It may be tempting to say “much thanks” in a serious tone, but you should only say it playfully or in jest. If you want to sound more severe with your word choice in expressing thanks, there are plenty of other expressions from which you can choose.
It is incorrect to say “much thanks” because “much thanks” disagrees with the plurality of its noun. Instead, “many thanks” or “thanks a lot” is the correct way to express the desired sentiment. You may use “much thanks” to play on its grammatical error sarcastically or jokingly in informal contexts with friends.
In this article, we will discuss the intended use of “‘much thanks,” how and when to properly use it, and what to use in its stead. We will also briefly discuss minor sentences and interjections.
What Does “Much Thanks” Mean?
“Much thanks” is intended as a means of expressing gratitude. It is like “thanks a lot” or “great thanks.” When native English speakers say “much thanks,” most mean it as a tongue-in-cheek way of saying thank you. People who learn English risk saying it as a genuine and wholehearted way of giving thanks.
The correct way to express a lot of thanks informally is “many thanks” or “thank you very much” (source). These expressions of gratitude are relatively versatile, and we often use them in day-to-day interactions.
The only times where you would avoid using expressions like “thank you very much” are ones in which others could mistake you for being sarcastic. We’ll talk about those later.
Whenever we speak English, we have to make sure the things we say agree with each other. Subjects and verbs must agree in number. Adverbs have to agree with their adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs; adjectives must agree with their nouns and pronouns.
We can use “much” as an adjective, adverb, or pronoun. In “much thanks,” the speaker incorrectly uses “much” as an adjective. “Much” can only describe uncountable nouns as an adjective – words like delay, stupidity, or complication. Since “thanks” is a plural countable noun, “much” cannot modify it adjectivally.
However, you can appropriately use “much thanks” in a playful way with people you know well.
How Do You Use “Much Thanks”?
People most often use “much thanks” as a tongue-in-cheek way of expressing thanks to familiar people. Almost like saying “very wow” or “more better,” it can send a message to others that you feel comfortable in their presence, and they can feel relaxed around you, too. You can also use it as sarcasm.
“Much thanks” sees a more limited use because of its limited utility. Since it is incorrect, you could deliberately say it to someone familiar with you to express playfulness or facetiousness.
Additionally, you can often see this kind of word choice on internet posts. People deliberately write incorrectly to convey how much they think something happening may be silly or foolish.
If you choose to use “much thanks,” we only recommend you use it with people who know you well. Risking being impolite or creating a misunderstanding is never fun, so you want to choose your words carefully.
Using “Much Thanks” in a Full Sentence
You may use “much thanks” primarily as an interjection or minor sentence. We’ll talk about the specifics of those grammar formations a little later. For now, just know that people use “much thanks” on its own as if it were a complete sentence.
Here are some examples of “much thanks” in sentences:
- When the bill came, I nudged it to the other side of the table and said, “Much thanks!”
- I owe my supervisor so much thanks for the endless tasks.
- The student told his teacher “much thanks” after seeing “F” on the paper.
In the next section, we’ll go over some more examples.
When Can You Use “Much Thanks”?
Use “much thanks” as an end to a session of banter with someone you know relatively well. Especially, for example, when someone helps you do or see something that should have been fairly obvious, you can poke fun at yourself by telling them, “Much thanks.”
Let’s go over some situations that could call for “much thanks,” namely relieving embarrassment and utilizing sarcasm.
James: “Hey, Carter! I can’t get the printer to work. I’ve been trying to clear this jam for twenty minutes!”
Carter: “Oh, the printer actually lights up where the jam is occurring. Also, it says that the jam is in tray three right there.”
James: “… Much thanks!”
In this situation, James knew that he should have seen where the paper jam was occurring because of how obvious the printer made the problem.
When James called Carter over to help, James got embarrassed. To diffuse some of his embarrassment and recognize the silly situation, James said, “Much thanks!” to Carter.
Let’s check an example of how we can use “much thanks” for sarcasm.
Wanda: “I can’t stay late at work today. I’ve been telling you for weeks that my son’s birthday is today, and I want to go home to celebrate it with the family.”
Joan: “I understand, but we have to stay late today. If we don’t meet this deadline on Friday, we’ll be behind for the rest of the quarter. As it is, we’re barely going to make it. I’ll happily cover your meal tonight so we can push through.”
Wanda: “Sure – much thanks.”
In this example, Wanda uses “much thanks” as a passive-aggressive comment toward her boss, Joan. Even though she had told Joan for weeks that her son’s birthday was today, she still had to stay late. Wanda uses “much thanks” as a sarcastic way to jab at Joan’s attempt to make it up to her by buying dinner.
These are a couple of ways that we can use “much thanks” in modern English, and you can use “much thanks” with anyone you feel knows you well or who feels comfortable around you in both professional and informal settings (source).
In What Context Can You Use “Much Thanks”?
Use “much thanks” with people that know you relatively well and with whom you can have a genuine laugh. When confronted by a silly situation or having a funny conversation, you can use “much thanks” for a bit of fun or sarcasm.
In informal contexts, like on a first date or a cocktail party, you can use “much thanks” to flirt with someone or when telling a funny story. If you use “much thanks” in these settings, people will know that you are someone who does not take themselves too seriously and can have a genuine laugh.
Saying something like “much thanks” can help you disarm and relax the people around you. After you use a phrase like “much thanks,” you will find that people will open up to you more quickly and feel freer to talk about themselves. They may even share some funny mistakes they have made themselves.
It is crucial to establish a base of correct conduct in professional settings. You do this by displaying heightened politeness and manners when you first meet people.
The people with whom you work will want to know that you can be professional and show common courtesy to others before you rush into joking behaviors or sarcasm.
You will know that it is the right time to loosen up when people start showing similar behaviors to you – slight bits of sarcasm or little jokes here and there. Depending on the workplace, this could be after a week, a couple of weeks, or even a couple of months.
Remember to consider what effect you want your words to have and choose them carefully. Sometimes misunderstandings happen, and that’s alright. In the next section, we’ll discuss times when you should not use “much thanks.”
When Not to Use “Much Thanks”
Avoid using “much thanks” as a means of genuine gratitude. There are many other ways to express sincere thanks that are far more elegant and make the people you talk to understand better how thankful you feel.
As we discussed earlier, people often refrain from using “much thanks” because it is incorrect. Instead, people only use “much thanks” when trying to display a little sarcasm, poke fun at something, or if they do not know that it is incorrect.
Even if you mean “much thanks” in a sarcastic way, it would be best to avoid using sarcasm until you know the person you are speaking to very well. Sarcasm can be biting and damaging to unsuspecting others, so be careful.
If you are using “much thanks” to poke fun at something, you should also ensure that the person you say it to knows you very well. Using “much thanks” like James did in our earlier example, you can risk coming off as incompetent or insecure.
Especially at work, avoid undermining your perceived level of competence if you think the person you are speaking to does not know you well.
If you replace what you are saying with something more eloquent, you are more likely to create the respect and rapport that you are likely trying to establish in the first place.
Of course, if you did not know that “much thanks” is technically incorrect to say, you may have unwittingly misused it. That is okay! Next, we will go over some other expressions you can use.
What Can You Use Instead of “Much Thanks”?
English has a variety of different ways to express thanks. For example, if you want to use “thanks” and “much” to correctly and sincerely give thanks, you may say “thank you very much” or “many thanks.”
Here is a short list of expressions you can use instead of “much thanks.”
- Great thanks!
- Thanks a million!
- Thanks a ton!
- I appreciate it!
- You’re a lifesaver!
- It means a lot to me that you would do that.
- Thank you so much!
- Thanks a lot!
- I owe you one!
Check out our article on another expression of gratitude, Is It Correct to Say “Thanks a Lot?”
Some of these expressions lean more toward informality and some toward formality. The most formal options on this list are “I appreciate it!” and “Thank you so much!”
Some of the expressions that you can use with your peers are, “Thanks a ton,” “I owe you one!,” and “You’re a lifesaver!”
If you want to express more heartfelt thanks for something meaningful that someone close to you has done, you can use, “It means a lot to me that you would do that.”
Different situations call for other expressions of thanks. Choose your phrase carefully, and you will always have your desired effect on your audience. In the next section, we will discuss some more examples of using “much thanks.”
A minor sentence is a phrase intoned as a complete sentence but lacks the grammatical completeness of a proper sentence (source). Thus, expressions of gratitude fall into the category of minor sentences because we can use them as stand-alone phrases without saying anything else.
Minor sentences can also include brief responses to others in conversation, often leading with conditions. For example, “Only if you want to” is a minor sentence because it is missing the preceding non-conditional clause.
Other examples of minor sentences include simple responses to questions, such as “yes,” “no,” and “maybe.” Interjections often fall into the category of minor sentences because of how they are intoned.
Expressions of Gratitude as Interjections
We can use “much thanks!” as an interjection – a sudden or emphatic beginning or end to a sentence that grabs the audience’s attention. For example, when your boss asks you to oversee a new project, you can say, “Thanks! I’ll get right on that.”
“Thanks!” in this context is an interjection. “Much thanks!” is the same. It is common to use expressions of gratitude as interjections. Just place the expression of appreciation at the beginning or end of a sentence, and you will have an interjection.
To learn more about expressions of appreciation as interjections, read Is It Correct to Say “Thanks a Ton”?
In short, “much thanks” does not express gratitude grammatically correct. It is incorrect because “much” cannot describe a plural noun such as “thanks” in English. Though grammatically wrong, you can still use “much thanks” playfully or sarcastically in the proper contexts.
If you choose to use “much thanks,” you will most likely use it as an interjection or a stand-alone minor sentence. Always remember the impact you desire with your words, and you will choose the right word.