You may often hear people say “Thanks for all you do” and wonder if that is the correct way to thank someone for their efforts. You may also question whether the expression is grammatically correct and, if so, in what context we can use it.
It is correct to say “Thanks for all you do” when you are speaking casually to someone and thanking them for everything they have done. If you were writing or speaking more formally, it would be better to say “Thank you for all you do” because “Thanks” is a casual abbreviation of “Thank you.”
This article will explore the expression “Thanks for all you do” and help understand when we can use it and when it’s better to choose an alternative. We’ll also examine other expressions of gratitude and what parts of speech they belong to.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Thanks for All You Do”?
You may wonder whether it is grammatically correct to say “Thanks for all you do,” and the answer is that it is grammatically correct. Although “thanks” in this context is an abbreviation of the more formal “Thank you,” it is still grammatically acceptable.
You may also wonder whether you should include the word “that” and say, “Thanks for all that you do.” The rule of thumb with “that” is you should include it if it aids meaning or prevents confusion and omit it if that isn’t the case (source).
In the sentence “Thanks for all you do,” there is, therefore, no need to include “that” because the expression is perfectly understandable without it. At the same time, you can include it, and the sentence will still be correct.
What Does “Thanks for All You Do” Mean?
When we say, “thanks for all you do,” we express gratitude for what someone has done. “Thanks” is either a plural noun meaning gratitude or an informal alternative to the interjection “Thank you” (source).
The word “thanks” dates back as far as the 13th century, and it originated from the Proto-Germanic word “thanka,” which came to mean “grateful thought” or “gratitude” (source).
In the 1580s, people started using “thanks” as an abbreviation for “I give you thanks.” By 1908, it appeared in colloquial expressions such as “Thanks a lot.”
In the sentence “thanks for all you do,” the speaker is expressing gratitude for “all you do.” Here, “all” acts as a pronoun, specifying the whole quantity of something (source). In this case, the “all” is the total of everything that you do.
Most likely, context would be important here and would also help to specify what type of actions someone is acknowledging.
How Do You Use “Thanks for All You Do”?
As we mentioned, we use “Thanks for all you do” in casual settings to express gratitude to somebody. Someone would usually speak it, but they might also write it in an informal note. Because it contains the pronoun “you,” it would directly address a person or group of people.
Consider the sentences below that give context and show how one is likely to use this expression.
- Thanks for all you do to help the children at the orphanage.
- Your fundraising efforts are incredible. Thanks for all you do.
- I’m indebted to you for your assistance. Thanks for all you do.
When Can You Use “Thanks for All You Do”?
We would most likely use “Thanks for all you do” when we are speaking to someone. This could be in conversation or possibly if we were giving a speech acknowledging somebody. You may also write it in a note of gratitude.
This is a statement that many often use in English, and it would be appropriate any time that we want to acknowledge somebody’s efforts in assisting with something.
In What Context Can You Use “Thanks for All You Do”?
We would use “thanks for all you do” in an informal context when we are discussing the contribution somebody has made to something and expressing our appreciation for that.
Context is so important for expressions in English. Knowing when it is appropriate to use certain phrases is essential to mastering the language. It’s important that the context makes it obvious what the “all” encompasses. If this isn’t the case, then you might need to specify that.
Using “Thanks for All You Do” in a Full Sentence
“Thanks for all you do” is already a full sentence on its own. As we’ve already mentioned, we sometimes need to extend it to give further context and explain what the “all” is referring to. Sometimes we also use “Thanks” as a plural noun.
Consider the following sentences that use this expression in various ways.
- As we celebrate your 10th year working with us, we’d like to say thanks for all you do.
- Thanks for all you do to raise awareness about this important issue.
- We so appreciate your contribution. Thanks for all you do!
The following examples show how to use if “thanks” is simply a plural noun rather than an expression of gratitude:
- I give thanks for all you do to develop the youth group.
- These flowers are a token of thanks for all you do for the committee.
- We acknowledge your efforts with thanks for all you do.
When Not to Use a “Thanks for All You Do”?
It follows that there are certain situations when “thanks for all you do” is not an appropriate expression. For instance, we would not say this in a formal context because the choice of the abbreviation “thanks” is not formal language.
We also wouldn’t say “Thanks for all you do” unless it was obvious what we were referring to. If the specific actions included in “all you do” need more information, then it would be more appropriate to rather list those.
Finally, we would not use this expression if there weren’t many actions to be appreciative of. If someone just did one thing for you, then you would not need to say “all you do” because it wouldn’t be appropriate.
What Is the Difference Between “Thank You” and “Thanks”?
In the examples above, it seems that we can use “thanks” and “thank you” interchangeably. This is frequently the case, but there are still some differences between the two.
The most obvious difference is when we use them as interjections, “thanks” is appropriate in casual, chatty environments, and “thank you” tends to be best for more formal settings.
The word “thanks” can also function as a noun to refer to the things you do to express gratitude. For example, you may say, “Please accept my thanks for your contribution” or “We give thanks for your safe return.”
We often say “Thanks a lot,” but we should not say “Thank you a lot.” We would rather say “Thank you very much.”
What Can You Use Instead of “Thanks for All You Do”?
There are many alternatives to saying “Thanks for all you do,” and which ones we would choose would depend on whether we were in a formal or informal setting.
Consider the following options.
- Thanks for everything!
- Thanks for your contribution.
- Thanks for all your help.
- Thanks for all the things you’ve done for me.
- Thank you for all that you have done.
- Thank you for your valuable contribution.
- We are grateful for everything you have contributed to this organization.
- We appreciate all that you have done.
We often have different ways of speaking and different choices of words depending on whether the setting is casual or formal. Read the article “Is it Correct to Say ‘Aforementioned’?” for more discussion on this interesting topic.
Expressions of Gratitude
Every day, we have reasons to express our gratitude for things. Perhaps someone held a door open for you, passed you your coffee, or picked up your dropped keys. Depending on the setting, we’ll want to let the person (or people) know that we appreciate what they have done.
In English, we have many ways to express our gratitude, and our choice depends on the context we are speaking in as well as the person we are addressing. Consider the following examples.
|Expression of Gratitude||Example|
|I’m grateful for ____.||I’m grateful for your contribution to this project. It made such a difference to the quality of our work.|
|I appreciate ____.||I appreciate your assistance with moving my mother’s furniture. It has really helped me.|
|Thanks for ____. /Thank you for ____.||Thanks for your hard work on the committee. Your contribution was invaluable.|
|I am much obliged ____.||Your fundraising efforts saved the day. I am much obliged to you.|
|I owe you one.||I don’t know how you convinced him to agree to that deal. I owe you one!|
|I couldn’t have done it without you.||Your contribution made all the difference. I couldn’t have done it without you!|
|Please accept my deepest gratitude for ____.||Please accept my deepest gratitude for allowing us to display your grandfather’s original artwork.|
What Part of Speech Is “Thanks”?
When we use the expression “Thanks for all you do,” it’s useful to consider what part of speech it is. In English, there are four basic types of main clauses:
- Declarative (statements)
- Interrogative (questions)
- Imperative (orders/instructions)
- Exclamative (exclamations or interjections)
Declarative clauses make statements about how things are or are not. They include sentences such as the following:
- The ball is blue.
- She does not like chocolate.
- The cat is on the mat.
Interrogative clauses mostly function as questions, as we illustrate below:
- What are you doing?
- Where will you go?
- Do you like chocolate?
Imperative clauses are usually constructions or commands, as we’ve shown in the examples below:
- Hurry up!
- Sit down.
- Have a drink.
Exclamative clauses generally function to express an emotion, such as surprise or shock, and we often follow them with an exclamation point. Sometimes they are just one word, and then we call them interjections. Consider the examples below:
- How silly!
- It’s a boy!
Interjections and Imperatives
Dictionaries generally categorize either “Thanks” or “Thank you” as an interjection or exclamative. These include the Macmillan Dictionary, Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, and Cambridge Dictionary. Let’s examine why lexicographers would consider “Thanks” an interjection.
We use interjections to convey emotion, and expressing gratitude would be conveying an emotion. We rarely see interjections in formal writing for this reason, and they often (although not always) end with an exclamation point.
They can be a single word or two or even a phrase, and they don’t usually relate grammatically to the rest of the sentence. Interjections cover a range of emotions, and you will find them at the beginning or end of a sentence or sometimes even in the middle. Consider the following examples of interjections.
- Gosh, I’m so surprised to see you!
- So you think you know everything, huh?
- It really seems, wow, that she’s gone.
Interjections can also stand alone and are grammatically correct even though they don’t contain a subject or verb. In that way, we can say, “Thanks!” or “Thank you,” and it can stand by itself. The original sentence “I thank you” is implied, and the abbreviation is sufficient on its own.
Sometimes, people mistakenly assume that “thank you” is an imperative sentence. However, it makes no demand or request and, therefore, cannot be imperative. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
We use imperative clauses to give an order or instruction, issue a piece of advice, or make an invitation (source). These include the examples such as the following:
- Stop running down the hall!
- Turn right after President Street.
- Have a piece of cake.
- Go away!
If you’re wondering how to express your thanks to somebody for multiple actions, you will now have learned that you can definitely say, “Thanks for all you do.” If you want to be less casual, you may prefer to say “Thank you for all you do.”
As with many lessons in English, context is so important, and you must, therefore, judge whether using this expression gives your listeners enough information about what you are grateful for. If not, then it would always be a good idea to add more details to clarify what you say.