If you’ve added friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or other social media platforms in the last decade, you’ve likely been thanked by a common phrase: “Thanks for the add.” Your new friend is using this phrase to thank you for adding them to your network, but is it grammatically correct?
“Thanks for the add” is not grammatically correct because “add” is technically a verb. In this case, “add” is informally functioning as a noun. Despite its widespread use in social media, “thanks for the add” is grammatically incorrect, but we may still utilize it to thank friends on online social platforms.
After understanding “thanks for the add,” we will provide a list of grammatically correct phrases of gratitude you may use in its stead.
What Does “Thanks for the Add” Mean?
When someone uses the phrase “Thanks for the add,” they are simply showing gratitude toward someone else for adding them to their social network groups. This is a common phrase used across Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and many other online networking platforms.
“Thanks” is the shorter, more informal version of “thank you.” Using “thank you” immediately connotates both more formality (not necessarily formal) and a deeper appreciation for something (source).
Thus, it is fitting to use the “thanks” in phrases of gratitude toward people who add you to their social media networks because social media platforms tend to have a more relaxed, informal atmosphere.
People informally use “the add” to refer to the action of adding someone to their social media network. Though this is an entirely incorrect use of “add,” it is laid-back and efficient within this context.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Thanks for the Add”?
No, it is grammatically incorrect to say “thanks for the add.” This expression is not at fault for lacking a subject (the subject is implied) but for using the verb “add” as a noun. American English does not recognize “add” as a noun.
Grammatically, “thanks” is a noun exclamation shortened from “I give you my thanks” (source). Consequently, the full form of “thanks for the add” is “I give you my thanks for the add.” Since the sentence’s subject is implied, it is a minor sentence.
Within “thanks for the add,” the preposition “for” is pointing toward whatever the speaker is thankful for. That is, whatever follows “for” in “thanks for” will be the object of the minor sentence.
“The add” is the object of this sentence, but “add” is not a noun; in this case, it is a verb meaning “to include as a member of the group” (source). Articles a, an, and the always precede a noun or an adjective.
Therefore, it is clear that “the add” here is a slang term for the action of adding or accepting someone to your social media network.
Now that we’ve analyzed the individual parts of “thanks for the add,” we know that it is the grammatically incorrect form of the correct but much longer sentence, “I give you my thanks for adding me to your social network.”
How Do You Use “Thanks for the Add”?
Though grammatically incorrect, you may use “thanks for the add” to thank someone for adding you to their friend group or social network online. The phrase stands alone as a minor sentence and heavily relies upon context for meaning.
Whenever you are accepted into a group or a network online (either one you requested or one you received an invitation to), you may express your appreciation by messaging the friend or group owner on that platform.
Since it is a minor sentence, you can use “thanks for the add” on its own. The subject, I, is implied. Expanding “thanks for the add” to a complete sentence with the subject would sound a bit awkward: “I give you my thanks for adding me [to your social network].”
When Can You Use “Thanks for the Add”?
You should use “thanks for the add” online to express gratitude toward whoever accepted or added you to their social network or interest group online.
Typically, you will message this phrase to the person who added you (through that platform) to thank them for adding you and let them know that you acknowledge their acceptance. It is an informal yet polite gesture toward the person who brought you into their social realm.
In What Context Can You Use “Thanks for the Add”?
“Thanks for the add” is highly dependent upon an online context and should be messaged (on that platform) soon after you have accepted the invitation.
For example, if you request acceptance to a Facebook group and gain membership, you can send a private message to the group owner: “Thanks for the add.”
Likewise, if someone accepts your friend request to their personal social media account, you can message them “thanks for the add” on that platform’s messenger system.
If you wait a few weeks or months to thank the person who added you, your message will only confuse them. Moreover, the delay will communicate that you either didn’t notice their acceptance or don’t pay much attention to your social media.
When Not to Use “Thanks for the Add”
Because it is not grammatically correct, you should not use “thanks for the add” while speaking in person, in a formal context, or after a lot of time has elapsed since that person added you to their social network.
Outside of the social media context, “thanks for the add” is confusing at best. For example, saying “thanks for the add” in person is inappropriate.
Your new social media friend may only be an acquaintance in real life, or the change from a digital context to reality may be a difficult gap to bridge with a minor sentence that lacks a detailed object.
In this case, you are better off saying, “Hey, thanks for adding me on Facebook.”
If you forget to immediately thank someone for adding you to their network online, “thanks for the add” is not the best way to thank them. You should send a full message of gratitude: “Hey, I just realized that I haven’t thanked you for accepting my friend request yet. Thanks for adding me to your network/group!”
In formal situations, written or spoken, you should obviously avoid using “thanks for the add” because it is grammatically incorrect.
Using “Thanks for the Add” in a Full Sentence
“Thanks for the add” is a minor sentence that can stand independently. The implied subject and verb is “I give,” whereas “the add” ungrammatically refers to “adding” someone on social media. So, “thanks for the add” is short for “I give my thanks for adding me to your social network.”
Since “thanks for the add” stands alone as a minor sentence, you will not add it to a complete sentence.
You may expand it by replacing “the add” with any specific favor or action you are thankful for.
- Thanks for adding me.
- Thanks for inviting me.
- Thanks for including me.
- Thanks for accepting my friend request.
At any rate, “thanks for the add” is a minor sentence used to express gratitude in an online social media context though it is grammatically incorrect. To make it grammatically correct, simply switch “the add” out for any particular item or action you are thankful for.
What Can You Use Instead of “Thanks for the Add”?
In a social media context, the most apt, grammatically correct replacement for “thanks for the add” is “thanks for adding me.” Other forms of the phrase name what you are thankful for more explicitly, depending upon the context.
Whenever you switch contexts – like the online platform to the real world – you should be more explicit with what you are thanking a person for. Below, the information in [brackets] is the detail you should add whenever you thank a person in a different context or after some time has passed.
- Thanks for adding me [on Facebook]!
- Thanks for inviting me [to your social media page].
- Thanks for sending me an invite [on LinkedIn].
- Thanks for accepting me [on MySpace].
- Thanks for including me [in that Facebook Marvel fan group].
- Thank you so much for thinking of inviting me [on LinkedIn].
- Thank you for adding me [on Facebook].
- I really appreciate you adding me [on MySpace].
- Your [Facebook] invitation means a lot to me. Thank you!
- I am thankful for the opportunity to join your network. Thank you!
Generally speaking, you ought to use more detail when thanking someone for something formally. For example, you may emphasize either a future favor or a past action.
- I’d like to show my appreciation by offering you a raise.
- I’d like to thank you for diligently working on this project.
In formal situations, “appreciation” commonly replaces “thank you.” You will not, however, see it used in informal situations or casual social media posts and messages very often due to its formality.
In any formal case, however, “thanks for the add” will never be the appropriate choice.
Expressions of Gratitude as Minor Sentences
Throughout this article, we labeled “thanks for the add” as a minor sentence. What does that mean? An idiomatic expression can sometimes become so common that it can stand alone — even without a subject or verb. “Thanks for the add” is an excellent example since many use the expression within the same context to communicate the same meaning.
One can assume the context of a phrase when people use it repeatedly in similar contexts over a long period of time or when the masses use the same term to communicate an idea frequently in the same context.
Before long, those doing the thanking and their addressees begin to assume the subject and verb of the expression because they understand the context and expect it.
“Thanks for the add” was once a sentence like “I want to thank you for adding me” or “I give my thanks for adding me [to your social network].”
Thanks to a repeated meaning in the same context, we can now assume who is giving thanks and why they wish to do so – effectively cutting out the subject and a detailed object – which enables us to shorten the expression.
Therefore, while “thanks for the add” is technically missing its subject and verb, it has retained the ability to stand alone as a minor sentence. Social media members have used the phrase so much that they no longer have to communicate every detail.
Other such expressions of gratitude that can stand as minor sentences are:
- Thank you for your time and consideration.
- Thank you.
- Thank you very much.
- Thank you so much for your help.
- Many thanks.
- Thanks a million!
- Thank you so much.
Because these sentences lack a subject and a verb, they are seemingly not complete. Nevertheless, we can infer the subject and verb due to their frequent use in similar settings.
As a result, the object phrase can function as a minor sentence on its own, while those engaged assume the rest based on the familiar context of the speaker and receiver.
If you would like more information on expressions of gratitude as minor sentences, check out these articles: Is It Correct to Say “Thanks for the Invite”? or Is It Correct to Say “Thanks for Checking on Me”?
It is important to note that “thanks for the add” is unique from these other minor sentences of gratitude in that “the add” makes the minor sentence ungrammatical.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
“Add” is only just beginning to take on an informal noun definition due to how frequently “thanks for the add” is used. Even then, this “add” is only listed as an informal noun in British English (source). American English has not yet listed “add” as a noun in and of itself.
“Thanks for the add” is not grammatically correct. People frequently use it online to thank someone for adding them to their social media network.
You may also use it to thank someone for accepting your online group membership request, though you must be careful to thank that person promptly and only through that platform’s messenger.
It is awkward to say or write “thanks for the add” to someone outside of the online social media context because of the situational context difference and the phrase’s grammatical incorrectness.
However, you can skirt this awkwardness by using a grammatically correct form of this minor sentence or by specifically naming what you are thankful for.