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Autor:  Dale-USA
E-mail:  dale_thomas2004@yahoo.com.br
Data:  24/AGO/2010 8:33 PM
Assunto:  thanks/thank
Expressions that include variations of thanks, thank you, thank God, etc. are often difficult for students to master.  Try to erase "obrigado" from your mind for a moment.   Delete it,  Pretend it does not exist.  Try to understand "to thank" as a new concept.

To thank (inifinitive) is to express appreciation or acknowledgment of an action of another person. 
(noun) is an expression of appreciation of an action of another person.  It is almost always found in the plural, rarely in the singular.
"Thank you!" is always correct.  "Thanks!" is slightly informal, something not said in formal situations.  When "thanks" is used in a formal situation, it sounds awkward and perhaps ungrateful, disrespectful or insincere.   During the Olympics in 1912, Jim Thorpe (USA) said to the King of Sweden, "Thanks, King."  It sounded hilarious.  Thorpe did not mean to appear ungrateful or flippant, but he was a country boy, and that is how country boys talk to kings and presidents.

(a) You give me a cup of coffee.  Do I reply
"Thank you" or "Thanks"? 
Either one is fine.

(b) A
stranger on a bus gives you a magazine to read.  Do you say "Thank you" or "Thanks"? 
Either one is fine.

(c) If the President of Argentina gives you a ranch in Patagonia, do you say to her "Thank you" or  "Thanks"? 
I'd suggest
"Thank you".  Even if she is your aunt, I'd still suggest making that extra effort to say "Thank you."  Show your appreciation.  Wow, a ranch in Patagonia...

(d) Your boss gives you a raise in salary. 
Do you say "Thank you" or "Thanks"? 
I'd suggest "Thank you."  Show the boss that you are happy and appreciative.

(e) A group of friends does something nice for you.  How do you thank them?  There are many ways.   You can say "Thanks, guys!"
("Thanks, Peter, Paul and Mary!"), "Thank you, guys!" ("Thank you, Peter, Paul and Mary!"), etc.   You do not say "Thanks you guys", "Thanks you, guys" or "Thank guys!"  Note the use of the comma.

A very common mistake is "Thanks to God".  It's beautiful Portuguese, but it's bad English.  We should say "Thank God."  It is just a guess, but probably "Thank God" is the shortened form of "May God be thanked" or "May we thank God."  Of course, it could be what it is:  a plea for others to give thanks to God, to thank God.

I thank God for the good weather we are having.
Thank God for the good weather we are having,  (Not "Thanks God for.." or "Thanks to God for...")
Anarchists, Thank God.  (Not "Anarchists, Thanks God.")
Thank God, you are finally here!    (Not "Thanks God...")

(1) Thanks to Michael,
we are going to the beach on Saturday.
(2) or...We owe our thanks to Michael.  We are going to the beach on Saturday.
(3) or...Thank Michael.  We are going to the beach on Saturday. 
(Note that in #1 and #2 "thanks" is a plural noun, but in #3 it is a verb, a command.  Also note that in #3 I am speaking to other people, not directly to Michael.  In #3, "Thank Michael" is short for "We/you can/should thank Michael for...")
(4) Thanks to her good education, she found an excellent job in Paris.
(Thanks = plural noun)
(5) Thanks to you, I am in trouble with the teacher.  (Not "Thank you, I am...')  (cynical, ironic)
(Thanks = plural noun)
Thanks to three days of rain, we cannot cross the bridge.  (cynical, ironic)
(In #1, #3. #4, and #%, "Thanks to" has approximately the same meaning as "Because of..." or "Due to...". Thanks = plural noun)

I hope this has helped.

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Índice de mensagens

 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
 thanks/thank  –  Dale-USA  24/AGO/2010, 8:33 PM
thanks/thank  –  PPAULO  24/AGO/2010, 11:24 PM
A farm in Patagonia  –  What about  25/AGO/2010, 10:16 AM

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