I have a friend who always says "Thank" instead of "Thanks" or "Thank you". For example, when I ask: " Do you like to come?", his answer is: "Thank. I am busy".

Can you explain why "Thank" cannot be alone? Surely it must be “Thanks”, or “Thanks to you” or “Thank you”.

  • Because to Thank is the verb and "Thank you" and "Thanks" are the idiomatic expressions that uses that verb.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


This use of the word is a kind of solecism. Yes, it is not standard English. You could go on criticising your friend’s personal habit. It is a kind of social mannerism, with which all her/his acquaintances are familiar. But the more you correct her/him, the more s/he will persist. “S/he only does it to annoy, because s/he knows it teases.”

  • This addresses the non-standard usage of OP's 'friend', not how the use of 'Thanks' (almost certainly in line with 'Congratulations' and 'Best Wishes' etc) rather than 'Thank.' etc developed. Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 10:25
  • @EdwinAshworth At least this one cannot be traced to Latin ‘gratiam ago’, as far as I know. The connection with ‘congratulations’ is tempting, except that (a) the nouns cites all have a recognised singular, unlike ‘thanks’. I need further research, but I wonder if it goes back to Christian ceremony in which whole congregations gave ‘thanks unto the Lord’ once a week.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 16:41

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