First of all, I am not a native English speaker and not very good in English too. I had a technical problem in my software project and thus took help of somebody. She helped me to find the right way to resolve my issue. Can I say her, "You are a path shower" to show my appreciation to her ?

UPDATE: She always guides me when I am in trouble. Considering this, what more can I say her.

  • 60
    The main problem with using shower in this way, is that in its written form, most people will read it as the kind of shower that you use to bathe.
    – oerkelens
    May 19, 2014 at 10:28
  • 2
    @Invoker's answer is spot-on with "You are a life saver." - as far as how most native speakers would say this in my experience. Still, I (love) work(ing) with many Indian and other non-native speakers, and "You are a path shower." would make the point just fine with me. :} Still, oerkelen's comment about saying vs. writing "You are a path shower." has merit.
    – J0e3gan
    May 19, 2014 at 14:17
  • 4
    @oerkelens, that reminds me of a sign out in front of a local embroidery business, looking to recruit seamstresses: "SEWERS WANTED". I have to admit that I misread that the first time...
    – Phil Perry
    May 19, 2014 at 17:11
  • 9
    It took me a whole minute to realize it's "show-er" not "shower" as in "taking a bath". May 19, 2014 at 22:09
  • 2
    But even in spoken form, "shower", the adjectival form of to show, is a clumsy word and very rarely used by english speakers. "Pathfinder" is the word that means what you are trying to say, but it is uncommon to use as a compliment. May 20, 2014 at 15:28

11 Answers 11


It does not sound very natural to me, here are a few more alternatives -

You are a saviour!


You are a life saver.


Thank you for enlightening me.

  • +1 for nice answer. Now addition to this, if she is the one who always guides me then what more can I say ? May 19, 2014 at 11:26
  • Invoker, those are not similar to the concept of "showing the path". There are many, many phrases of praise in English; why not choose some of the many that match the concept at hand!
    – Fattie
    May 19, 2014 at 13:24
  • These would be good phrases if it was a Jedi that helped you. May 19, 2014 at 13:37
  • @RyeɃreḁd Haha I was actually thinking of "Path of jedi" when I answered this cuz there is "path shower" in question.. lol!
    – Invoker
    May 19, 2014 at 14:08
  • 18
    "You are a life saver." is how native speakers would overwhelmingly say this in my experience. "Thank you for enlightening me." is a bit formal, but that may suit the circumstance. Sincerity is the key to both. :}
    – J0e3gan
    May 19, 2014 at 14:12

Try telling her, "You're a great mentor."

  • 4
    As a native English speaker I strongly recommend this one. This is a very appropriate workplace compliment that demonstrates your appreciation for the guidance or assistance she has shown you. Further, it is suitable in both formal or casual context, with no accidental or awkward meanings.
    – mctylr
    May 20, 2014 at 20:38
  • I would also agree with this, if you want to keep the person at a slightly higher organizational rank than you. "Mentor" is not a peer. Other than that, this is a great answer.
    – cduston
    May 20, 2014 at 21:26

Try something like:

"You are a guiding light" [A bit too effusive for my taste, but hey...!]

"You are an excellent explainer"

"You really saved my bacon!"

"Your {insight was / insights were} invaluable"

  • 7
    +1 for guiding light, it's just what you need when you are looking for the right path in the darkness (metaphorically and literally).
    – Frank
    May 19, 2014 at 11:00
  • 1
    Another +1 for guiding light, which seems like the closest equivalent to what the OP is trying to express. May 19, 2014 at 12:38
  • Indeed I would also label "You are a guiding light" as the best one as of yet, its has a deep profound meaning which is very defining in itself.
    – Invoker
    May 19, 2014 at 14:13
  • I thought “your insight were invaluable” means “stop bugging me with useless comments”.
    – Gala
    May 19, 2014 at 17:18
  • 7
    Oh come on. I can't be the only one who thinks that telling a woman, "You are a guiding light [to me]" would make you look like a huge creep.
    – indiv
    May 19, 2014 at 22:33

Most of these answer are so very flowery! I would simply go with "thanks for your guidance". It's appropriate for both formal and informal settings (unlike several of the other answers...), and straightforward. You could even flash it up: "thanks for your consistent, excellent guidance on this project" and keep it not too "puppy on the heels".


It's a beautiful way to say it, and of course, we have this in English ..

you have shown me the way...

There's a very famous song, "I want you, to show me the way..."


I wonder how you're feeling?
There's ringing in my ears.
And no one to relate to, save the sea.

Who can I believe in?
I'm kneeling on the floor
There has to be a force, who do I call?

The stars are out and shining.
But all I really want to know:

Oh won't you, show me the way? Every day.
I want you, to show me the way.

  -- Peter Frampton, 1974

To actually use "path", you could certainly say:

"You've shown me the path."

That's beautiful. A common one like that is "You've shown me the way forward"

Note too that "pathfinder" is a real phrase of praise, particularly in the US. "She's the pathfinder, she shows us the way. She really leads the group." Cheers...

Don't forget too that simply saying "you're a true leader" is exactly the "path sentiment" ... you're the one who can lead us on the "path" of life.

  • 1
    You do realize, don't you, that this song is on a par with another-song-that-will-remain-nameless in terms of "Please! Help me! I've got 'Show Me The Way' stuck in my head - and I can't get it out!". Although at the same time I'll grant you that "Frampton Comes Alive" is one of the best live albums I've ever heard... :-) May 19, 2014 at 21:50

I strongly suggest that statements of the grammatical form "You did X" (e.g. "You saved my bacon") will be much better received as compliment by a native English speaker than anything in the form "You are X" (e.g. "You are a life saver!"). This is especially true if you are male and she is female.

In the English-speaking West, positive attributive statements can be read as sexually forward, because such compliments are a common courtship behavior*. Paying women compliments of the "You are X" form is a conventional way to "hit on" them. You would be wise to avoid that in professional and platonic circumstances. It's not that you can't get away with it, it's that you may be taking a risk you may not want to take.

* More generally, they're characteristic of interactions between emotional intimates, such as mothers and their children. Making such a statement to an unrelated female is the 21st century American's version of the 19th century's "presumptuous": you are assuming a relationship with a level of closeness which has not yet been established.

  • An interesting perspective that had not previously occurred to me -- thanks!
    – Erik Kowal
    May 20, 2014 at 6:27
  • I think that "Thank you for doing X" would be more natural than "You are X" regardless of gender. May 20, 2014 at 12:21
  • @200_success That, too. Also, less escalatory in cases where there's hostility and/or the possibility of violence, since any ambiguity of positiveness of the attribute risks falling into being heard as attacking/threatening. Consider the effect of one kid walking up to another on the playground and announcing, "You're a brainiac". There's a lot of reason not to casually use "you statements" that characterize. May 20, 2014 at 14:34

In the United States, two common terms used to credit people for finding new ways to accomplish something—or metaphorically, a new path through a trackless wilderness—are pathfinder and trailblazer. James Fenimore Cooper titles one of his Natty Bumppo novels The Pathfinder, and the owner of Portland's professional basketball team nicknamed it the Trailblazers. As Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) reports:

pathfinder (1840): one that discovers a way; esp. one that explores untraversed regions to mark out a new route

trailblazer (1908): 1: one that blazes [marks by cutting gashes into the bark of trees along the way] a trail to guide others: PATHFINDER 2: PIONEER

Either term is a good match for a situation in which someone doesn't merely illuminate an existing path but creates a new one. English speakers are more likely to say "You are a great pathfinder [or trailblazer] for me" than "You are my pathfinder [or trailblazer]," however.

  • 1
    Both of these expressions would only be appropriate if the mentor's suggestions were truly innovative. May 20, 2014 at 12:18
  • Nah, Americans use terms like "pathfinder!" "ground-breaking paradigm shifter!" for someone who pays for the coffee.
    – Fattie
    May 20, 2014 at 19:33
    – Fattie
    May 20, 2014 at 19:33
  • I'm afraid innovator has subsumed all possible vocations and avocations in the business world (including such vital roles as "paradigm shifter" and "coffee payer"), like a horrible giant amoeba. I can see the retrospective headline now: Daniel Boone, Cumberland Gap Innovator.
    – Sven Yargs
    May 20, 2014 at 19:50
  • 1
    The usage of trailblazer or pathfinder would be not best in my opinion, as these words are typically used in a sense of an independent activity, and are unlike the sense of leading or teaching, as with guide or mentor. Even though trailblazer marks a trail for others to follow, these markings are left so they can be followed at a later time which suggesting there may not necessarily be a strong association between the trailblazer and follower.
    – mctylr
    May 20, 2014 at 20:25

Normally in English if someone teaches us the right way to do something we simply say 'thank you for teaching me X'. Some of the other answers seem misguided and are a little too serious in context. They are not path showers.



You're a beacon for me.

beacon: a person or thing that warns or guides

You're like a mother for me. Always here when I'm in trouble.


If you want to use the words "path" and "show," a preferable and more common way to say it would be "You always show me the path."


Either something like this:

When I'm lost in the mountains,
You are my Sherpa,
And guide me safely to the refuge.

When I'm lost in the desert,
You are my Bedouin,
Who shows me the path to the oasis.

When I'm all at Sea,
You are my lighthouse,
My beacon, leading me to harbour.

Or alternatively, something like this:

thanks a lot, you're my guru :)

In professional software circles, probably the latter.

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