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Is It Correct to Say “I Really Appreciate It”?

Are you looking for expressions to state your deep, heartfelt gratitude? We use expressions of gratitude like “I really appreciate you” to express how grateful and emotionally touched we are.

It is correct to say “I really appreciate it” as an informal expression. You may use it when expressing gratitude towards a friend, family member, or stranger for a favor or gift. Do not use “I really appreciate it” in most professional correspondence because it is too informal, but it is acceptable between coworkers who are comfortable with each other.

Let’s look deeper at the context in which English speakers use “I really appreciate it.” 

What Does “I Really Appreciate It” Mean?

When you want to express genuine appreciation towards somebody who has done something for you, you use the transitive verb “appreciate” (source).    

Appreciation is enjoyment and recognition given to someone for the positive benefits of a situation. It is having a complete understanding of the worth or value of something someone else spent time and effort doing for you. 

It would be rude not to put the same effort into your response. In many cases, gratitude is the emotion, and appreciation is the action. You can feel gratitude without acting on that feeling to show appreciation. 

Let the person know you are genuinely thankful by saying, “Thank you. I really appreciate it.” You can say this immediately after their act of kindness. It’s also okay to express your gratitude later via email or text, especially when you have multiple people to thank.  

How Do You Use “I Really Appreciate It”?

Some acts of kindness are more significant than others. So we use “I really appreciate it” to emphasize a higher level of gratitude.

“Thank you” is too simple. The variation between “I appreciate it” and “I really appreciate it” is the emphasis. Native English speakers use the adverb “really” when they want to emphasize their feelings (source).

  • I really like this song. It always lifts me to a better mood.

When you place the adverb “really” in front of the verb “appreciate,” you state that you are very thankful for what the person has done for you.

  • You didn’t have to go out of your way like that for me. I really appreciate it.
  • Thanks for being a part of this. I really appreciate it, and I won’t forget it.
  • Not many guys would have done that; I really appreciate it.
  • Thanks, I really appreciate it, and so does my grandma.

“I really appreciate it” is also more appropriate than “I would appreciate it” in most cases. “I would appreciate it” implies you are currently not appreciative. Many even consider “I would appreciate it if…” to be demanding or rude. So it is best to keep “would” out of the phrase.

It’s more polite to ask someone about their time and whether they can complete a task; try being considerate of their time. For example, you could say:

  • Is it possible to get this sooner? The deadline is 8 AM tomorrow. I really appreciate it.

In What Context Can You Use “I Really Appreciate It”?

“I really appreciate it” is appropriate for casual conservations that happen daily at places like offices, retail stores, and restaurants. 

It is always nice when coworkers help each other and express their appreciation properly. However, it might be possible to create a moment of social awkwardness by reacting in a way the other person might see as overly emotional or close. It depends on the work environment.

It is okay to say, “Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.” if you feel you have a strong personal relationship with a coworker. Here is an example:

“I need to finish these data reports, but I also have to pick up my kids from school in forty-five minutes,” Mandy said. “I don’t know what to do.”

 “I can take those reports off your hands so you can pick your kids up on time,” Paula replied.

“It won’t be too much trouble?” Mandy asked.

“Not at all,” Paula answered. “I have the time.”

“Okay, thanks. I really appreciate it.” Mandy smiled. 

“I really appreciate it” is an excellent choice to convey your gratitude in the following situations as well: 

  • Your jacket or purse slips off your chair, and your server puts it back for you.
  • You forget your credit card at self-checkout. The person behind you lets you know. 
  • A person offers to help you load your groceries or shopping bags into your car.
  • You or your child drop something essential, and somebody notices.

When Can You Use “I Really Appreciate It”?

“I really appreciate it” is more profound than a simple “thank you.” You can use it when someone gives you a thoughtful gift or sincere comment. You can also say it when a stranger helps you selflessly.

There are many ways to show you are truly thankful to have received the gift. “I really appreciate it” clarifies that you are not just expressing thanks out of politeness but that you recognize the effort invested in the gift. 

For instance, your significant other or friend notices your wallet is falling apart and surprises you with a new one. You can easily show your gratitude by saying:

  • Thank you for getting me this great wallet. You are so thoughtful; I really appreciate it.

Has somebody ever helped you change a flat tire or jump-start your battery? What about needing your boat or four-wheeler towed? 

“I really appreciate it” would be an appropriate response because it emphasizes the level of your appreciation for their act of kindness. You can also answer with “I’m honored and really appreciate it” when somebody acknowledges your spirit or persistence. 

Active vs. Passive Voice

“I really appreciate it” shows you value their opinion and you appreciate the praise. You must stay consistent with the verb tense when there are additional words like this, though. The active voice is a far more effective way to communicate your thoughts.

The subject in the active voice is performing the action instead of merely implying it (source). A sentence is in passive voice tense when its subject is the person or thing acted on or affected by the verb’s action. 

The word “appreciate” is active voice, whereas “appreciated” is passive voice. So changing the verb tense would affect your message. For instance, “Your help is much appreciated” means I felt gratitude for what you did. “I really appreciate it” means “I thank you” more profoundly.

You can say, “I felt honored and really appreciated it” if you are discussing a conversation that took place in the past. It adequately conveys that you appreciated the person recognizing your character.

Using “I Really Appreciate It” in a Full Sentence

You can use “I really appreciate it” as a single simple sentence or a part of a complex sentence.

For example, Maxine rushed to class and left her term paper on the printer. Her big brother Billy brings it to her before the bell rings. 

A quick, thoughtful response could be, “Thanks, I really appreciate it.” Maxine could also add more detail to emphasize how grateful she is: “You’re a lifesaver! I would have been in serious trouble. I really appreciate it, and I’ll return the favor anytime.”

Just remember that the pronoun “it” represents the person’s act of kindness. So you do not have to literally say what they did or say if your response is “I really appreciate it.”

When Not to Use “I Really Appreciate It”?

Although using the expression casually in the office is okay, you should not use it for any business correspondence. You should also not use it in a sarcastic tone.  

The adverb “really” is too informal for formal correspondence. It is best to replace it with “truly,” “genuinely,” or “eternally.” 

Here is a good example of email correspondence expressing appreciation:

Subject line: Time Off
Hey Garret,
I know you’ve worked a lot this week, so I want you to take tomorrow off. Spend time with your family and return after the weekend refreshed and ready to give it 110 percent.
Re: Subject line: Time Off
Hey Jennifer,
Okay, sounds good. I genuinely appreciate it.
Have a great weekend,

When your boss or coworker offers to help, you could say:

Subject line: The Jameson Report
Hey Kelly, 
I’m having a tough time writing this report. I just don’t know where to start.
Re: Subject line: The Jameson Report
Okay. No worries. We can figure it out together after today’s lunch meeting.
Re: Re: Subject line: The Jameson Report
That’d be great. Thanks. I truly appreciate it.

Someone who is about to leave a company and chooses to send a farewell email to his or her mentor may say something like this:

Subject line: Thank You
Dear Mr. Louth, 
I am eternally grateful for all the time and effort you invested into mentoring me and making me a better writer and person. I will always strive to follow what I learned from you.
Elizabeth Sexton

Never say, “I really appreciate it” with excessive sarcasm. For example, “Thanks for being so smart. I really appreciate it” or “Nice birthday present, Cade. I really appreciated it.

Not all people interpret mockery the same. Always have a friendly tone if you honestly want to let the person know you appreciate what they did or said. 

For further reading on expressing your appreciation correctly, check out Appreciation Of or For: When to Use Each Preposition in Conjunction with Appreciation.

What Can You Use Instead of “I Really Appreciate It”?

There are many great phrases with the same level of thankfulness as “I really appreciate it.” However, pay attention to formality and tone of voice when using such expressions.

You can use these phrases for informal or formal settings:

  • I’m thankful that…
  • I’m grateful for…
  • I appreciate your help/thoughts.
  • I truly appreciate it when…
  • I’m so grateful.
  • I’m much obliged.

These phrases are perfect for thanking a friend:

  • Thanks a million!
  • Thank you very much!
  • Thanks a bunch!
  • Thank you so much!

These phrases are great when you need to thank a family member or significant other:

  • You’re amazing.
  • You’re a lifesaver!
  • You rock!
  • You’re the best!

These sentences also have the same meaning as “I really appreciate it”:

  • I am so thankful for your support/help.
  • I am so lucky to have you by my side.
  • I am deeply indebted to you.
  • I am glad you’re here to help!
  • I owe you big time.
  • Please know how much I appreciate it!
  • That is really kind/sweet of you.
  • That was just what I needed; thank you.
  • This is why I love you.
  • This means a lot to me.
  • What would I do without you?
  • You just made my day/morning!
  • Your generosity overwhelms me.

If you want to learn about how to thank two or more people, read our article, Is It Correct to Say, “Thank You Both”?

Major Sentences

Major sentences express complete thoughts. They always contain a subject and a predicate that provides additional information about it. We can analyze and break most major sentences down by diagramming their structure and grammar.

Image by via Pexels

Some major sentences can be as simple as “Susie ran fast,” which contains both a subject and a predicate. Others can have a more detailed message, such as, “Collin threw a ball to his son Maddon, who caught it while falling.” 

The sentence still contains a subject: “Collin.” Everything else is the predicate. 

This includes the dependent clause “who caught it while falling,” which requires the rest of the sentence to make sense (source).

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Therefore, it is acceptable to use I really appreciate it” alone or within a longer statement. It has the correct structure for a complete thought.    

Final Thoughts

When expressing a sincere, casual level of appreciation, it is appropriate to say, “I really appreciate it.” There has to be “something” you sincerely appreciate for this statement to convey your honest thankfulness, though.

The words won’t be as meaningful when you truly appreciate someone’s actions if you use this expression too often or in a formal context.