Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm really confusing between these two. How can we say many thanks to a person?

  1. Thanks a lot
  2. Thanks lots
share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I say thanks a lot.

Both 'a lot' and 'lots' are considered to be informal terms, though I would tend towards 'lots' being the more informal.

Put simply, I hear 'thanks a lot' far more than I hear 'thanks lots'.

This link strongly supports that.


Points of possible interest:

To be technical, since 'a lot' is singular and 'lots' is plural, the latter would imply more thanks than the former. However, I doubt many people would make this inference were you to use either one.

Also, the production of the sounds in 'thanks a lot' is easier because of the 's' sound running smoothly into the 'æ' vowel sound while 'thanks lots' calls for an uncomfortable stop between the 's' and 'l' sounds.

Over all, while I'm sure you will find support for 'lots', 'a lot' is clearly the preferred form.

Hope that helps.

share|improve this answer
    
I'm adapting your answer. Thanks a lot ;) –  Chan Apr 5 '11 at 5:46
    
Thanks a lot to you, too. Although, 'adapting' ~> 'accepting', perhaps? –  Karl Apr 5 '11 at 5:53
    
Ah, also @chan, 'many thanks' is quite common itself. –  Karl Apr 5 '11 at 6:12
    
Though oddly "thanks a lot" is also used ironically (meaning "no thanks at all"), whereas I don't think I've ever heard "many thanks" used that way. –  Colin Fine Apr 5 '11 at 9:06
    
YEah, that's quite right. Fortunately, I don't think it plays into the confines of this question :) I'm sure sarcasm could take an entire forum of it own anyway, not just a post! –  Karl Apr 5 '11 at 12:38
add comment

protected by RegDwigнt May 7 '12 at 10:37

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.