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When not used as a polite closing, are "Thanks" and "Thank you" sentences ending with a period? "Thanks. I appreciate your effort." "Thank you, Kevin. I will be in touch soon."

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closed as not a real question by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Irene, Barrie England, Hugo, simchona Jan 7 '12 at 23:16

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Yes. What makes you think otherwise? –  Irene Jan 7 '12 at 16:40
    
It seems like a legitimate question to me. –  xpda Jan 8 '12 at 5:32

3 Answers 3

"Thank you" is a sentence with an implied "I" or "We", as in "(I) thank you."

"Thanks" is a shortened form of "thank you", but you can use it as if it has an implied "You have my" or "I offer my", as in "(You have my) thanks."

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Grammatically, 'Thanks' is as much a sentence as 'Yes' or 'Goodbye'; but, as you suspected, it is unusual to put a full stop after it when followed by a related sentence. Personally, I would put a comma in your first example and a semicolon in the second; but only because of the close relation of the meanings, and it would be the same if you expanded Thanks to Thank you.

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Personally, I would use an exclamation point (e.g., Thank you, Elizabeth!), but it appears that I'm in the minority. By far, most people seem to use a period. Here's a relevant corpus search (Note: the numbers are representative, not exact. Click on the punctuation marks to see examples of use.)

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Unfortunately, you can't tell from the corpus how many of these are 'used as a polite closing' in OPs words. I suspect the majority. –  TimLymington Jan 8 '12 at 12:02

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