“Thank you for trying” is a way to show appreciation for someone’s attempt at helping you. We use it when someone might not have been successful in their aid for us, and there are better synonyms that might be a little less harsh to use, which this article will explore.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Thank You For Trying”?
There are a few great alternatives that you might be interested in using. Each of these offers a different way to show appreciation for someone’s attempt to help you.
- I appreciate your help
- Thanks anyway
- Your effort is appreciated
- Thank you for your time
- Thanks for your effort
- At least you tried to help
The preferred version is “I appreciate your help” because it shows that we’re appreciative of what they offered us. Using the phrase in this way is the most polite way to tell them that they didn’t succeed in helping us (even though they’ll often already know that they failed).
I Appreciate Your Help
Let’s start with the best replacement of the bunch and work our way down from here.
We can use “I appreciate your help” when we want to thank somebody for trying to help us. It’s a great way of showing that we’re happy with their efforts, even if we know (and they know) that they didn’t do much to help us.
Usually, our end goal is obvious, and someone might be helping us to try to work toward that. If we don’t succeed in reaching that goal together, we might need to use a phrase like this to encourage them that their help was appreciated, even if it didn’t amount to very much.
You might see “I appreciate your help” in the following ways:
- As always, I appreciate your help. It’s just a shame we couldn’t come to some kind of conclusion.
- I appreciate your help, but I’ll keep trying until I figure this out.
- I appreciate your help, and I wish there was something more we could do to figure this one out.
You might also see “thanks anyway,” which is the best informal synonym we can come up with for saying “thank you for trying.”
“Thanks anyway” is an informal way of saying that you appreciate the aid someone gave to you. We use it casually to show that we’re not disappointed that someone didn’t manage to help us and that we’ll often try to continue on our own until we find a solution.
In the context of this phrase, “anyway” is similar to saying “at least you tried to help.” We use it to show that even though they put in a great deal of effort, it wasn’t enough to help us, and “anyway” shows that no matter what way they chose to do things, it still wasn’t enough.
You might see “thanks anyway” or “thank you anyway” work in the following ways:
- Thanks anyway. I do appreciate that you tried. It just wasn’t meant to be, that’s all.
- Thank you anyway, and I’m sure you’ve helped me out with a few things that I didn’t know I needed help with.
- Oh well, thanks anyway! I’m glad you were here to lend a hand.
Your Effort Is Appreciated
“Your effort is appreciated” is one of the more formal options on here. It’s not often you’ll hear this one in spoken English, but it’s definitely a strong candidate for most professional writing pieces.
You can use “your effort is appreciated” when you want to share your appreciation for the work someone put toward trying to reach a solution with you. Even if their work was ultimately aimless, you at least want to show that you’re happy they tried their best.
We can use this one in emails, where we might try to encourage our coworkers or employees to keep working, even if they’re failing to find solutions. It’s a good way to keep team synergy high, while also improving morale, even when employees miss targets.
You can see this sentence in the following examples:
- Your effort is appreciated, but I’ll have to fly solo from here.
- Your effort was appreciated. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t figure this out.
- Alas, your effort is appreciated, but it simply wasn’t enough! I’ll keep trying until I’ve got it.
Thank You For Your Time
“Thank you for your time” is a great way to say that we appreciate the efforts of someone, and it’s also a way of thanking somebody for hearing us out.
“Thank you for your time” works when we want to appreciate someone for giving us the time in their busy days. Even if we don’t manage to reach the intended outcome, we still use this phrase to show that we’re happy they were there to help us.
We can almost use this phrase as a form of apology. We’re thanking somebody for their time, which is similar to apologizing for wasting their time, which is a great way to turn the tables and show that you don’t blame them, even if you didn’t find a good solution.
You might see “thank you for your time” work as follows:
- Thank you for your time. Not everyone would have been happy giving up a Saturday for me, only to fail alongside me!
- Thanks for your time; I really appreciate it. I’m just sad we didn’t figure this one out!
- Thank you for your time, and I’ll make sure that I find a way to make this up to you.
Thanks For Your Effort
“Thanks for your effort” is another great tool you can use when someone tries to help you.
“Thanks for your effort” is a way to appreciate the time and energy someone put into helping you. It’s especially effective when they don’t manage to help you find a solution, but you still want to show that you’re happy they gave it their best.
“Thanks for your effort” might work as follows:
- Thanks for your effort; I wouldn’t have come close to this without you. Now, I must continue the rest alone.
- Thanks for your effort; you’ve definitely given me a lot of new hope to work with.
- Thank you for your effort. I’ll be sure to recommend you highly to the professors when they ask about you.
At Least You Tried To Help
We could also use “at least you tried to help,” but when you read this section, you’ll understand why it’s at the bottom of the list.
“At least you tried to help” is a synonym for “thank you for trying,” but using “at least” in this way often takes away from the hard work that someone might have put into helping you. It only works informally, and even then, you should be careful using it.
Many people might find a phrase like “at least you tried to help” to be insulting, so you have to be careful who you use it with.
Finally, you might see “at least you tried to help” work as follows:
- At least you tried to help, unlike some of the other people around here that didn’t seem to care.
- Look, at least you tried to help! I really appreciate your efforts.
- At least you tried to help! It just means that this is a much more difficult riddle to solve than I first thought.
Should I Use “Thank You For Trying” Or “Thanks For Trying”?
We might see variations where “thank you” or “thanks” are used. Both are correct, and it mostly depends on your tone and whether you’re writing formally or informally.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, you should use “thank you for trying” because it’s slightly more popular, but “thanks for trying” is also an excellent and valid option.
From the graph, it’s clear that both options are used, and many native speakers are happy to use them synonymously.
The only reason that “thank you for trying” might be more popular is that “thank you” seems more polite. Generally, if someone didn’t succeed in helping us, we want to try and be polite in accepting that, which is why “thank you” might be the better choice.
Is It Rude To Say “Thanks Anyway”?
One of the alternatives we mentioned is “thanks anyway.” We haven’t yet touched on whether it’s rude, so we’ll do that now.
“Thanks anyway” is not rude, and it’s perfectly acceptable to say in most situations. The only problem is that it’s informal, and there aren’t many formal or professional places where it is acceptable.
Many native speakers use “thanks anyway” when they’re trying to thank you for your attempt to aid them. The “anyway” simply means, “at least you tried,” which isn’t rude and is acceptable to use in all formats.
Is It “Thank You Anyway” Or “Thank You Anyways”?
It’s possible to use “thank you anyway” or “thanks anyway,” but we haven’t touched on whether “anyways” is the correct form or not.
“Thank you anyway” is correct when someone didn’t succeed in helping you. However, in spoken and colloquial English, it is possible to hear “thank you anyways,” even though “anyways” is not the correct word to use.
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.