So, you’re thinking about sending off some “thank you” notes, or maybe you’ve got another reason to say “thank you” to multiple people. Either way, you’re going to need to know what the plural form of “thank you” is in case you have to speak about all the ones you sent off – don’t worry, though, it’s pretty easy once you get your head around it.
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Is “Thank Yous” Or “Thank You’s” Correct?
The correct version is “thank yous” as a plural for “thank you.” You want to avoid using “thank you’s” at all costs because it’s grammatically incorrect. If you need to say that you’re sending out multiple messages of “thank you,” then add an “s” to the end of the phase and leave it as “thank yous.”
If you’re worried about getting it wrong, don’t worry. We’ve got the rules coming up shortly that’ll help you understand why using an apostrophe is wrong. Also, don’t be too alarmed if you’ve only just found out that using an apostrophe, in this case, would be wrong. Many people do it, and it’s simply because they never fully understand when to use apostrophes from their education. That’s not your fault, but the fault of poor explanations.
So, if ever you find yourself needing to pluralize “thank you,” you should be more than ready to get it correct the first time. If you have to think about it for a second, think back to this article and the rules we’re about to explain that makes saying it with an apostrophe incorrect.
You may also like: 26 Best Replies To “Thank You” (Formal & Informal)
What Is The Grammatical Rule That Makes Thank You’s Wrong?
So, why is saying “thank you’s” incorrect? It seems like there are loads of grammatical rules in the English language, and the list keeps piling up. Surely it can’t be that difficult to speak in a language with that many rules. Well, in a way, yes. There are many rules to the English language, but this one is actually a fairly simple one that should be easy enough to remember.
Basically, adding an apostrophe “s” (‘s) to the end of any word doesn’t make it plural. In no circumstance does a word with ‘s become plural. It’s not strictly for “thank you”. It’s just not how you pluralize something. The only time you’ll ever need to use ‘s instead of a simple “s” for the plural is if you’re talking about something in a possessive manner.
Now, what does it mean to use the possessive form? It’s pretty simple. Any word or thing that has the ability to “possess” something can use an apostrophe s at the end to show that it is in their possession. For example, “Jack’s hat” or “Mike’s friend.” Both of these show a possessive state. It doesn’t need to be a thing that’s physically possessed by someone (i.e. you can’t actually “possess” a friend, but you can still have them).
And the same can’t be said for saying “thank you’s.” See, “thank you” can never be the subject of a sentence, meaning it can never possess something. Unless you were going to name a character in a novel “thank you,” then you’ll never find a reason to say “thank you’s.” Hopefully, this has helped you understand the rule a little better.
“Thank Yous” Or “Thank-Yous” – Should I Use A Hyphen?
Now, let’s take a look at the hyphenation of the phrase. It’s not all that common anymore to hyphenate “thank you”, but that doesn’t mean it’s incorrect. In fact, you can use both “thank you” and “thank-you” interchangeably if you’d like to. Since both words are correct ways of saying “thank you,” it makes sense that adding an “s” to the end of either of them is a good way to show that you’re talking about the plural form.
It’s widely accepted these days that “thank you” is two separate words, rather than one longer word hyphenated together. Again, though, most people don’t use the hyphen when they’re saying “thank you.” if you see it written down, it’s not wrong, but you might be interested in looking at the date of the document you’re reading or perhaps the context of it that might have led to them using a hyphen instead of a simple “thank you.”
Is It Ever Grammatically Correct To Say “Thankyous” Rather Than “Thank Yous”?
Let’s finish by looking at one final point that many people raise. It’s not uncommon, especially in text or messaging, that people will group the two words and say “thankyou” instead of “thank you.” The truth is a little difficult to decipher, but it’s there. Both forms of the word are correct, but they’re correct in different ways.
Obviously, when you’re talking to your friends on a text or messaging site, you won’t tend to call them up on their grammatical mistakes. However, it’s good to know what the difference is. “Thank you” is the verb form used “to thank” someone for doing something. It is correct in every situation you use it in, so if you’re unsure which one you should use, stick with “thank you” because it always works.
However, “thankyou” is actually an adjective or a noun, meaning it can only be used in certain scenarios. You won’t be able to write “thankyou” to someone when you want to thank them for something as it will be incorrect. But, if you want to say you’ve received a “thankyou card” or that someone gave you something like a “thankyou,” then both of those would be fine.
Like most things like this, when you’re using the word as a noun, you can often use either one. It comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. For example, saying that somebody gave you a “thankyou card” is just as correct as saying that someone gave you a “thank you card.” Just decide which one you think works best for you. Most people like to standardize their “thank yous,” though, which is why “thank you” gets used over “thankyou” most of the time.