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Is It Correct to Say “Thank You For Your Patience”?

Your friend has been waiting at your house for the last thirty minutes. Finally, you arrive home and apologize to your friend, saying, “Thank you for your patience.”

It is correct to say “Thank you for your patience” when thanking someone for waiting for you. We usually use this sentence in a professional environment to be respectful. For example, when the boss arrives at a meeting a few minutes late, they may say, “Thank you for your patience.”

Let’s look deeper into “Thank you for your patience,” the correct way to use it, and some alternative options.

What Does “Thank You For Your Patience” Mean?

When saying, “Thank you for your patience,” you respectfully thank someone for waiting for you (source). However, the deeper meaning is showing that you appreciate someone’s time.

Let’s define “Thank you for your patience.”

Thank youAn exclamation we use to show gratitude for something.
ForA preposition to show the purpose of something.
YourA possessive adjective to show that something belongs to someone.
PatienceA noun we use to show the ability to wait or to continue doing something consistently for a purpose (source).

Combined Meaning of “Thank You For Your Patience”

We frequently use this sentence in one of two ways, typically when providing customer service. The context of the conversation or other contact in which you use the sentence will determine its specific meaning.

We frequently use “Thank you for your patience” to apologize for wait periods while dealing with technical assistance or another helpline.

We also use it to communicate that “It may take time for something to happen, and we apologize in advance.” Usually, this comes in a message alerting you of something expected that has not yet happened.

How Do You Use “Thank You For Your Patience”?

You usually say “Thank you for your patience” when a process or task takes longer than expected. However, you can also use this sentence to give an update while still working on resolving the problem.

We frequently use this expression to recognize and apologize for delays that have already occurred. Someone will likely say this to you if you’ve waited inconveniently for things to happen, have been holding for an hour, are receiving a return a month later than you anticipated, or in some other way.

No matter how long the delay, you may interpret “Thank you for your patience” in this context as just an apology and recognition that you kept waiting.

When Can You Use “Thank You For Your Patience”?

You can use this sentence when you are busy working with a client, and the process takes longer than expected, or when you are late for a meeting and want to apologize professionally.

We can use this sentence to show appreciation in a few different scenarios.

Technical SupportThank you for your patience while I resolve your issue.
Formal LetterThank you for your patience while I review your files.
Future DelayI thank you for your patience while I get to your documents.

Using “Thank You For Your Patience” in a Full Sentence

If you want to utilize “Thank you for your patience” in a full sentence, it is best to combine it with an apology or update. Remember, we want to show the person or people waiting we appreciate their time.

Let’s look at two examples of how we can use this in a complete sentence:

“Dear sir, we need to inform you that we received your request for a refund. We thank you for your patience while processing your request. Please call us if you have any other inquiries.”

This letter’s formal tone displays the setting where you will occasionally see this sentence. It is evident in this instance that the letter’s addressee is only now beginning to wait.

“We are experiencing technical difficulties. Thank you for your patience while we start solving the problem.”

In comparison to formal letters, this example is relatively straightforward. However, if you hear this in a recorded message on a customer service line, you know you’ll have to wait a while.

This example is intriguing since it considers how long you have already been on wait and any potential future delay.

When Not to Use “Thank You For Your Patience”

People often overuse “Thank you for your patience” in business. Therefore, it has lost most of its sincerity. What you want to do instead is show the other person you care by giving more than a typical response.

Using “Thank you for your patience” in an informal environment is not genuine at all. Most of the time, it will sound sarcastic. Thus, it is better to use other words instead.

If your mother asks you to wash the dishes and you respond with “Thank you for your patience” a few hours later, you will most likely receive discipline. That’s because using an often automated business phrase sounds sarcastic in informal contexts.

However, if you replied, “Sorry, mother, I forgot to wash the dishes,” she would take it much better.

What Can You Use Instead of “Thank You For Your Patience”?

Luckily, there are many alternative options to using “Thank you for your patience.” These alternative options will show the receiver that you care more and are busy fixing the problem.

One of the simplest ways to sound more genuine in a business context is to describe your intent.

  • I’m determined to fix your issue.

Such a response will put your consumer at ease and make them feel happier to provide the details you need. They understand that even if the circumstance is not ideal, they can relax and let you handle it.

Once they give you the details, you can say:

  • I appreciate all of the details.

This demonstrates that you truly value your client’s commitment to finding a solution, mainly if they have put a lot of effort into articulating their problem with you. You can go further by acknowledging their effort:

  • We appreciate your time and commitment.

This other expression conveys the same notion but is more conversational and less general.

  • I appreciate your help! Can you wait a while while I look into this?

This is another great alternative instead of “Thank you for your patience.” You also thank the client for making you aware of the problem (even if you already know) and being patient while you look into it.

Even more, detail helps you talk with your customer. To capture the essence of “Thank you for your patience,” you must ensure you treat your customers respectfully and let them know you are working on their issues. Here is another example:

Please accept my apologies for this error. I’d like to spend a little while thinking about a few potential answers and get back to you later today. Is that okay with you?

In this example, you’re admitting you made a mistake or are aware of the issue. You also let them know you’re in the process of solving the problem and will be getting back to them with solutions.

Expressions of Gratitude as Interjections

Interjections are words or phrases we use to communicate a sentiment, ask for, or demand something. They are also one of English’s eight parts of speech.

Image by Jopwell via Pexels

We commonly use interjections in casual writing and ordinary conversation. Interjections like “well” and “indeed” are permissible in formal speech, but avoid them in academic or professional writing because they are not concise.

Let’s look at the types of interjections.

Primary Interjection

Primary interjections are words or sounds that we can only use as an interjection. We cannot use primary interjections as another element of speech (source). They also do not have any secondary meanings.

Typically, primary interjections are sounds without a distinct origin. As a result, you may write a single interjection in various ways, even if they occasionally have conventional spellings.

  • Aww, thank you for the gift.
  • Oh wow, I appreciate the offering.

Secondary Interjection

Secondary interjections are terms we generally use as another part of speech but can sometimes function as an interjection.

  • Awesome, thanks for helping me, buddy.
  • Boy, thank you for this. You’ve no idea how much it means to me.

Volitive Interjection

Using a volitive interjection, you can order or ask for something.

  • Psst, thank you for the answer.
  • Wow, that means so much to me.

Emotive Interjection

We utilize an emotional interjection when we want to express emotion or indicate a response to something. For instance, we use the expressive exclamation “Ew” to convey disgust. 

Expletives, or curse words, are common emotive interjections that indicate impatience or rage in informal circumstances.

  • Yippee, that was so sweet of you!
  • Ah, you are the best.

Expressions of gratitude often fall under emotive interjections. Standard ways of saying “Thanks” and “Thank you” come to mind without thinking of them – they are one’s immediate heartfelt response to receiving something.

  • Thank you so much!
  • Thanks for this!
  • Thanks a million!
  • Many thanks!

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For more on expressions of gratitude as interjections, read this article: Is It Correct to Say “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?

Final Thoughts

We can use “Thank you for your patience” in various ways. However, the meaning stays the same, and we know it shows appreciation for someone else’s time. The sentence is perfect for a formal environment working with clients.