How to Say Thank You in Russian
The most well-known Russian phrase for "thank you" would likely be "cпасибо." While this expression will work in many circumstances, it's still a good idea to know other ways of expressing and replying to thanks.
Say "cпасибо" to express thanks.This is the most common way of saying "thank you" in Russian, and it's appropriate for most situations.
- Pronounce "cпасибо" as:spa-see-ba
- While common, this phrase is actually considered the least formal way of saying “thank you” in Russian. You can probably get through most conversations using this phrase alone, but if you want to express a deeper sense of formality toward elders or business colleagues, you may need to use something more formal.
Reply with "пожалуйста" when offered thanks.This is the most basic way to reply "you're welcome" in Russian when someone expresses thanks to you.
- Pronounce "пожалуйста" as:pa-zhal-sta
- Note that "пожалуйста" also means "please" in Russian. The context determines the meaning, so if you say "пожалуйста" when no thanks have been exchanged, it could be interpreted as "please" instead of "you're welcome."
Additional “Thank You” Phrases
Use "Большое спасибо" to emphasize your gratitude.If you want to express a greater degree of gratitude than usual, you could use this phrase to say "thank you very much" or "many thanks" in Russian.
- Pronounce "Большое спасибо" as:bal-shoye spa-see-ba
- Notice that "спасибо," the basic word for "thank you," lies at the root of this phrase. The term "Большое" means "great" or "large," so combining the two terms results in a phrase literally meaning "great thank you."
Try "огромное спасибо" for instances of extreme thanks.When someone treats you to a remarkable favor, you could use this phrase to say “"thanks a ton" or "a giant thank you.” This will express a form of gratitude even greater than that expressed with “Большое спасибо.”
- Pronounce “ огромное спасибо” as:ah-gro-mnaye spa-see-ba
- The term "огромное" can be translated as "huge" or "immense." By attaching it to the root term for "thank you" (спасибо), you're directly saying "a huge thank you."
Emotionally offer thanks with "Тысяча благодарностей." While this is still an informal phrase, you can use it to say "a thousand thanks" in Russian.
- Pronounce "Тысяча благодарностей" as:ty-sya-cha bla-go-dar-no-stee
- The term "Тысяча" means "thousand" and "благодарностей" is the noun form of "gratitude" or "thanks," so this phrase translates fairly literally into "a thousand thanks."
Negate your thanks with "нет, спасибо." If you need to decline someone's offer, you could use this phrase to say "no, thanks."
- Pronounce "нет, спасибо" as:nyet spa-see-ba
- The term "нет" means "no" in Russian, so this phrase translates rather literally into "no, thank you."
Switch to "Благодарю вас" for formal situations.If you need to express gratitude while showing a greater degree of respect than usual, this is one of the simplest phrases you can use to do so.
- Pronounce "Благодарю вас" as:bla-go-dar-ju vas
- The English equivalent of this phrase would be something along the lines of, "I am much obliged to you."This phrase would be appropriate to use with business colleagues, elders, or strangers.
- Translated more literally, though, this phrase simply means "thank you" using polite terms. The word "Благодарю" is the formal word for "thank you," and "вас" is a term used to emphasize the formal term for "you."
Say "Благодарю сердечно" as another formal phrase.You can use this phrase if you want to say something along the lines of, "thank you wholeheartedly."
- Pronounce "Благодарю сердечно" as:bla-go-dar-ju ser-deesh-nye
- This phrase builds off "Благодарю," the polite root phrase for "thank you." The term "сердечно" comes from the root term for “cardio” or “heart” (сердце) and is often translated as "cordially" or "heartily," so a more direct translation of the entire phrase might be "thank you cordially."
Soften formal thanks with "Благодарю от всей души." Try using this phrase to express extreme, heartfelt thanks in a polite or formal manner. Essentially, you're telling the other person, "thank you from the bottom of my heart" or "thank you with all my heart."
- Pronounce "Благодарю от всей души" as:bla-go-dar-ju ot vsey du-shi
- This is another phrase that uses the polite "Благодарю" as its starting point. The word "от" means "from," and "всей" means "all." A more direct translation of "души" would be "soul," but it essentially describes the core of a human being, so you could translate it as "heart" in some instances. As such, this phrase literally means "thank you from all my soul" or "thank you from all my heart."
Additional “You're Welcome” Phrases
Use "Не за что" for casual replies.If you're looking for a casual way to reply when someone offers a casual expression of gratitude, you could this phrase as a way of saying "that's all right" or "it's my pleasure."
- Pronounce "Не за что" as:nye za shta
- This phrase does not directly translate into English well. The term "Не" means "not" or "no." The word "за" means "for," and "что" means "what" or "that." Essentially, you're saying "not for that," or expressing that thanks aren't needed for these circumstances.
Try "да что вы, не стоит меня благодарить" as another casual reply.If you're speaking informally with someone, you can use this phrase as a way of saying "don't mention it" after that individual thanks you for something.
- Pronounce "да что вы, не стоит меня благодарить" as:da chto vy, ne stoit men-ya bla-go-dar-it
- You could also shorten this phrase to "да что вы" in most circumstances.
- The direct translation of this phrase gets messy. The first part of the phrase, "да" (yes) "что" (that/what) "вы" (you) mainly exists to acknowledge the thanks. The second part, "не" (not) "стоит" (should) "меня" (me) "благодарить" (thank) expresses that the other person should not feel inclined to offer thanks.
Offer return thanks with "это я должен вас поблагодарить." If you want to thank someone in response to the thanks they offered you first, use this phrase as a way of saying, "I should thank you."
- Pronounce "это я должен вас поблагодарить" as:et-oh ([ətɔ]) ya dol-zhen vas po-bla-go-dar-it
- When broken into its separate parts, the English translation becomes somewhat choppy, but the sentiment is still clear. The term "это" means "it," "я" means "I," "должен" means "should" or "must," "вас" means "you," and "поблагодарить" means "thank." As such, the most direct translation would be, "it is I that must thank you."
But how do you write the word?
To say thank you in Russian, “cпасибо,” pronounced "spa-see-ba" will work for most occasions.
Video: Learn Russian - Thank You & You're Welcome in Russian
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