Chinese words for Thank You

By Sujanti Djuanda – Chinese teacher at

Chinese Words for Thank you: 感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank, to express thanks for) and 谢谢(xiè​xie=to thank, thank you)

感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank, to express thanks for) and 谢谢(xiè​xie=to thank, thank you) is generally used to express thankfulness when you receive help, got forgiveness, etc from someone.

I. 谢谢(xièxie=to thank, thank you) can be used in formal situation but it’s more used in spoken Chinese. It has several usages, as follows:

1. 谢谢(xièxie=thank you) is used to express a politeness.

Example 1: (formal)

Please wait a moment (formal). Thank you.

请(qǐng=please)稍等(shāo​děng=to wait a moment)。谢谢(xièxie=thank you)。

Compared with Example 1b: (spoken Chinese)

Please wait a moment (spoken Chinese). Thank you.

请(qǐng=please)等(děng=to wait)一下(yī​xià​=a while)。谢谢(xièxie=thank you)。

Example 2: (spoken Chinese)

A: May I use your cell phone?

A:我(wǒ=I)可以(kě​yǐ=may)用(yòng=to use)你的(nǐ​ de=your) 手机(shǒu​jī=cell phone)吗(ma)?

B: 没问题(méi​wèn​tí=no problem)。

A: 谢谢(xièxie=thank you)。

2. 谢谢(xièxie=thank you) is used as the polite refusal language.


A: Do you want to eat dim sum?

A:你(nǐ=you)要(yào=want)吃(chī​=to eat)点心(diǎnxin)吗(ma)?

B: No thanks.

B: 谢谢(xièxie=thank you)。

II.1. 感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank) is generally used in formal or serious situation.

Example 1:

Thank you for flying with Spring Airlines.

感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank)您(nín=you – formal)乘坐(chéng​zuò=to ride as passenger)春秋(chūn​qiū= spring and autumn)航班(háng​bān= airline flight)。

Example 2:

Thank you for choosing to check in Gold Hotel.

感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank)您(nín=you – formal)选择(xuǎn​zé=to select)入住(rù​zhù=to check in at a hotel)金(Jīn=gold)酒店(jiǔ​diàn=hotel)。

2. 感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank) is even stronger emotionally than 谢谢(xièxie=to thank).

Example 1a:

I would like to thank you for your scholarship and encouragement. (stronger emotionally)

我(wǒ=I)想(xiǎng​=want)感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank)您的(nínde=your – formal)奖学金(jiǎngxuéjīn= scholarship)与(yǔ=and – formal)鼓励(gǔ​lì= encouragement)。

Compare with Example 1b: (lesser emotionally)

我(wǒ=I)想(xiǎng=want)谢谢(xièxie=to thank)你的(nǐde=your)奖学金(jiǎngxuéjīn= scholarship)和(hé=and)鼓励(gǔlì= encouragement)。

Example 2a:

Don’t thank me, thank God! (stronger emotionally)

别(bié=don’t)感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank) 我(wǒ=I),感谢(gǎnxiè=to thank) 上帝(Shàng​dì=God)吧(ba)!

Compare with Example 2b: (lesser emotionally)

别(bié=don’t)谢谢(xièxie=to thank)我(wǒ=I),谢谢(xièxie=to thank)上帝(Shàng​dì=God)吧(ba)!

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