How to Show Appreciation in Words

Is there a more tired sentiment than a quickly thrown out "thank you" or "much appreciated"? Yet for employers and employees, vendors and clients, family and friends, even acquaintances and neighbors, showing appreciation for what a person means to you or has done for you is absolutely necessary.

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How Do You Express Gratitude?

There are many ways you can express gratitude and appreciation - in a thank you note, in a gift, in an action, or in person. Your well-meaning words don't have to come across as banal and trite, especially if they're from the heart. If you're wondering just how to show appreciation, try some of these words of appreciation to get you started.

They're not sentimental or sappy, but each phrase expresses something about a relationship that lifts the heart or makes the day-to-day stresses more manageable. Take the time today to tell someone "I appreciate you" in a meaningful way.

Words of Thanks and Support

Demonstrating thanks and support is crucial, both because it encourages people to help in the future and, far more importantly, because it’s just the right thing to do. We’ve put together several articles to help you express your sincere thanks in the clearest, most engaging way.

  • Using the right words to thank a teacher shows that their work is appreciated. Sentiments like, “You do such a great job day in, day out! Keep it up” or “God bless you for always being there to cheer and to guide” can inspire your favorite teachers in their down moments.
  • Choosing words to thank volunteers helps them feel as valuable as they are. Tell them you recognize their hard work and dedication. “You are the heart and soul of this team. I appreciate your dedicated commitment” is a great sentiment. Or, “I just wanted to let you know the things you do for our organization do not go unnoticed. I appreciate your dedication and service, and I know others do too!”
  • If you need words of appreciation suitable for any occasion, simple statements like “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment” or “I really appreciate your belief in me” can go a long way.

Thank You Messages for Notes and Cards

Some say writing thank you notes is a lost art. Not us! We’ve transposed the noble thank you note into all sorts of useful contexts and brought it into the digital age.

  • Our examples of words for thank you notes will set you up to express your gratitude in any number of ways. “You're not only on the right track, but you also set the course for the rest of us” has a special significance that goes beyond casual conversation.
  • Bridal thank you notes are more specific, of course. After a wedding, it’s important to let the people who helped you know they’re valued. A sentiment like, “Your love and support will always be remembered” is a wonderful way to honor the people who worked hard to bring about your special day.
  • Thank you notes for baby showers can be part of the celebration, thanking your friends and loved ones for joining you in this important phase of life. A heartfelt thought like, “If I tried to tell you how much I appreciate you, I'd be talking for the rest of my life” can show your friends how much you honor their love and time.
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Creative Ways to Show Appreciation

Looking for a fun, out-of-the-box way to say thank you? Here’s some inspiration to help you get started.

  • Our list of ways to say thanks in different languages can add a touch of flair to your message. Try “mahalo” or “danke schoen” instead of plain old “thank you!”
  • Have a look at our slideshow with five creative ways to say thanks. Have you considered saying thanks with a banner or professional sign?
  • Browse our quotes on thankfulness for just the right sentiment. Call on wise words from the ancients and contemporaries alike. As Oprah once said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.”

On Thankfulness

Gratitude is meaningless unless it is shared. When people please or surprise you, you should always offer your heartfelt thanks. A few words of appreciation are always an appropriate way to show gratitude, support or encouragement.


YourDictionary has more examples of words of appreciation in our collection of encouraging words for every occasion. Borrow a few to perfect your message.