5

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

  1. Thanks a lot
  2. Thanks lots
9

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'.

Google Ngrams strongly supports that. It can't even find thanks lots.


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.

  • Thanks a lot to you, too. Although, 'adapting' ~> 'accepting', perhaps? – Karl Apr 5 '11 at 5:53
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    Ah, also @chan, 'many thanks' is quite common itself. – Karl Apr 5 '11 at 6:12
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    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

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