasta el final!
Exercises: Thank you in Spanish
In order to practice using some of the Spanish thank you expressions you’ve just learned, we leave you with a few exercises. Based on the context, choose between the two options we provide after each sentence.
1. ¡______ venir, bienvenidos! Gracias por – Muchas gracias
2. La pasamos muy bien. _______ a todos. Le agradezco – Muchas gracias
3. Amigo, me ayudaste mucho. ________ corazón. Mil gracias – Gracias de todo
4. ________ por toda la ayuda que me dieron mis padres. Me siento agradecida – Muchas gracias
5. _______ por haber venido a mi casa esa tarde. Agradecido – Le agradecí mucho
1. ¡Gracias por venir, bienvenidos! – Thank you for coming, welcome!
2. La pasamos muy bien. Muchas gracias a todos. – We had a great time. Thank you very much to all of you.
3. Amigo, me ayudaste mucho. Gracias de todo corazón. – My friend, you helped me a lot. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
4. Me siento agradecida por toda la ayuda que me dieron mis padres. – I feel grateful for all the help my parents gave me.
5. Le agradecí mucho por haber venido a mi casa esa tarde. – I thanked him a lot for having come to my house that afternoon.