Knowing how to say “thank you” in Italian is essential for anyone who plans to visit the country.
When you go shopping in Italy, for example, it is not uncommon for merchants to say Arrivederci e grazie (goodbye and thank you), which expresses gratitude for your purchase in the store. Sometimes, you may even find a “thank you” written on the wrapping of the product you have purchased.
Thanking someone is very important in Italy. That’s why it is good to learn the various ways to say it, how to respond, and the main differences with English that could mislead you.
Common Italian words for “thank you”
Let’s start by seeing the most common expressions to say “thank you” in Italian.
Grazie – “Thanks”
The word grazie is the one that translates both “thanks” and “thank you” in Italian. In fact, it is used both in formal and informal settings, in the spoken language, and the written one. However, in text messages, Grazie can be abbreviated as grz or grx. Obviously, this goes only for extremely informal contexts.
In Italian, you say grazie when someone offers you something you’re going to accept, but you also use it if you want to refuse. It’s sì, grazie (Yes, please) or no, grazie (No, thanks); we don’t have any other forms.
Later on in the article, we’ll see how the English word “please” is translated into Italian and how it can be used.
Ti ringrazio / La ringrazio – “Thank you”
Ti ringrazio and la ringrazio also mean “thank you” in Italian. Their literal translation would be “I thank you”. It’s a slightly more personalized way to thank someone since the pronouns allow you to address your interlocutor directly.
Ti ringrazio is the informal version, for people with whom you’re on a first-name basis. In contrast, La ringrazio is used to address someone formally. La ringrazio signore, for example, would translate the expression “Thank you sir” in Italian.
Grazie amico – “Thank you, my friend”
Grazie amico literally means “thank you, my friend” in Italian and it’s used the same way as in English. It is an informal expression used when someone has done something good for you because of your friendship.
Grazie di tutto – “Thanks for everything”
With the expression grazie di tutto, you want to thank someone for everything they have done for you. It literally means “thanks for everything” and is used to emphasize the fact that the other person has done a lot for you.
Grazie ancora – “Thanks again”
Grazie ancora means “thanks again” in Italian. As you can easily guess, it is used when you’ve already thanked someone but still want to repeat how grateful you are.
It is employed in both formal and informal settings: you can use it with your long-time bestie, as well as your boss or potential employer.
How to say “thank you so much” in Italian
If you think that these expressions aren’t enough and that you need more emphasis, here are seven different ways to say “thank you so much” in Italian.
Grazie tante – “Many thanks”
Grazie tante is like the English “many thanks” or “thanks a lot” and is usually used among friends and in informal contexts.
This expression can also be ironic. For example, if someone states the obvious, you can ironically tell them Grazie tante eh! or Tante grazie eh!. It basically means, “The thing you’ve just told me is trivial, I already knew it, so I don’t have to thank you.” It’s more or less like the English “thank you, Captain Obvious.”
If you’re wondering how you can distinguish if you’re interlocutor is ironic or serious, I’d say first of all by the context. If you’ve really done something you should be thanked for, then you can take it as a sincere thanks. Another hint would be the tone of voice: rest assured that the Italian ironic voice is unmistakable!
Ti ringrazio tanto – “Thank you very much”
Ti ringrazio tanto is another expression to say “Thank you very much” in Italian. It is a synonym of Grazie tante but a little bit more emphatic. In fact, the literal translation would be “I thank you a lot” and puts emphasis on the fact that I am thanking you significantly.
The formal version of ti ringrazio is La ringrazio (Lei).
Grazie mille – “Million thanks”
Grazie mille means “thanks a million” in Italian or “thousand thanks,” as you prefer.
Why mille (Thousands)? Linguists say it’s because the number mille indicates a significant quantity in the Italian language, something out of proportion. The same happened in the Latin language, from which Italian derives. Think of the poet Catullus who wrote:
Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred; then another thousand...
Grazie mille is an evergreen way of thanking someone: you can use it in both formal and informal situations, and it will always be enormously appreciated.
Grazie davvero! – “Thank you, really!”
With the expression grazie davvero! you want to tell the other person that you’re really grateful for what they’ve done for you. You’re stressing that you’re genuinely impressed, and you appreciate it.
It is used a lot when someone gives you a second chance, and it might be followed by non ti/la deluderò, which means “I won’t let you down” and “You won’t regret it.”
Grazie infinite – “Eternally grateful”
Grazie infinite means literally “infinite thanks” and is a way to tell someone you’re extremely and eternally grateful for what they’ve done for you. It’s definitely one of the warmest expressions to thank somebody, along with grazie mille.
Non ho parole per ringraziarti – “I have no words left to thank you”
Non ho parole per ringraziarti can be translated literally as “I have no words left to thank you.” It is used when the other person has done something crucial for you, something you might have believed impossible.
Grazie di cuore – “Thanks from the bottom of my heart”
Grazie di cuore is the equivalent of “Thanks from the bottom of my heart” and is usually said when someone goes above and beyond to do something for you. It’s quite similar to non ho parole per ringraziarti, but more conversational and used by girls more than boys.
Formal “thank you” in Italian: letters and e-mails
If you’re learning Italian for work-related reasons, you’ll find this section very useful.
We’ve already talked about business greetings in my previous article on how to say “hello” in Italian. If you want to go the extra mile to be polite and impress your Italian interlocutor, these expressions will surely come in handy.
Soon, we’ll see formal expressions to say “thank you” in Italian when closing a business letter or e-mail.
I miei più sentiti ringraziamenti
I miei più sentiti ringraziamenti means “my sincerest thanks” or “my warmest thanks,” and it works for overly formal and obsequious settings.
La ringrazio per l’attenzione
A formal way to say thank you for your attention. In this case, you’re thanking your interlocutor for paying attention to something you’ve presented them in the body of the e-mail or letter.
For example, I always use it in a cover letter before the final greetings: La ringrazio per l’attenzione e Le porgo cordiali saluti (I shall thank you for your attention and give you my most cordial greetings). Notice that we capitalize the pronoun you in both expressions so as to show respect to the other person.
La ringrazio in anticipo
La ringrazio in anticipo means “thank you in advance,” and it is used to thank someone before they might do something for you in the future.
It is also often followed by the expression cordiali saluti.
How to put “thank you” in a sentence
Let’s focus on grammar now and see how you can say “thank you for something” in Italian.
You should know that while the English language uses the construction Thanks for/Thank you for + infinitive, Italian uses Grazie di/per + infinitive form of the auxiliary verb + past participle of the verb or grazie di/per + object.
Basically, an Italian would not say “Thanks for calling,” but “Thanks for having called” or “Thanks for your call.”
I’ll clarify it with the help of a couple of examples:
|English version||Literal translation|
|Reverse English translation|
|Thanks for calling||Grazie di chiamare||• Grazie di aver chiamato|
• Grazie della chiamata
|• Thanks for having called|
• Thanks for the call
|Thank you for inviting me||Grazie per invitarmi||• Grazie di avermi invitato/a|
• Grazie per l’invito
|• Thank you for having invited me|
• Thank you for your invite
It’s easy; you just need a little practice and you’ll master it in no time!
“Please” and “thank you” in Italian: The difference between Grazie and Per favore
Another difference between English and Italian is the use of “thank you” and “please.”
We don’t use different expressions to say “yes, please” and “no, thank you” in Italian. As mentioned, we say grazie in any case, both if we want to accept or to refuse.
Let’s see a simple example:
Suppose you’re having a meal in Italy with local friends and someone asks you if you’d like to have another serving of a dish:
For example, the English sentence “Can you pass me the salt, please?” would be “Puoi passarmi il sale, per favore?“.
That’s when the English please and the Italian per favore coincide.
However, keep in mind that these two expressions are not overused in Italy, so don’t expect to hear per favore or per piacere as much as you would hear please in an English speaking country.
How to respond to “thank you” in Italian
Now that you’ve grasped how to say thank you in Italian, it’s time you lear.ned how to reply.
The most common word used in this case is prego. It means that the thank you is well accepted and that you’re grateful for this attitude. The whole phrase in response to a thank you would actually be, “please don’t thank me because I didn’t do anything that remarkable.” That’s why another possible expression to say you’re welcome in Italian is di niente or di nulla, literally “it’s nothing!”.
You can also reply with a rhetorical question like e di che? or e di cosa?, which means “for what?”. It’s basically a way to tell the other person that gratitude is not necessary because it was no big deal. A synonym of it would also be non c’è di che, which can be considered the equivalent of the English “don’t mention it!”.
Suppose you instead want to emphasize that helping the person was not a problem at all. In that case, you can say, nessun problema! or ma figurati!. This last expression does not really have an English equivalent, but it can be associated with “anytime!”.
Another possible reply to “thank you” in Italian could be è il minimo che potessi fare, which literally means “It was the least I could do.”
Finally, if you also have something to thank the other person for, the right expression to use is Grazie a te!, which can be translated as “It’s me to thank you.”
Practice makes perfect! Now that you’ve learned the “thank you” words in Italian and the different expressions to say “you’re welcome,” you’re one step closer to speaking like a native! If you haven’t already, move on to read about the many ways you can say “hello” and “how are you” in Italian.