While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails, otherwise I use 'Thanks' generally.

To improve my communication methods, I just want to know explicitly when I should use 'Thank you' and when, 'Thanks'.

Or, which is better professionally?

closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, David M, Kristina Lopez, choster, Mari-Lou A Mar 16 '14 at 23:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This is more a matter of register and formality than it is of anything else. There are no explicit “rules” here, so no one can give you an exact answer, just personal opinions. – tchrist Mar 15 '14 at 14:39

Interesting point . Actually they are bit different though they are used to express gratitude.

1) "I thank you " is a full sentence with subject, verb and complement. 2) "thanks" is a noun.

They have become sort of synonym, tough "thanks" is also used to express gratitude and appreciations in more formal writing or speech such as: We want to express our thanks to those who helped us. Hope it can help.


I would say as a general rule that, in formal or business contexts, "thank you" is the way to go. "Thanks" can come as a little colloquial in comparison. If you want to avoid the awkwardness of using "thank you" to thank more than just one person ("you"), you could always use "thank you all [for your time/for your business/etc]."

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