How to Say and Respond to "Thank You" in Russian

Ways to say thank you in Russian

Here, in Russia, we like to thank people for everything they do for us. Children are taught by their parents to say thank you every time someone gives them a candy, for example. 

So, this topic is very essential for all of those who want to be polite. Of course, people say thank you all over the world, no matter where they live. But Russians really pay attention to this thing. At least I do. For Russians being grateful is always very important.

Ways to Say Thank You

There are some words of gratitude in Russian language wich will help you sound and look more polite. All the words will be written in cyrillic. Plus, I will give you transliteration in English and pronounciation of every word.

First word is спасибо (spasibo). This simple word is very common. You can use it in any situation, whether it's a business meeting or a casual conversation. There is no difference like in English where we use "thanks" and "thank you" in various cases.

Note the pronunciation of the word "spasibo". Despite the fact that it ends in "o", we still pronunce the last letter as "uh". So, we have spah-see-buh.

You can go on and learn other words to show grattitude, but I assure you that even if you only know spasibo, this will be enough to be polite in most situations.

There is a variety of expressions with spasibo for showing different degrees of gratitude. If spasibo means "thank you" (but it's not a verb like it is in English), so that there are some expressions to say "thank you very much" or "thanks a lot". Большое спасибо means the same as "thank you very much". If you are even more grateful, you can say огромное спасибо. There are also some colloquial variations like громадное спасибо, большущее спасибо and other forms people use in informal converstaions.

In Russian we have the verb wich means to thank (or to express gratitude) - благодарить. Let's look at the conjunction of this verb. It will be useful when you are attending some formal event.

Я благодарю. I thank (I express gratitude).
Ты благодаришь. You thank.
Он/она благодарит. He/she thanks.

Мы благодарим. We thank.
Вы благодарите. You thank.
Они благодарят. They thank.

If you want to express your gratitude to someone (usually officially) for something you should say:

Я благодарю (whom? - put here a noun (a pronoun) in the accusative case) за (for)...

For example:

Я благодарю вас за терпение. - I thank you for the patience.
Мы благодарим читателей за поддержку. - We thank our readers for the support.

Note the preposition "за" which is indispensable in this case.

The phrase "I want to thank" in Russian is "Я хочу поблагодарить". And then you use the same pattern as in the previous example.

Another synonym for благодарить is выражать благодарность. Literally it means to express gratitude, while благодарить is closer to "to thank" in meaning. So, as you can guess, "благодарность" means grattitude in the Russian language.

Благодарить = выражать благодарность

Я хочу поблагодарить (я хочу выразить благодарность)... I want to thank (I want to express my gratitude)...
Я благодарю (я выражаю благодарность)... I thiank (I express my gratitude)...

As in case with spasibo here we also can use adjectives to describe how great our grattitude is:

Я хочу выразить большую (огромную) благодарность...

You might be confused with the verbs выражать and выразить. The point is that the second one is the perfective form of the first one. If you are a beginner, just don't think about it now.

Ways to Respond to Thank You

To make a polite response to "thank you" in Russian, we usually just say пожалуйста. This word also means... please. Yes, it does. A a totally different meaning. So, when you want to ask for something, you use пожалуйста to be polite, and when you need to respond to thank you, it's also the best word to say!

For example:

- Спасибо за помощь. Thank you for your help.
- Пожалуйста. You are welcome.

Or:

Пожалуйста, помоги мне. Please, help me.

Very interesting, right?

There are also other ways to respond:

Не за что. - It's nothing. (no worries, no problem)

Не стоит благодарности. - lit. It's not worth to thank me.

Не благодари. - Don't thank me.

or, when you talk to a group of people or the situation is formal:

Не благодарите.

На здоровье. - lit. For your health. (It's for your health)

And you can also say обращайся, wich means something like "ask me when you need". Don't forget it's обращайтесь, when you are adressing to a group of people or talking to a stranger/boss etc.

Examples:

- Благодарю Вас за урок. Thank you for the lesson.
- Не за что. Я тоже приятно провел время. It's nothing. I had a really nice time, too.

- Спасибо, что занял денег. Thanks for lending me the money.
- Обращайся в любое время. Ask me anytime.

How to say and respond to thank you in Russian


I hope the lesson will help you undertsand how to thank someone in Russian. If you still have any questions, you can ask me anytime. Обращайтесь :)