“Grazie mille (Thanks a million),” you exclaim to your best friend for helping you move.
“Molte grazie (Thank you so much),” your grandmother expresses after you give her flowers for her birthday.
If you’re studying Italian, you’ll quickly realize that there are several different ways to say thank you in Italian.
Learning a couple different ways to give thanks and express gratitude, especially while you’re in Italy, will go a long way.
Gratitude is the best attitude!
How to Practice Saying Thank You in Italian
Saying thank you is a very common everyday occurrence in Italian, and in most languages. While it’s a small and simple word, as we’ll discuss later, pronunciation issues aren’t uncommon. As with any component of language learning, though, practice makes perfect.
Test Yourself on Quizlet
Quizlet is a wonderful online resource for creating your own flashcards. You can create a stack of flashcards including the expressions of gratitude that you’ll learn in this post, as well as other ones you come across during your studies of the Italian language.
Watch Video Clips on FluentU
It’s helpful to observe how native speakers give or receive thanks in a variety of situations. However, unless you have the opportunity to go and spend time in Italy, your next best option is utilizing the hundreds of authentic Italian videos available on FluentU.
FluentU is an online immersion platform that takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, interviews, clips from documentaries, news segments and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Take notes on how each expression is used and who the audience is. Notice how the tone and phrasing changes depending on the situation!
Find a Language Partner
There are a variety of language exchange apps that’ll connect you with native Italian speakers. HelloTalk and Tandem are both free to download and include this interactive learning option. Interacting with native speakers is an excellent way to improve your Italian and learn how expressions like grazie and molte grazie are used in everyday language.
How to Say Thank You in Italian
Common Expressions Using Grazie
You’ll use grazie at the store, at school, in the office, with family, friends and in endless scenarios with people you don’t even personally know. Grazie can be sincere, jocular, sarcastic and automatic.
Grazie (Thank you)
The simplest form, grazie, is often an automatic response to many everyday interactions.
For example, when the barista gives you the espresso you ordered, if you’re polite, you’ll say grazie.
After you’ve finished your espresso, you might even say this as you leave the cafe:
Grazie, buona giornata. (Thank you, have a good day.)
Grazie Mille (Thanks a Million)
This is exaggerated, effusive Italian at its best. Grazie mille adds more flourish to your everyday expression of gratitude. If a friend has given you half of her sandwich while on your lunch break because you forgot your lunch, you’d definitely want to say:
Grazie mille, stavo morendo di fame! (Thanks a million, I was starving!)
You can also use grazie mille sarcastically. Perhaps your spouse has just given you with stack of bills that needs to be paid immediately. Now’s the time to roll your eyes, wave a fist in the air and sigh, grazie mille.
Molte Grazie (Thank You so Much)
A basic thank you becomes more evocative with a modifier such as molto, which can mean “much,” “very” and “many” in Italian.
It should be noted that the word grazie is also a plural noun and literally means graces in Italian. In the 19th century, to offer thanks, Italians didn’t just say grazie but instead a more formal vi rendo grazie. This means, “I give you my many graces.”
As a result, when you modify the plural feminine noun grazie, the adjective must agree in gender and quantity. Molto, meaning “very” in Italian becomes molte grazie (thank you very much).
It becomes even more fun when you add a superlative modifier to molto. If you really want to add emphasis, add an issimo/a in Italian.
For example, if you’re super grateful that your friend took such great care of your dog, you could say:
Moltissime grazie! (Thank you very super much!)
Tante Grazie (Thanks a Lot)
Tone is everything here. When earnest and heartfelt, tante grazie is really no different than molte grazie. Just a more heightened version of thank you. But if you’re looking for a sarcastic zinger, then this is the phrase for you.
If a colleague has withheld information from you about an important meeting, now’s the time to say:
Tante grazie per la tua schiettezza! (Thank you so much for your forthrightness!)
No, Grazie (No, Thank You)
When declining an offer, a simple no, grazie is sufficient.
Vuoi un tè? (Would you like a tea?)
No, grazie. (No, thank you.)
A Note on Mispronunciation
The “e” is essential.
As you’ve noticed, there’s an “e” at the end of grazie. It’s not grazi. It’s not grassi (that means “fat” in Italian—not a nice way to make new friends.) It’s not gracias (that means “thank you” in Spanish—also not the best way to make new friends in Italy).
Be sure to pronounce the “e” at the end of grazie. It sounds like an eh and if you sound out the whole word, it’s pronounced GRAHT-see-eh.
Regardless of the region or the dialect, the basic word for “thank you” in Italian is always grazie.
Leaving the “e” off is a common mistake many beginner learners make and can quickly become a bad habit. So be careful! If you need further pronunciation assistance, you can also turn to Forvo for help.
Perfecting your grazie is very important!
How to Use Prepositions with Grazie
Often, following your chosen expression of “thank you,” you’ll want to include the specific action or thing that you’re expressing gratitude for. This is when you’ll use a preposition following grazie.
Grazie per + ing Verb (Thank You for + ing Verb)
Imagine you have the most amazing friend in the world. She waters your plants. She cooks for you. And, she’s just so nice. To really thank her you might offer some reasons for your gratitude.
Grazie per aver innaffiato le mie piante! (Thank you for watering my plants!)
Grazie per aver cucinato per me! (Thank you for cooking for me!)
Grazie per essere la mia migliore amica! (Thank you for being my best friend!)
Grazie di + ing Verb (Thank You for + ing Verb)
You can also use grazie di before including a verb. If you wish to continue thanking your amazing colleague or friend you can say:
Grazie di avermi aiutato. (Thank you for helping me.)
Grazie di aver fatto tutto. (Thank you for doing everything!)
Grazie per + Noun (Thank You for + Noun)
Similarly, you may wish to thank someone for a thing. If that’s the case, you’ll begin with grazie per and complete your phrase with the noun you want to use.
Perhaps you also have an amazing colleague who covered for you when you arrived an hour late to work. She also brought you lunch.
Grazie per la tua discrezione. (Thank you for your discretion.)
Grazie mille per il panino. (Thanks a million for the sandwich!)
Grazie di Niente (Thanks for Nothing)
If you really want to stick it to someone and say “thanks for nothing” then offer a spirited, “grazie di niente!”
Maybe the repairmen that was supposed to fix your refrigerator only ended up breaking the freezer too. In a state of frustration, you might say to him, “grazie di niente!”
How to Use the Verb Ringraziare (to Thank)
The verb “to thank” in Italian is ringraziare. You use this verb when you’re thanking someone in a more formal situation. It’s important to use the correct direct object pronouns with this verb, which will depend on your audience. Recall that there’s a singular, plural and formal “you” in Italian.
Ti Ringrazio (I Thank You—When Speaking to Friends or Family)
It’s appropriate to use this phrase when you’re especially grateful for something or someone. Maybe your brother donated his kidney to you! This would be an optimal time to say:
Ti ringrazio dal profondo del mio cuore per il rene! (I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kidney!)
La Ringrazio (I Thank You—When Speaking to a Superior)
When thanking a superior for anything, the most honorific form of thanks is a simple:
La ringrazio! (I thank you!)
If your friend’s grandmother bakes you a cake for your birthday, you’d want to say:
La ringrazio per la bellissima torta! (I thank you for the beautiful cake!)
Vi Ringrazio (I Thank You—When Speaking to a Group)
On occasion, you may wish to formally thank a large group of people. Maybe you’ve just won an Oscar and would like to thank the Academy. You’d then say:
Vi ringrazio per questo onore! (I thank you for this honor!)
Or perhaps you’ve been nominated for class president. This would be a perfect opportunity to say:
Vi ringrazio per questa opportunità! (I thank you for this opportunity!)
In any country and in any language, learning to express gratitude is essential. Kindness, politeness and gratitude go a long way anywhere in the world. Along with learning to say “hello,” “goodbye,” “how are you” and “please,” “thank you” is very important.
Thank you for reading out post on the Italian thank you—now go out there and be kind to one another!
Kristin is the founder of Sauced & Found, a culinary travel and private chef services company based in the South of Italy. She says grazie at least 50 times per day.
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