Being polite pays off in almost any situation. And it makes living together in a community much nicer.
I know the 1950s cliché of happy families in Hollywood movies and TV series was a bit over the top. But wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all used less swear words and started being nicer to each other instead?

Being polite as a tourist or as a temporary worker or student in a foreign country is even more important. In order to be accepted and find new friends in your new home country, politeness is an absolute necessity.
So let’s start with the basics and have a look at the various ways to say thank you very much in German.

How do you say thank you very much in German

Vielen Dank

This is the most basic form and suits every occasion. It is the equivalent of “many thanks” and you will hear it a lot in Germany or other German speaking countries.

Danke

This is the abbreviated form and equals the English “thanks”. It is well suited in situations in which you want to express your gratitude without being too excited.
Example:
Kannst du mir bitte den Ketchup geben? Danke.
Can you pass me the ketchup please? Thanks.

Danke sehr

The equivalent of “thanks a lot”. Suitable in most occasions. Slightly less formal, but still very polite.

Dankeschön

Literally translates as “thank you beautifully”. Again, fitting in any instance.

Vielen vielen Dank

If you really want to stress how grateful you are, you may double the “vielen”. It’s the same as saying “many many thanks” or “thanks a lot”.

Ich danke Ihnen

The German form of “I thank you”. Keep in mind that there are two forms of addressing another person in German. The formal “Sie” and the informal “Du”. In this example “Ihnen” is the dative case of “Sie” (both singular and plural).

Ich danke dir

This is the informal variant of the example above. “Dir” is the dative case of “du” (singular only, plural would be “euch”).

Ich bedanke mich

Roughly the same as “I am thanking you” or “I am grateful”.
Example:
Ich bedanke mich für den warmen Empfang.
I am grateful for the warm reception.

So, how do you say thank you very much in German?

As you could see, there are about as many different ways to express your gratitude in German as there are in English. Do you know any other form? Let us know below in the comments.