Perhaps you have been sick and missed work for several days. A friend calls you to ask how you are doing and if they can bring you anything you need. Is it correct for you to say, “Thanks for checking on me”?
“Thanks for checking on me” is an appropriate expression of gratitude when responding to someone who has expressed concern about you. The phrase can function on its own as an interjection, and we understand it to mean “I thank you for checking on me.” We can easily infer the subject (I) and object (you).
First, let’s find out more about why it is grammatically correct to say, “Thanks for checking on me.” Next, we’ll look more closely at what it means. Then we’ll discuss when it is appropriate to say it and when not.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
It is grammatically correct to say “Thanks for checking on me” because it is an interjection (source). While we generally avoid interjections for formal writing, there’s nothing grammatically incorrect about them, even if they lack a subject and verb.
Interjections express emotions such as gratitude, and since one individual usually expresses their gratitude directly toward another, they do not need to specify the subject or object. We understand this expression to mean “I give thanks to you for checking on me” or “I thank you for checking on me.”
In the second sentence, the subject is “I,” the verb is “thank,” and “you” is the object, and it is very clear that you are giving your thanks to your friend. “Checking on” is a phrasal verb, indicating the act that you are thankful for.
What Does “Thanks for Checking on Me” Mean?
To “check on” someone or something means to look at or to examine it to see if there are any problems (source). You might “check on” your child if you haven’t heard from them in a while, or you might “check on” your dinner in the oven.
“Check on” is a two-part verb, which grammarians sometimes call a “phrasal verb.” The preposition “on” follows the verb “check,” and we need to follow the phrase with a noun to indicate the thing you are checking on (source). In this sentence, we replace the noun with the objective pronoun “me.”
“Thanks for checking on me” is an expression you might say to your friend who is concerned about you. After they express their care for you and concern for your problem, you can say, “Thanks for checking on me,” to tell them that you appreciate their kindness.
How Do You Use “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
Use this phrase in response to one or more people who are expressing concern for your well-being. For example, if two or three friends come together to check on you, you can still say, “Thanks for checking on me.”
“Thanks for checking on me” is informal, but, as an interjection, it is a complete sentence by itself. It is in the indicative mood because you are expressing a fact. You can also provide information regarding why someone is checking on you after this sentence if you wish.
When Can You Use “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
You can use “Thanks for checking on me” when someone you know is sincerely concerned about you and you want to express your gratitude.
The phrase, “How are you doing?” is usually a casual way of simply saying “Hello” or something you can say when meeting someone for the first time. These situations typically require a casual response. Here’s a sample conversation:
New person: Hi, it’s nice to meet you. How are you doing?
You: I’m great, thanks. It’s nice to meet you, too.
However, someone who cares about you may also ask, “How are you doing?” In this situation, you can use the phrase, “Thanks for checking on me.” Look at this conversation:
Your friend: How are you doing? I heard that you’ve been very busy at work. Are you doing okay?
You: Yes, life is crazy, but I’m doing okay. Thanks for checking on me!
You are telling your friend that you appreciate his or her concern. You can continue to share more details about the situation if you want to. However, if you would prefer not to talk about your problem at the moment, just change the subject.
In What Context Can You Use “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
“Thanks for checking on me” is a phrase you will most often encounter in American English among individuals familiar with one another. For example, you would say it to someone who knows you fairly well and would worry if you were facing any kind of difficulty.
If a friend shows concern for you, you can say “Thanks for checking on me” and continue the conversation. You might also suggest ways they could help.
What to Say When Someone Says “Thanks for Checking on Me”
Now, let’s say that your friend is sick. You call or visit and ask how they are doing and if you can do anything to help. This person may say, “Thanks for checking on me,” because they are grateful for your concern. What should you say in response?
You might say, “Of course! I want you to know I am thinking of you!” or “I am here for you; just let me know what I can do.” Then, simply repeat your concern and your offer of help.
When someone expresses their thanks to you, the typical response is, “You’re welcome.” Sometimes, however, saying “You’re welcome” may seem as if you feel an obligation to check on them. Repeating your concern instead of saying, “You’re welcome,” reassures the other person that you really do care.
If you respond in this way, they may feel like sharing more details with you. Here’s a sample conversation two people might have:
Sarah: Hi, Marla; how are you doing? I heard you weren’t feeling well.
Marla: Hi, Sarah; thanks for checking on me!
Sarah: Of course! You know you can call me if you need anything.
Marla: I really appreciate that. I could really use some milk and bread if you have time?
Using “Thanks for Checking on Me” in a Full Sentence
Here are some sample conversations using “Thanks for checking on me” in response to the concern of a friend. The first one is useful if you don’t want to share more details. However, remember that your friend is likely open to talking more about your problem.
Friend: Hi Monica, I was sad to hear that your dog Snicker passed away last week. I’m so sorry! How are you doing?
You: Thanks for checking on me, Monica! It’s been hard because I really do miss him!
The next conversation shows how you could tell your friend more about the problem.
Friend: Hi, Monica; I was so sorry to hear about Snicker! How are you doing?
You: I really do miss him. Thanks for checking on me! Some days are better than others, but it’s still hard. I want to get a new puppy soon, but I’ll never find another one like Snicker.
When Not to Use “Thanks for Checking on Me”
There are several situations where you should not say, “Thanks for checking on me.”
If someone says “How are you doing?” as a simple greeting, just use a simple answer in response. Be sure the other person is sincerely asking about your problems and that they are hoping you will give a fuller explanation so they can help you.
“Thanks for Checking on Me” Is Informal
Since this sentence is informal, you would normally use it only with people you are close to. In contrast, you usually would not use this phrase with your boss.
Similarly, you would not use it in other more formal situations with someone in a position of authority or one who has responsibility for your well-being, like your doctor or your landlord.
However, if you change “thanks” to “thank you,” you have made the phrase a little more formal. It is now appropriate to use if your conversation is about work and your boss is making sure you aren’t having problems doing your job.
Perhaps your boss heard of a challenging issue you were facing in your personal life, such as a death in the family. He may sincerely want to express his concern for how you are doing. In this case, it might be more appropriate to say, “Thank you for your concern.”
Since two-part verbs like “check on” tend to be informal, you can replace it with the verb “concern.” The expression “Thank you for your concern” is suitable for a more formal situation.
What Can You Use Instead of “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
You can express your gratitude to someone concerned about your welfare in other ways as well. Here are some helpful substitutes for “Thanks for checking on me.” Notice that you would still include an expression of thanks in some form in each sentence.
- Thank you. Your support means a lot to me.
- Thank you! Yes, things are hard right now, but I’m trying to stay positive.
- You are the best. I’m so thankful to have you as a friend.
- When I got your text, it felt like a big hug from you. Thanks!
Other Expressions of Gratitude
Even if you don’t feel like talking about the situation, it’s essential to acknowledge that the other person cares for you sincerely.
Some alternative ways to express your gratitude could include:
- You’re the best!
- That was kind of you to think of me.
- It’s so great to know I can depend on you.
- You are such a good friend; thanks for your note!
Saying “greatly appreciated” is also an acceptable way of thanking someone in various scenarios. You can read more about that in our article, “Greatly Appreciated: Meaning and Proper Usage.”
Declaratives, Interjections, and Imperatives
“Thanks for checking on me” is a declarative sentence in the indicative mood. However, it doesn’t follow the typical sentence rules that require a subject and a verb because it is an interjection. Interjections are usually one or two words or a short phrase, and they may or may not include an exclamation point at the end.
Interjections function as a complete sentence because our listeners will infer the subject and verb. For example, when you say, “Thanks!” the meaning is “I give my thanks to you.” Other examples of interjections are:
- See you soon! (We will see each other again soon)
- Love you! (I love you)
Another sentence type where our audience will infer the subject would be imperative sentences. Imperative sentences express commands or advice, and we understand the subject to be the addressee. When we use the imperative mood, we tell someone to do or have something (source).
- Take care! (You take care of yourself)
- Pick up your toys. (You need to pick up your toys right now.)
- Sit here, please. (I want you to sit in this place, please.)
- Take this letter to the mailbox, will you? (You expect agreement)
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Imperatives and interjections are also not mutually exclusive, as some imperative clauses can also be interjections. Again, notice that these sentences do not contain a subject and only occasionally contain an object.
- Hurry up! (You need to move faster)
- Be quiet! (You need to stop making noise)
- Don’t run! (You need to stop running)
“Thanks for checking on me” is a common expression of gratitude among familiars. Use it to thank someone for their concern about you and their acknowledgment of a difficult situation you might be going through.
Similarly, if you care about someone and show concern for some problem they are facing, they may tell you, “Thanks for checking on me.”