As a kid, your parents and teachers have taught you to say “thank you” to show politeness. Now that you’re an adult, you might wonder how to write it correctly. Do you have to use a comma after “thank you”?
Read on to learn when to put a comma when saying “thank you.” Then, apply these rules when writing a speech, letter, or email.
Comma After “Thank You”
The most common way to say “thank you” to people is through direct address. For instance, “Thank you, Cameron.” is a complete sentence where the speaker speaks directly to an individual.
Generally, we use a comma when a direct address is beside the message. If the message comes first, put a comma before the name. But when the name comes first, you should include a comma before the message.
- Thank you, Theo.
- Theo, thank you.
- Thank you, Theo, for being such a good friend.
- Thank you for always being a good friend, Theo.
In the third example, the direct address has two commas beside it because it’s in the middle of the sentence.
Sometimes, the sentence continues after the speaker says thank you to someone.
- Thank you, Ron, for listening to my episode about comma rules.
In this case, add a second comma after the name. Doing so will separate the direct address from the rest of the sentence. It also indicates that “Thank you, Ron.” can be a sentence on its own.
Thanks John or Thank You John
The original sentence “Thanks John” should also have a comma to make it “Thanks, John.” The word “thanks” follows the same rule as “Thank you” when there is a direct address.
- Thanks, Mila, for welcoming us.
- Thanks for your never-ending support, Jaime.
- Thanks, Mr. Smith.
- Hannah, thanks for participating in our game night.
If you want to thank more than one individual, add commas between their names.
- Thank you, John, Janice, and James.
- Thanks, John, Janice, and James.
Full Stop After “Thank You” in Email
Comma rules vary according to the sentence structure. In emails, we usually show gratitude every time we sign our name.
It’s a common grammar rule to use commas with a direct address. But when ending emails with gratitude, a full stop can add more clarity. You can simply say “Thank you.” as an entire sentence before typing your email salutation “Regards,” or “Sincerely,”.
You can also just enter your signature after “Thank You.”
There are clear guidelines and procedures for the application for graduation. Please find the attached document for the requirements.
When Not to Use a Comma After “Thank You”
While the simple grammar rule tells us to use a comma after “thank you” when talking to someone, there are exceptions. Take a look at these examples.
- I called to thank you for the new books.
- I must thank you for your continued support of my small business.
Syntax and grammatical rules that a transitive verb always has a direct object after it.
In these kinds of sentences, “thank you” does not function as a phrase. Instead, “thank” functions as a verb, while “you” is a direct object.
To clarify, you could change “thank” for another verb, and the sentence will still have meaning. You could also swap “you” for a new object, and it will still be a correct sentence.
- I called to ask you for the new books.
- I called to thank Dana for the new books.
Where to Put the Comma in Thank You and Have a Great Day
Ideally, we put a comma before the coordinating conjunction “and” to connect two independent clauses.
- Thank you, and have a great day.
This is called an Oxford comma. Other style guides do not require adding this punctuation mark if the independent clauses are short.
- Thank you and have a great day.
You can add a comma after the statement if you have a direct address.
- Thank you and have a great day, Paul.
“Thank You” as a Whole Sentence
“Thank you” is a whole sentence with an implied “I” or “we.”
- “[I] Thank you.”
- “[We] Thank you.”
It’s a complete and whole sentence that can stand on its own, like “Yes.” or “Goodbye.”
“Thanks” is a shortened form for “thank you” that can also end with a period.
“Thank You” as a Noun
You will also encounter sentences that use “thank you” from time to time. A “thank you” can be in the form of a letter or a gift.
- Did you send your aunt a thank you for the help she’s given you?
This is a great example of an interrogative sentence as it asks a question. “Thank you” here refers to a feeling or idea. Therefore, you don’t need to add a comma after it. Below are more examples.
- I sent Billy a thank you, but I don’t know if he received it.
- The supervisor gave you a new desk as a thank you.
Is It “Thank You, Again” or “Thank You Again”?
If you received good news over an email, it might feel polite to show gratitude a couple of times. You can say “Thanks again” or “Thank you again” without a comma. That’s because these two-word phrases can stand on their own as sentences.
“Thank you, Again” is incorrect unless you’re addressing your message to a person named “Again.”
But when using “Thanks again” or “Thank you again” as a salutation, you should still include a comma.
Hi Dr. Thompson,
Thank you for this opportunity! I will be able to attend the event tomorrow.
Is It “No Thank You” or “No, Thank You”?
Another confusing statement you might encounter is “No thank you.” or “No, thank you.” “No thank you” is a correct phrase that means without thanks.
- I got no thank you from him after the celebration.
- Rita took the box; no thank you, no see you.
“No, thank you.” can be used as a complete sentence that means “No, but thank you anyway.”
- “Would you like a slice of cake?”
“No, thank you.”
“Thank You” in Sentence Openers
Whether the phrase “thank you” is present or not, we use a comma for introductory phrases and clauses. These introductory elements precede the main subject and verb of the sentence
- To thank you, Han Country Club would like to offer this gift certificate.
In this sentence, “to thank you” is an infinitive phrase that adds information to the main message. The comma is not for direct address purposes but to separate the introductory phrase.
There’s Always Something to Be Thankful For
Thank you, reader, for reading this guide on when to put a comma after “thank you.” This punctuation mark will make your message clearer and your gratitude more genuine.
Remember to add a comma after “thank you” to separate the direct address from the main statement. But you can also end “thank you” with a period since it can stand alone as a sentence.