Can anybody please tell me the subject, verb, and object of this sentence:

Thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment.

I would also like to please know what part of speech thank you belongs to when it’s used the way it is in the sentence given above.

  • 3
    If it's considered as a sentence (instead of a fixed phrase, like good-bye), it would be I thank you, with the subject I deleted. In that sentence, thank is a verb, and you (like I, a pronoun) is the direct object of thank. Thankyou as a noun can be used to refer to an instance of thanking -- She sends you a million thankyous for your hospitality. Aug 9, 2015 at 19:39
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    You're left with the awkward problem of deciding how useful it is to attempt to assign parts of speech to the [ex-?]verb and [ex-?]noun [object?] of 'I thank you' when you've dropped the subject. Aug 9, 2015 at 20:13
  • Surely 'thank you' in its most common use (e.g. 'Thank you for x' is best treated as an interjection? Aug 10, 2015 at 11:14

3 Answers 3


As has already been pointed out, the original phrase is "I thank you." subject-verb-object

I know from anecdotes told me years ago by an elderly relative that "I thank you." was very commonly used around the 1900s particularly by shopkeepers (in Britain).

It's still used often in certain circumstances but you don't hear it in shops any more.

This graph and the associated links may be of interest.

Google ngram: I thank you

These days, "Thank you" is a formula but it still holds the place of "I thank you"


The sentence "Thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment" can be regarded as elliptical for the sentence "I thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment."

"I" is the subject. "thank" is the verb. "you all" is the object. "Thank you" can be regarded as an elliptical sentence or maybe as a sentence fragment which has acquired an idiomatic use.


Thank you is an adjective and a noun:

  • Adjective: I am thankful.

  • Noun: I sent a thank you note to my teacher.

  • "thankful" is an adjective, yes, but that's not the same word as "thank you"! And in your second quote, "thank you" is actually an adjective, applied to the noun "note". Aug 10, 2015 at 11:26
  • @randal'thor Actually, it’s still a noun in a thank-you note, just like how in wedding invitation, both those words are nouns. You may call the whole thing a compound noun if you want, or the first one a noun used attributively, but it is certainly not an adjective.
    – tchrist
    Aug 10, 2015 at 11:51

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