C:\Users\Violeta\Desktop\html_1.png Much more...: What Your Students Need To Know About Thanking In English

divendres, 28 d’octubre de 2011

What Your Students Need To Know About Thanking In English

Things to teach to students of all levels about the most important kind of politeness.

Some thanking words and phrases you might want to teach to your students include the more informal examples “Thanks” and “Cheers”, and maybe even “Ta”. “Thanks” can be extended with “a lot” and “Ta” with “very much”, but “Cheers” doesn’t take any lengthening expressions like these. Like “Thank you” and “Thanks”, however, it can take “for all your help/coming all this way/lending me your umbrella etc.”
With “Thank you”, you can add “very much” or “so much”. Students are often not aware that “so” is stronger that “very much”, especially when it is stressed and lengthened, as in “Thank you sooooooooo much”. Longer and more formal phrases using the word “thank” include “I/We would like to thank you for…”, “Please accept my/our thanks for…” and “I really can’t thank you enough for…”
 Possibilities without the word “thank” include “I would like to express my gratitude for…”, “I am very grateful for…” and “I really can’t express how grateful I am for…” Students may overuse forms like these because of translation from L1, or due to being taught forms that are old fashioned or only used in writing. Similar lines I have found to be overused in emailing include “Thank you for continuing to do business with us” (rare in English, and mainly used when our performance is so bad that we’d expect them not to), “Thank you for your kind attention” (a bit old-fashioned and mainly used in standard letters rather than ones written for individual people) and “Thank you for your co-operation” (mainly used in internal memos telling people about rules).

The last of those examples is often used when “Thanks in advance” would be more suitable and this and the other very specific example “Thanks anyway” are well worth some classroom time.
Students are also likely to be unfamiliar with phrases which don’t include words meaning thanks or gratitude but which mean the same thing, such as “I owe you one”, “That’s (really) very kind of you”, “You’re a lifesaver/a star”, and “Oh, you shouldn’t have!” They might also need help with uses of “thank” where thanks is not really the meaning, e.g. in “Thanks for the invitation, but…”

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