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How to thank formally

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sb70012, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Hi,

    How can I thank the members of the forum formally?
    I mean which one of my sentences below is (are) good?

    1.Hello dear members, at first I want to thank you for helping us in our English.
    2.Hello dear friends, it’s my duty to thank you for helping us in our English.
    3.Hello dear members, it’s time for me to thank you for helping us in our English.
    4.Hello dear friends, at first I want to thank you for helping us in our English.
    5.Hello dear members, at first I would thank you for helping us in our English.
    6.Hello dear friends, at first I would thank you for helping us in our English.

    Which one is good? I don’t know how to say it formally in a more polite way.
    If you were me (nonnative English speaker) how would you thank formally in the forum?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    It is not usual to be seriously formal on forums, we are all equal1.

    The “dear” should be omitted, although Dear Sir/Madam; Dear John/Mother, etc is a set phrase at the beginning of a formal letter, it is formal and, when used wrongly, it sounds a little uncomfortable: the internet/forums are informal.

    I would not use ‘friends’; ‘members’ is fine. I think to call someone ‘friend’ indicates that you know each other very well indeed and this is not quite true for forums where we have pseudonyms.

    None of your examples are idiomatic. The nearest is probably,

    3.Hello dear members, it’s time for me to thank you for helping us in our English." and I like "it’s time" but

    The “first/at first/firstly” is not required unless there is a very short list (no more than three items which are labelled firstly, secondly, and finally. However, this system also makes the message formal, so omit it.
    with our English.” is better than “in our English.”
    I see you use “we” and “our” - are there more than one of you? Thanks usually come from one person as each account on a forum should be used only by one person. Or are you thanking the members on behalf of a group? If so, I think I would be cautious and speak only for yourself.
    You should avoid “duty” when giving thanks: it sounds as if it is your duty that causes you to give thanks, rather than your natural appreciation.

    3.Hello dear members, it’s time for me to thank you for helping us in our English.”
    =
    3.Hello members, it’s time for me to thank you for helping us with our English. [A sentence or two about what you have appreciated.]”



    1Except the mods who are more equal than others. ;)
     
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    None of these seem quite right from my AE point of view. I think something like this would be closer to "formal" in AE (we'd skip the "hello" and the "dear"):
    I'd like to express my gratitude to the forum members for all their help with my English.

    "Gratitude" sounds a little more formal than "thanks". You could also add an adjective before it, such as heartfelt or deep or profound. As Paul suggests, "our" would be a bit confusing unless you represent a group of people for whom you've been posing questions.
     
  4. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    PaulQ, I don't know how to thank you. I was using wrong deatails while posting. You made everything clear.

    Parla yours was helpful example as well. Thanks so much.

    Thanks so much.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  5. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    OOOh PaulQ so sory I thought your post is Parla's.

    PaulQ, thanks so much for detalied explanation. I should have thanked you first then Parla.

    Accept my apology please if I thanked you late. Yours was more helpful too. Parla thanks as well.

    Just one more thing: Now is it correct to say:

    Hello teachers,

    At first I'd like to express my gratitude to the forum members for all their help with my English.

    (instead of their help, can I say your help?)For example:

    At first I'd like to express my gratitude
    to you forum members for all your help with my English.


    Can I?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Very close. If i could suggest a slight amendment: "At first I'd like to express my gratitude to all you forum members for your help with my English." the "all" before the "you" makes it sound more friendly (Compare with the American dialect y'all - second person plural) but then you do not want to repeat "all" before "help" so that will have to be omitted.
     
  7. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Excellent explanation. Thanks a million PaulQ.
     
  8. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Why "at first"? We use "First" (not "at first"), if something follows. For example, "First, I'd like to thank you for . . . " Second, I want to say that . . . "

    P.S. There is no real need to thank those who help you here, although of course it's nice of you to do so.
     
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Apologies sb70012, I had overlooked "at first". Parla is right. :thumbsup:
     
  10. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Why not (at first)?
     
  11. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    I think it more a convention than anything else. At first, is usually used for a contrast: "At first.... but [then]..." -> "At first, we walked west but then we went south." / "At first, I thought he was laughing but then I saw he was crying."
     
  12. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Thank you. Now I got it.
     

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