In this article, ¡te voy a enseñar cómo agradecer y recibir agradecimientos en español! (I’ll teach you how to say thank you and how to respond to thanks in Spanish!). As the saying goes, “Fashions will come and go”, but los buenos modales nunca pasan de moda (good manners never go out of style). So, if you want to be polite and seem thankful in Spanish, this is an article you’ll want to thank me for.
Being thankful is a sign of good manners and of appreciation towards the other person, and it’s an excellent way to make someone a little bit happier. Spanish is a language rich in expressions for thanking, and a lot of them revolve around one word: Gracias (Thanks)
Gracias literally means “graces” because, in Spanish, people say thanks by wishing you graces. One of the theories is that it comes from the biblical expression “te doy la gracia de Dios” (I give you the grace of God), but over the course of history I guess Spanish speakers became a little less dramatic and thus, the expression transformed into just Gracias.
But I don’t think you’d use the same “thank you” expression para cualquier ocasión, ¿verdad? (for any occasion, right?). Let’s see some different ways to say thank you:
- Muchas gracias (Thanks a lot) — literally, many thanks
- ¡Muchísimas gracias! (Thank you very much!) — literally, so many thanks
- ¡Mil gracias! (A thousand thanks!)
Agradecer (being grateful)
You may also sound elegante y educado (elegant and polite) by using the verb agradecer. Agradecer means “being grateful for something”, so you’ll find it combined in many ways to express appreciation.
There are two ways you may use it.
- Te agradezco por / Le agradezco por
This means “I thank you for”. Do you know the difference between te and le? One is formal and the other one is informal. ¿Quieres saber cuál es cuál? (Want to know which is which?) You’ll have to check the Spring Spanish video where we explain it perfectly!
- Estoy agradecido por / Estoy agradecida por
This means “I’m thankful for”. Remember, agradecido is masculine and agradecida is feminine!
For these expressions to make sense, you have to add what you’re someone thanking for.
- ¡Te agradezco por tu ayuda, José! (I thank you for your help, José!)
- Estoy agradecido por la cena, abuela. ¡Muy rico! (I’m grateful for dinner, Grandma. Very tasty!)
- Le agradezco las direcciones, oficial. (I thank you for the directions, officer.)
Responding to someone saying “thank you”
So, how do you respond when someone thanks you in Spanish? One of the most common and accepted expressions throughout Latin America to accept thanks is “De nada”. This means something like “it was nothing”, but depending on the context and location, vas a agradecer tener otras opciones (you’ll be grateful for having other options):
- ¡Con gusto! (With pleasure!)
- Fue un placer. (It was a pleasure)
- ¡No hay por qué! (There’s no reason to thank me)
There are some exceptions on how people say “you’re welcome” in certain countries. In places like Venezuela or Colombia, people use “A la orden” a lot. This means something like “at your service” and it is used to show how serving and available we are as a sign of good manners.
Whenever you say Gracias, my Mexican friends respond “Las que te adornan”, which is kind of a funny comeback meaning something like “the graces that embellish you”.
Please keep in mind that if you ever come across argentinos or uruguayos and say thank you, they’ll usually respond saying “no, ¡por favor!” or just a plain “¡no!”. If you’re not used to it, this might come as rude or weird, but it is actually a way of saying “do not worry, it was nothing, please!”
Before you go out there and start thanking everyone in Spanish, let’s recap a little bit, shall we?
Here are some chunks (that's what we call phrases/expressions here at Spring Spanish) to say thank you:
- Muchas gracias.
- ¡Muchísimas gracias!
- ¡Mil gracias!
- Te agradezco por / le agradezco por
- Estoy agradecido por / estoy agradecida por
And here are some chunks you can learn by heart to say “you're welcome”:
- De nada.
- ¡Con gusto!
- Fue un placer.
- ¡No hay por qué!
- A la orden (Venezuela and Colombia mostly)
- No, ¡por favor! (Argentina and Uruguay)
- Las que te adornan (Mexican and very informal)
FREE Spanish Training
¡Muy bien! Now you know how and when to say “Gracias” (thank you) and “de nada” (you are welcome) in Spanish! All that is left to say is: “Muchas gracias” for learning Spanish with me today and feel free to check out the videos on our YouTube channel!
Now, if you’d like to learn Spanish in a more structured way, we have a free Spanish training on our website where you'll discover the method we use in our Spring Spanish Academy to teach students to speak fluent Spanish. You also get some free sample Spanish lessons there that come straight from our Academy!