“Thank you for your interest” is a phrase that can be interpreted in several different ways. When it’s used at the start of a conversation, it’s usually interpreted literally and means “Thank you for showing that you’re interested in what I’m offering”. However used at the end of a conversation usually means “I know you’re not going to be a customer, so kindly move along so I can focus on someone who is”.
But is this sentence grammatically correct and what tense is it in?
In short, no but yes. And present.
But there’s more to it than that. Today, we’ll be taking a deep look into the commonly said phrase.
Why we say it
There is one word to describe the reason why we say the phrase “Thank you for your interest” and that reason is manners.
Manners are the glue that holds our civilisation together. Without manners, everybody would only ever think about themselves, and the feelings of others would be cast aside.
During our caveman civilisations, people would steal, murder, and rape, because the idea of thinking about others was not known to them. However, it was only when people began to consider the needs of others, not just themselves that societies began to rise.
Within the present tense there are two different types. The first is the simple present. This describes something that happens regularly or permanently.
For example, if I were to say the phrase “I walk to work”, I am describing the method that I use to get to work (walking) and I’m not describing what I’m doing at this exact moment in time.
An example of the simple present being used to describe something which happens permanently would be “I hear very well”. I’m describing something that is always happening, not just something that’s happening at the moment.
The other type of present tense is present progressive. This describes events that are either happening at this exact movement, or events that happened at a specific point in time.
For example, “I’m walking to work” tells us that what I am currently doing is travelling to work by method of walking.
If I say “Yesterday, I was walking to work, when I saw a beautiful lady”, you know what I was doing, and the time I was doing it at.
I could also simply say “I was walking to work when I saw a beautiful lady”. Here, you might not know the exact time I was walking, but you know that it happened at the same time as another event. It’s in a specific point in time.
What tense is it in?
As we’ve already established “Thank you for your interest” is written in the present tense. But what tense is it written in?
Well, that depends on what “Thank You” is short for.
It must be short for something because the sentence has no subject, but when you say it, you’re implying a subject (yourself).
On one hand, it could be short for “I thank you”. This would make it present simple, meaning that you will be in a permanent state of gratitude for this person.
On the other hand, it could be short for “I am thanking you”. This would make it present progressive, meaning that giving gratitude is what you’re doing at this exact moment, but not something you always do.
When we think about what we really mean when we say “Thank You” it would make more sense for it to be short for “I am thanking you”. When we thank someone, we’re thanking them for a specific action at a specific moment, and we’re not constantly in a state of gratitude.
Particularly not in most professional situations.
Another abbreviation that could be up for debate is the phrase “your interest”.
There could be some who argue that the phrase ought to be “showing interest”.
“Your interest” (which is written in the present simple) suggests that the person you’re talking to is always interested. Most of the time this isn’t true.
However the phrase “showing interest” makes more sense as their interest was shown during one point in time, and it’s not something they always have.
Having said that, “I am thanking you for showing interest” is a bit of a mouthful.
The importance of Thank You
Earlier in the article, we spoke about why manners are so important. But why exactly is the phrase “Thank You”important?
Telling somebody “Thank You” is telling them two things. The first thing is that you are aware of the effort that they’ve put in for you.
The second thing is that you’re grateful for what they’ve done for you.
If you want to translate “Thank You” into literal speech, you would say “I am feeling grateful for what you have done for me”.
The word “Thank” has a long and interesting history, but most societies agree that it’s an effective way of showing gratitude.
Is it artificial?
One issue with this phrase is that it may come across as a bit artificial.
When you hear it, do you honestly believe that the person saying it means it? Do they usually come across as genuinely grateful that you showed interest?
Chances are, when you hear someone say it, what you really hear is “I don’t want to waste my time talking to you any more”.
An alternative could be “Thank you for your time”. This sounds less forced and corporate.
Or perhaps it’s not artificial, and I’m just being a negative Nelly.
“Thank You for your interest” is a phrase that means we have gratitude to someone for taking the time to consider using our products or services.
Although on the surface is looks like it’s written in the present simple, when you look at some of the hidden abbreviations, it would make more sense if it was actually in the present progressive.
“Thank You” really means “I am thanking you”. And “for your interest” really means “for showing interest”.
Because it’s used to much, it can come across as artificial and fake. But regardless of this, it’s certainly interesting to think about.