“Thanks so much” is a very common phrase in English. But is it actually wrong to say it? Is “so much” actually necessary? Would it be correct English to say “thanks so much”, or should you simply say “thanks”? Today, we’ll discuss the answer to this question.
Is It Correct to Say “Thanks So Much”?
It is not grammatically correct to say “thanks so much”. However, it is considered acceptable regardless. Despite breaking some grammar rules, almost everyone that speaks English considers “thanks so much” to be an acceptable informal phrase derived from older idioms in the language.
All languages have strict grammar rules. All speakers of a language also end up breaking those grammar rules for convenience from time to time. Many phrases and sayings are technically not grammatically correct, but have become accepted by native speakers.
“Thanks so much” is one such phrase. Technically, “thanks” is a plural noun, not a verb (you wouldn’t say “I thanks you”, after all”). You aren’t supposed to use “much” with plural countable nouns, which “thanks” is. Grammatically speaking, the phrase is incorrect.
However, “thanks so much” is likely derived from the fact that most English speakers see “thank you” and “thanks” as being interchangeable. “I thank you so much” is grammatically correct. But it’s a mouthful to say and sounds weird. So people shortened the phrase to “thanks so much”.
On a technicality, “thanks so much” is grammatically incorrect. However, it is frequently used and accepted in things like email and conversation. Some would argue that societal acceptance of a phrase in and of itself makes it right or wrong.
Whether you believe that or not, it is still considered acceptable by most all English speakers to say “thanks so much” even if it is informal. Here are some examples of how it is often used:
- Becky, thanks so much for coming to my wedding!
- Thanks so much for babysitting my daughter tonight.
While it is acceptable to use, you may not be comfortable with “thanks so much”. In that case, we’ve compiled a list of what to say instead of “thanks so much” down below.
Other Ways to Say “Thanks so Much”
Other ways to say “thanks so much” are “thank you so much”, “thanks a lot”, and “thank you very much”. All of these phrases offer thanks in an identical manner to “thanks so much”. Generally speaking, you don’t actually have to add anything to “thank you” or “thanks” to get the same meaning.
Thank You So Much
“Thank you so much” essentially stretches out “thanks so much” to be grammatically correct. Because “thank you” is generally seen as being equivalent to “thanks”, this is one of the best synonyms to use. It is one of the most direct and is not prone to being misunderstood.
- Dear Joshua,
- I’ve noticed that there a few issues with your report. Could you please make the changes I have requested?
- Thank you so much!
- Kelly, thank you so much for your donation to the fund.
Thanks A Lot
“Thanks a lot” is practically the same phrase as “thanks so much”. All it does is replace “so much” with another idiom that means the same thing. This means you can use it in almost any situation where you would use “thanks so much”. That said, some would argue that it is even more informal and casual.
- Thanks a lot for picking me up from school, Ben.
- You’ve been a good friend to me; thanks a lot for that.
Thank You Very Much
“Thank you very much” is just an extended version of “thanks so much”. Of course, that means you can use it In pretty much any situation you would use “thanks so much”. It’s a bit more formal as well, making it a good choice if you are writing a company email or something similar.
- Dear Jonathan,
- I received your submission for class in your email. It looks great!
- Thank you very much for your timely submission.
- Thank you very much for offering me a ride to the party, Karen.
Thanks a Million
“Thanks a million” is a very casual and informal synonym for “thanks so much”. It’s just another way to tell someone that you are especially grateful to them. If “thanks” alone isn’t enough, you can use “thanks a million” instead for greater effect. But it’s not a good choice for formal situations.
- You’re the best for doing this, Jamie; thanks a million!
- It was kind of you to bring us this pie, Haley. Thanks a million.
“Many thanks” is a bit archaic, but it is still a synonym for “thanks so much”. It’s shorthand for “I offer many thanks”. However, it strikes a weird balance between not really being that formal and also being somewhat formal. All in all, it’s just not particularly common phrasing, but “many thanks” can be used.
- Dear Ethan,
- I am reaching out to ask about your availability on Tuesday. Please let me know your schedule.
- Many thanks.
- Many thanks, friend. You’ve done me a great service.
Thanks a Bunch
“Thanks a bunch” is very informal, so as another way to say “thanks so much”, it’s quite fitting. In fact, it’s even less formal. While “thanks so much” could still be used in a somewhat formal email, “thanks a bunch” probably wouldn’t be appropriate. But it would be fine for use with your friends.
- If you hadn’t caught me, I might have broken something. Thanks a bunch!
- Thanks a bunch for helping me carry all these bags to the kitchen.
I Can’t Thank You Enough
If you want to get very formal, you can use “I can’t thank you enough”. It’s not quite the same as “thanks so much”, but it is another way to express gratitude beyond the norm. It is pretty wordy, however. It’s best used in text or in verbal cases where you wish to be especially earnest.
- I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done, Gerald. You’re a true hero.
- I wasn’t expecting someone to cover my expenses just to be charitable. I can’t thank you enough.
My Deepest Thanks
“My deepest thanks” is about as formal as you can get as far as synonyms for “thanks so much” are concerned. You probably won’t hear too many people saying something like this in verbal conversation. Still, it is a valid synonym and you could use it in any situation where “thanks so much” can be used.
- Dear Kyle,
- I heard that you stayed after hours to take care of the problem we had.
- My deepest thanks for your time and effort.
- You risked your life for me; you have my deepest thanks.
What Does “Thanks So Much” Mean?
“Thanks so much” is likely a derivative phrase that originated from the desire to shorten “I thank you so much”. Basically, it’s just a way to express gratitude to someone, but with a little more emphasis than a simple “thank you”.
For most native English speakers, “thank you” and “thanks” are viewed as interchangeable. This is why “thanks so much” is used even though it doesn’t make grammatical sense as shorthand for “thank you very much”. Still, despite being technically incorrect, it is acceptable to use in informal settings.
Is “Thanks So Much” Formal?
No, “thanks so much” is not formal. In fact, it’s the height of informality, since it is an idiom that is used despite breaking grammar rules. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In some cases, being informal can feel more friendly than being too formal.
Still, if you are interested in thanking someone in a formal manner, you should avoid using “thanks so much”.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.