When someone notifies you of some fact or event, you may find it challenging to select an appropriate response due to the nature of the announcement. A widely-used, appreciative response you may use is “Thanks for letting me know.”
It is correct to say “thanks for letting me know” to express gratitude and acknowledge information previously unknown to you. This expression is a minor sentence we use informally. In semi-formal contexts, the meaning is equivalent to “Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”
This article will explore the meaning behind “Thanks for letting me know,” the contexts in which you might use it, and alternative expressions of gratitude.
What Does “Thanks for Letting Me Know” Mean?
“Thanks for letting me know” means recognizing and valuing an update someone has shared with you.
It indicates that one party has shared information with a second party, and the exchange has benefited the second party.
“Thanks for letting me know” is more specific than a simple “thank you” as it addresses why you have chosen to give thanks.
Both informal and semiformal circumstances generally consider “thanks for letting me know” an appropriate response. It communicates the recognition of new information; however, it does not reveal any substantial emotion toward the listener beyond brief gratitude.
This expression can signify appreciation for good or bad news, updates, or information. For example, you may use “thanks for letting me know” regardless of how you feel about the update or the person delivering the message.
How Do You Use “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?
You may use “thanks for letting me know” to respond to someone’s effort to keep you informed. Grammatically, it is a minor sentence because it can stand alone.
A minor sentence communicates a complete thought despite being grammatically incomplete; it does not require a precise verb and/or subject (source). Minor sentences like “Thanks for letting me know” derive their whole meaning from the situational context.
Other minor sentence examples are:
- Hurry up!
- The end.
- No, thank you.
We categorize “thank you” as an elliptical sentence because it lacks the implied word “I” (as in “I thank you”). However, it is still wholly sensical and standard in English (source). “Thanks” acts as the casual form of “thank you” and can also stand alone.
We use the preposition “for” to link our elliptical statement of gratitude (“thanks”) to our noun phrase “letting me know.” Together, these words make a prepositional phrase to indicate the purpose of giving thanks: “for letting me know” (source).
In this case, we may more accurately label our noun phrase as a gerund phrase, with the gerund “letting,” the indirect object “me,” and the direct object “know” (source). As the gerund phrase, “letting me know” behaves as the subject of the minor sentence.
You may use “thanks for letting me know” with or without modifiers to give credit to the person who shared the information.
When Can You Use “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?
You may answer with “thanks for letting me know” after someone provides an update on events or progress. One may use this minor sentence in informal and semi-formal situations and spoken or written English.
This expression indicates a relatively neutral and commonplace response to various conversation topics and tones. You may use it regardless of your feelings about the news or the messenger.
Range of Meaning
“Thanks for letting me know” is appropriate to convey genuine gratitude to someone going out of their way to keep you in the loop, to politely acknowledge the information you may or may not have wanted to hear, or even to channel sarcasm or displeasure.
These instances exemplify both directions:
- Thanks for letting me know that the traffic is terrible this morning.
- I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. Thanks for letting me know.
- Thanks for letting me know that I’ve been using the wrong one.
- I was unaware my car was dirty; thanks for letting me know.
- No one told me I have food in my teeth! Thanks for letting me know!
On the other hand, you may choose it as a gracious response to an RSVP, an update on location, or a status change, such as thanking someone for letting them know they arrived home safely or informing them that they will attend an upcoming party.
Sometimes an implication that information arrived inconveniently late will surface, which may cause tension. The speaker may find themself frustrated with their conversation partner as well as any others involved that they have just now heard this news.
It may also come across as a snarky statement if the speaker feels you notified them of something obvious – it may seem like an insult. But, again, you’ll need to analyze the tone and situation to read the dynamic.
Generally, “thanks for letting me know” recognizes someone’s effort in passing information and may act as a reply in almost any scenario.
Your tone and body language, as you say, “Thanks for letting me know,” will help the listener discern your meaning.
In What Context Can You Use “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?
In professional and personal communication, you may politely respond to an update with “thanks for letting me know.” However, you may choose a different saying after a poorly-timed update as it might suggest bitterness.
With an obvious inconvenience or otherwise distress by recent news, the statement “thanks for letting me know” will convey a lack of genuine care. For instance, when you’re in an evident rough patch, and someone unnecessarily shares additional negative information.
Polite usage of “thanks for letting me know” involves the listener having performed a legitimately valuable action or having contributed a helpful fact. You’ll respond with this to a prior exchange of information.
You may use it as a minor sentence in a professional setting when either critique or praise has been offered and brought awareness that has benefited you. However, you should replace “thanks” with “thank you” for added formality.
You can use “thanks for letting me know” in private or non-work endeavors; however, an added risk of disrespect arises without appropriate qualifications. Therefore, when you use this particular assertion, make it known that you feel genuinely appreciative.
You might use this expression after receiving critical information, even if it’s unpleasant or undesired information.
For instance, if a family member passes away in a car accident, you can thank the first response caller for bringing it to your attention; obviously, you did not want that news, but you would prefer to know.
Simply put, you may use “thanks for letting me know” in almost any context, but maintain regard for the tone of the situation.
Using “Thanks for Letting Me Know” in a Full Sentence
When beginning a sentence with “thanks for letting me know,” we often follow with the word “that” to lead into what we have been made aware of.
While “thanks for letting me know” can stand alone as a minor sentence, you may identify what you have been made aware of that you appreciate knowing, especially if removed from the actual update by some time. It typically acts as either a minor sentence or a clause in a major sentence.
When the context is removed from your gratitude by time or place, you may elect a prepositional phrase to accompany “thanks for letting me know.” For instance, “Thanks for letting me know about the problem” suggests an indirect connection between yourself and the problem while suggesting appreciation.
A noun clause, a potential substitute for an individual noun, may also follow this expression of gratitude (source). For example, you can thank your conversation partner for sharing when a meeting starts, where the meeting takes place, or how to reach you.
Here are some examples using these types of clauses:
- Thanks for letting me know that you’ll be home sick today.
- Thanks for letting me know about your illness.
- Thanks for letting me know who to call in case of an emergency.
You may allow “thanks for letting me know” to stand alone as a sentence or frame it with added details and mold it to your particular situation.
When Not to Use “Thanks for Letting Me Know”
Choose a different expression than “thanks for letting me know” when dealing with a highly negative, positive, or formal situation, as it may not convey a suitable response with its ambiguous tone.
When someone shares a wildly overwhelming or sad story, “thanks for letting me know” may be an apathetic reaction. It may not adequately demonstrate your understanding and sympathy, so it is likely a poor option here.
Similarly, when a friend shares exciting news, such as an engagement or pregnancy announcement, “thanks for letting me know” may upset your friend as it is an underwhelming response. In general, the mood of your thanks should match the mood of the prompting topic.
In overtly formal circumstances, “thanks for letting me know” may indicate a false and potentially disrespectful familiarity between two conversationalists. Opt for “thank you” instead, and perhaps script more articulate wording.
In truth, “thanks for letting me know” has a versatile but vague disposition; it all depends on the situation’s context and the speaker’s tone. While possibly an inconsiderate response choice after receiving a notification of a loved one’s passing, some might find that reply sufficient recognition.
According to the speaker’s tone and the nature of a conversation, you may find “thanks for letting me know” either an appropriate reply or a mildly disrespectful response to a professional or dramatic prompt.
What Can You Use Instead of “Thanks for Letting Me Know”?
Depending on the context of your conversation, you may elect different word choices to communicate the associated emotions tied to your response.
You may choose between many options:
- Thank you for the update.
- Thank you for the information.
- I respect your honesty.
- Thanks for your concern.
- Thanks for keeping me in the loop.
- Thank you for the heads up!
- Thanks for bringing that up.
We can modify this expression with adverbs like “thank you kindly” or adjectives like “thanks again,” or we may interchange “for letting me know” with another prepositional phrase, such as “thank you from the whole family.”
While many versions express similar sentiments, most statements of gratitude include some variation of “thank you.” As perhaps the most universal expression of goodwill, many of its iterations serve as reliable choices.
You may choose to communicate gratitude through revealing admiration for a particular quality or action, such as “I appreciate your commitment to keeping me informed.” Likewise, compliments act as generous and flattering expressions of thanks.
To convey in your own words the value and specifics of the information exchanged may help to reduce the possibility of misinterpretation.
For instance, “thank you for letting me know that you’ll be late to class today” reiterates the other person’s point, demonstrates that you have aptly listened, and generates mutual good feelings.
While many alternative expressions exist, “thanks for letting me know” projects a nonpartisan display of appreciation and remains a safe approach, however, similar sayings may suit different situations more closely.
Expressions of Gratitude as Minor Sentences
Certain adages in English operate as standard sentences but without the grammatical structure required of a traditional sentence. We call these minor sentences, and “thanks for letting me know” is a perfect example.
This expression lacks a subject and verb. Instead, it has the elliptical sentence “thanks” and the prepositional phrase “for letting me know.” Standard grammar rules classify this as incomplete; however, this minor sentence communicates clear meaning in context and thus escapes the rule.
Even without an evident subject and verb, listeners or readers understand the message, despite its incomplete grammar structure. “Thanks for letting me know” makes perfect sense to an audience in context.
Removed from its context by time or place, however, the meaning of “thanks for letting me know” is unclear. The natural response would then be, “Letting you know what?”
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
You may find minor sentences an unusual and potentially confusing exception to English grammar rules. Nevertheless, most minor sentences are commonplace and easily memorized with practice.
Out of the many ways a conversationalist can respond to someone communicating information, one chooses “thanks for letting me know” as a practical answer that suggests gratitude and awareness.
Keep in mind the nature of the relationship between conversation partners, the circumstances behind the dialogue, and each person’s tone to ensure you communicate your intended meaning.