The use of "thank you in advance"

Swarovski

Member
Chinese - Mandarine
Is it customary for Western people to put words like "thank you in advance" at the end of a message like the ones in this Wordreference forum? How about in an inquiry letter?

Thank you in advance for answering my question. :)
 
  • Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    You can put it in the forum if you like, but we're quite informal here and it's not necessary.

    In a business letter of enquiry it's normal.
     

    Swarovski

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarine
    I see. So it is used in a formal instead of casual context, isn't it? I think "culture" is an important element in learning a language. Sometimes we know how to say the words grammatically correctly but still sound awkward because they are used culturally inappropriately. That was why I posted the question. Thank you Einstein for the explanation.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Personally, I have never used "in advance" after "Thank you.". I go ahead and say I'm grateful without making it dependent on the other person obeying my commands. ;)
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Normally, one says "thank you" after another person does something - not before. I often use "Thank you in advance," or its informal Internet short form "TIA," when the person who will read something has not yet done what I'm thanking him/her for. It depends on my mood.
     

    Swarovski

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarine
    Personally, I have never used "in advance" after "Thank you.". I go ahead and say I'm grateful without making it dependent on the other person obeying my commands. ;)
    So if you recieve a message that ends with "Thank you in advance," would you feel the writer a bit pushy and rude?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    So if you receive a message that ends with "Thank you in advance," would you feel the writer a bit pushy and rude?
    It makes your good will seem very conditional. Also: I have already done you the favor of opening and reading your message all the way to the end. Why aren't you thanking me for that? I am considering your proposal or problem already. Why aren't you thanking me for that?
     

    Swarovski

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarine
    Normally, one says "thank you" after another person does something - not before. I often use "Thank you in advance," or its informal Internet short form "TIA," when the person who will read something has not yet done what I'm thanking him/her for. It depends on my mood.
    I would like to make sure that I understand you correctly. Are you saying that you will not use TIA the first time? Only after no response has been provided by the reader, you will use the term in the second message, and kind of "reminding" or "demanding" that person to do what you wish him/her to do?
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I wouldn't find it presumptuous unless the request itself had been. Of course it might come at the end of a very rude letter. But if it's a normal, or humble, request I take it as meaning, "thank you for whatever you are able to do for me". I might even interpret it as, "I know I'm asking a lot (and I'm not going to wait to see the results before I thank you)".
     

    Sirius77

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I used to use it at the end of my questions, I never thought it would seem presumptuous.

    That was a way I could thank the one for taking his/her time to read and answer my question.

    I hope I did not offend anyone with that phrase, its just a way of thanking in my point of view.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think that "thank you in advance" displays an expectation that you will perform as asked. If the task deserves a thank you, then it deserves a second bit of correspondence.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would like to make sure that I understand you correctly. Are you saying that you will not use TIA the first time? Only after no response has been provided by the reader, you will use the term in the second message, and kind of "reminding" or "demanding" that person to do what you wish him/her to do?
    I would use TIA the first time in an informal e-mail. I don't think it's rude or pushy. A second message might be rude or pushy, depending on what the message says, but the TIA part (or "thank you in advance" spelled out) is not rude or pushy by itself. It's quite common.
     

    Swarovski

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarine
    I really appreciate that you helped me understand the term from various perspectives. It seems that the phrase is interpreted differntly by different readers. If I don't know my reader well, maybe it would be safer if I say something like, "Thank you for taking time to read my message. I look forward to hearing from you soon"?

    Is the last part considered presumptuous by any of you?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I really appreciate that you helped me understand the term from various perspectives. It seems that the phrase is interpreted differntly by different readers. If I don't know my reader well, maybe it would be safer if I say something like, "Thank you for taking time to read my message. I look forward to hearing from you soon"?

    Is the last part considered presumptuous by any of you?

    I would find that perfectly acceptable.
     

    Stoggler

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have only ever used "Thank you in advence" (or some other similarly-worded stock phrase) when I used to work for a bank and I used to write formal business letters requesting something that was not onerous or not out of the ordinary.

    For me, it has large hints of formal (and perhaps outdated?) business language and I would only use it in such formal written communications, although there's no reason why you wouldn't use it on an internet forum when asking for guidance (and WordReference would be a good place to use it!).

    I wouldn't particulary think it was intrinsically presumptuous, it depends on the circumstances really.
     

    johnydynamic

    Senior Member
    English - US
    As a systems consultant who works on large projects, I will use "Thank you in advance" only in e-mail with parties whose responsibilities include whatever I'm writing about or when following up with someone who has already indicated that they will do something.

    Regards,
    Johny D.
     
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