1. Merci (mekh*-see)
Merci is the most common way to say “thank you” in French. The response you may hear is de rien, which literally translates to “from nothing”, meaning “you’re welcome”. You might also hear avec plaisir which means “with pleasure”.
Fun fact: merci is also used commonly in French-speaking countries across the MENA region as well as in Farsi-speaking countries!
* The letter “r” in a French word is pronounced as a soft version of the Arabic “kh”, like in the word “Khaled”.
2. Merci infiniment (mekh-see an-fee-nee-man)
You can combine merci with adverbs such as beaucoup, mille fois, infiniment to form expressions such as merci beaucoup (thank you very much), merci bien (thanks a lot), merci mille fois (thank you a thousand times) and the strongest, merci infiniment translating to “thanks infinitely”.
3. C’est très gentil à toi/vous (seh tkheh jan-tee a twa/voo)
In more formal settings, one might say “that’s very kind of you”. It generally follows merci and can be used when someone does you a favor.
A useful tip: if you’re thanking an elder, or in a situation that requires you to use the polite form, use the formal counterpart of toi which is vous, applicable to both men and women, to a single person or to a group of people: “C’est très gentil à vous!”
4. Merci de tout coeur (mekh-see dah tu ker)
A heartfelt phrase meaning “thank you with all my heart”. It’s also sometimes used with the verb j’espère, to express hope. For example: J’espère de tout coeur que tu vas réussir cet examen, meaning “I hope with all my heart that you’ll pass this exam”.
5. Cimer (see-mekh)
Spice up the standard merci by using its inverse, “cimer”. Caution: this word is French slang, also known as “verlan”, for “thanks” and used mostly in conversations in younger crowds.