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Is it a common phrase 'Thanks for your trouble' ?

I read this sentence in some speaking books.

However, I think the phrase 'thanks for your effort' is better to express my

intentions, doesn't it?

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    You probably think "Thanks for your effort" is more agreeable because you are an optimist first and would rather not use a phrase that is pessimistic though more common!
    – kttii
    Mar 31, 2017 at 18:39

2 Answers 2

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Yes, "Thanks for your trouble" or "Thank you for your trouble" is a very common phrase (In fact I use it quite often).

It doesn't mean He is creating the trouble, it is you who is creating a trouble/burden for him. To elaborate, think of the sentence like

  • "Thank you for (handling/taking care of) the trouble (I put you through)."

You are thanking him for "taking the trouble to help you."

Another way of saying this might be - "Sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused, but I sure do appreciate it."

Your final phrase - "Thanks for your effort" would in fact sound quite off in most context.

Thanks for your effort makes it sound a little bit like -- He failed in helping you, but you appreciate the effort anyway.

I wouldn't use it, as it doesn't really make you seem like you are totally satisfied with "his (the person you're thanking) help".

"Thanks for your help/favor" would be more natural than this variation.

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    I appreciate it so much. I would learn English and improve the error of my writing!
    – L.Day
    Mar 27, 2017 at 13:40
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    I won't disagree with the "trouble" answer but I feel in my circles in California I'd hear that less than something like "Thanks for going out of your way to help" ... of course.. that's longer and less efficient than saying "thanks for your trouble".... I wonder if it is a regional or by country thing ?
    – Tom22
    Mar 27, 2017 at 17:38
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    @Tom22 I'm inclined to agree that it's regional much like many phrases.
    – kttii
    Mar 31, 2017 at 18:35
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Yes, "thanks for your trouble" is certainly common. This Ngram shows that it was especially common in the 1800s. The following excerpt is from the Comedy of the School for Wives, which was first published in 1663, written by the French playwright and dramaturg, Molière.

Mir: And I, madam, like a true modern patron, shall hardly give you thanks for your trouble.
Bis: Come, sir, to let you see what little foundation you have for your dear sufficiency, I'll take you to pieces.
Mir: And what piece will you choose?
Bis: Your heart to be sure;…

The expression has tailed-off in recent times, but its use still remains widespread.

enter image description here

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  • Do you see all those zeroes at the left hand side? Perhaps they mean something? Jan 20, 2021 at 23:57

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