The context for my question might be a bit strange.

I have stuttering and therefore I have some difficulties pronouncing some words starting with particular phonetics. And I've found that if a sentence starts with a /th/ sound, it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Especially in the word is "thanks" or "thank you".

So I want to know if there's a popular alternative for "thank you" that may not seem strange and that unnatural. I've searched the website and I know there are alternatives like "I appreciate your help." but that sounds a bit overly formal for me. (Or is it? correct me if I'm mistaken.)

  • 7
    I hope you'll forgive my ignorance, but are your difficulties with pronouncing "thanks" only at the beginning of an utterance? Does it get easier if you can "get the ball rolling" so to speak? (If so, that would suggest alternatives which have a bit of leading filler, such as "great, thank you" or "wonderful, thanks".)
    – John Y
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 14:32
  • 1
    One popular alternative to thank you is ... not saying thank you.
    – Kaz
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 19:34

5 Answers 5


"Cheers" should be an acceptable alternative to "Thank you" in Hong Kong. You could also say "Much obliged" which is also often used. Another alternative is that annoying Australianism, "Ta!" which will conveniently avoid the /th/ sound. A less formal equivalent of "I appreciate your help" would be a simple "(I) Appreciate it" or similar.

Depending on the crowd, you could also employ the Spanish "Gracias!"

  • 8
    Cheers is also much used in the UK. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 9:20
  • @BarrieEngland nod ... which I expect will make it reasonably familiar in HK. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 9:24
  • OP will know better than me, since he does actually stutter (I don't). But I'd have thought a word starting with ch would cause him just as much, if not more of a problem, than one starting with th. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 16:14
  • 2
    I always thought "Ta" is about as British as it gets... Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 18:03
  • Informally, the French phrase "C'est moi." ("That's me.") was once provided to me as an alternative way to respond to gratitude or compliments. Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 19:38

I checked a thesaurus and found much appreciated, which is a more informal version of “I appreciate your help.” That might suit your purposes.

I had one other thought: you could use the Spanish gracias. It’s not English, but, at least in the U.S., it's a well-known Spanish word. Most Americans know a modest handful of Spanish words, and even use them with each other on occasion (it's not uncommon to hear people part ways saying, “Hasta mañana,” for example).


There are plenty of good suggestions, but I just wanted to add a couple of ideas.

Since the idea of saying thank you really consists in two parts:

  • Acknowledge that something happened that I appreciated.
  • Acknowledge the other person's role in that thing.

You can express that in several different ways that sound natural and can even sound more positive than a simple thank you.

Here are a few examples of an original sentence with thank you or thanks, and a replacement:

Thanks for coming to visit me yesterday.
You made my day by coming to visit yesterday.

Thanks for talking to Ralph for me.
It (really) meant a lot (to me) when you talked to Ralph for me.

Thank you for telling me.
I'm really glad you told me.

Thanks for the lecture today, I learned a lot.
I enjoyed today's lecture, I learned a lot.

Thanks for doing that.
I appreciate how you did that.

"Hey, I grabbed you something to eat while I was out." "Thanks."
"Hey, I grabbed you something to eat while I was out." "You shouldn't have."

  • Great answer! These suggestions explain the context of why you wanted to say thanks, making it a lot more personal. I often append an additional cheers to conclude the statement, but that's me! (Probably because I want to swiftly move on).
    – wonea
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 15:19

If you just want one/two word(s): danke, gracias, merci, and I'm much obliged.

When I write notes, sometimes I say "I appreciate..." rather than thank you. I tend to say thank you in conversation more often, but my sense is that the message you're conveying (thank you) is what the person will remember.


Much obliged, perfect, wonderful, fab(ulous), that's great, or a more elaborate comment about what stood out for you in their contribution or deed. Thank you is so much overused and has some problems. It's universally expected in emails but tends to put you in a subservient role and it gets very monotonous and empty sounding. People try to vary intonation or add superfluous words to dress it up, which backfires often. I'm sure when you shift the focus off your appreciation and onto their contribution, it's flattering.

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