Never end your email with “Thanks in advance”

There is a new trend in email writing to send someone a request and then sign it with “Thanks in advance.” or even worse “Thanks in advance!!!“. I find this trend bordering on offensive.

What do you imply when you use this phrase? Thanks or thank you is an expression of gratitude or acknowledgement of something someone has done. In the non-email world it is a word you say after or during the action you are grateful for but not something you say concurrently with asking someone to do something. In the non-email world the “thank you” usually quickly follows the request because the action you have requested or at least agreement to carrying out that action quickly follows the request.

However, in the world of email this is not the case. When you ask someone to do something over email by the time they read to the end of the email they have neither done what you have asked nor have agreed. Thus the “thanks in advance!” precedes any action or communication on their side. In the non-virtual world this might look something like asking a waiter:  “Could you bring me another drink. Thanks in advance!” or asking your spouse to pick up some bread on the way home and saying “thanks in advance!” before they can agree or respond. I suspect both of these approaches would inhibit you from getting both bread…and water. Thus by saying thanks in advance you short-change the interaction by presuming this person will do something even before they have agreed.

Another problem with this phrase is it implies that your obligation to say thank you is done and you don’t need to express gratitude after the person actually does what you have asked them to do. It is another way you shortcut the interaction and make the receiver feel left out.

Of course people who write thanks in advance aren’t trying to be offensive or presumptuous but that’s how it comes across (particularly to the native eye). Instead try one of these alternatives:

  • I really appreciate any help you can provide.
  • I will be grateful if you can send me this information.
  • Many thanks for considering my request. (Thus acknowledging that you are grateful for the recipient to even read your email.)
  • I hope what I have requested is possible. 
  • In the meantime, thank you so much for your attention and participation.

Just give the “in advance” a rest. And always thank someone after they have done what you asked (or even simply considered it and told you it’s not possible). It may seem like a small thing but well-said gratitude goes a long way.

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About Jessica Jewell

Jessica Jewell is a Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
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63 Responses to Never end your email with “Thanks in advance”

  1. Kyle Ramirez says:

    You hit the nail right on the head. I don’t know what’s worse, this or being, “You’re welcome,”‘d in advance, without making a decision to give thanks. laughable

    Like

  2. Natalia says:

    “Thank you for your consideration on this matter”?

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      excellent!

      Like

      • Muris says:

        Let us see comment by Lynn
        Thank You in Advance
        In email, letters, and memos that include a request, writers often end with one of these statements:

        “Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.”
        “Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.”
        In comments on another blog post this week, one writer said she hated “Thank you in advance” and another wanted to know why the phrase deserves hatred.

        People hate the phrase for a couple of reasons. One is that it feels presumptuous. The writer presumes that you will provide what is requested and so is “thanking you in advance.” Would the proper response be “You are welcome in advance”? That silly suggestion shows how “Thank you in advance” comes across wrong.

        “Thank you in advance” also suggests that the reader will not be thanked later on, after fulfilling the request. If the reader receives thanks in advance, will his or her actions be thoughtlessly ignored?

        Of course, people who write “Thank you in advance” do not intend to be presumptuous or thoughtless. On the contrary, they are trying to be polite. If you are among them, here are courteous alternatives to consider:

        “Thank you for considering my request.” (Just by reading to the end of your message, your reader has considered your request.)
        “I will be grateful for any help you can provide.”
        “I will appreciate your help with this situation.”
        “I hope you will be able to provide the information.”
        You can also sound polite by simply omitting the “in advance”:

        “Thank you for any help you can provide.” (But be sure to thank the individual after you receive the help too.)
        I began with the example “Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.” That sentence has two offending phrases. The second one is “for your attention to this matter.” That bureaucratic expression has appeared in billions of letters, especially ones asking for late payments. It’s so tired after being spit out of typewriters and computers for decades. Give it a rest. Replace it with something more specific that fits your situation.

        Thank you in advance for avoiding the above phrases.

        Just kidding.

        Lynn

        Like

      • Muris says:

        It means you are expecting help from people who are willing to help you, not that you’re commanding other people to help you.
        What would be rude and commanding would be “Thank you for your help”, in my opinion, because it implies the help must occur.
        Also, all of these formulations, because they are commonly used, carry a lot of implicit meaning with them, and those meanings may differ for different writers or readers. For me, for example, “thank you in advance” includes “thank you for reading”, “thank you for trying to help if you can”, “I’ll be grateful if you give me an answer” and “sorry for the time you spend on it” (the last one in all cases).
        If someone reading me finds it’s rude, he can always suggest me a form that would suit him better, but I would only be careful with my messages to him, not others.

        Like

  3. Gizella says:

    Dear Jessica,
    In our country, it is very common to say or to write (in non-email world) “thank you in advance” (more formal) or just “thanks in advance” (less formal), so I think it depends on your home country whether you find this trend bordering on offensive, or not.
    Yours
    Gizella (Hungary) :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wisnu says:

      I do agree with Gizella for this one. In my country this is kind of a polite way to ask other people to do something for you. especially if he/she is older/higher level than you or you just know him/her.
      But aniway, you can say thanks again after the job is done.
      I have work with spanish and other asian colleagues. and we have discussed this so often. And we have the final conclusion, that this is only a matter of difference in each country’s culture and expressions.
      Regards.

      Like

      • Aleh Cherp says:

        I work with students from over 80 countries and I find that what is sometimes considered polite in some cultures (e.g. saying “Sir” all the time) is on the border of amuzing, irritating and impolite in some other cultures. “Thanks in advance” as well as “sorry for disturbing” (at the beginning of each and every email) is in this category.

        Like

      • Jessica Jewell says:

        It’s definitely possible that in other languages (or even cultural contexts) “thanks in advance” is less offensive. For my American-english ear, this phrase is like nails on a blackboard. Keep in mind that the ubiquity of a phrase (particularly in non-native contexts) does not imply its appropriateness or even correctness.

        Like

      • xtlight says:

        Jessica, if the sender wasn’t smart enough to consider that you might be offended by this phrase, you can always check if he is a native speaker or not and take it into account before projecting your thoughts on the other party being potentially rude.

        I really don’t get how people from the US or any native English speaking country treat the English language their sole property. Having a language spoken by billions across the globe your mother tongue is an advantage when you are involved in an international community because most of us have to learn English beside our own language. Please consider that the majority of the speakers of your language isn’t a native speaker and their cultural background also tend to add to “your” language whether you like it or not.

        Like

    • It may be not by accident that I also found this page – not saying, useful, but at least, disturbing enough not to dare to use this again in my emails.
      Henrik (Hungary)

      Like

  4. I find your post interesting. For several reasons. Worth describing.
    1. You give a good advice (not use this, use this instead in order not to be rude). So far, so good.
    2. Your advice is right, I guess. Specially when you point to the fact that the person asked to do something has not YET agree on that. Of course. We all know that. And we all also know that the phrase is a polite way of pressing the person asked to agree. You can call that rude. But to the asker is the best (or only) way that he/she finds to try to convince the person asked.
    3. It looks like in several countries they don’t see that as offensive. And when they point you that, you react with more energy in sustaining you (possibly right) point of view. I’m sorry, but IMHO you are the rude here, imposing your point of view. May be you can think of that the next time you as a waiter for water, and you’ll see that you can give him thanks in advance AND also later, what you have your water. Now, is that a big issue?
    4. Anyway, I guess you are right, and the thanks-in-advance people are showing themselfs (ourselfs?) as a low education people. Thanks for pointing it put, I’ll keep it in mind.
    Regards,

    Like

  5. Italian reader says:

    I think you’re too sensitive and touchy Anglo-Americans. This is demonstrated by the tirade of a formal question like this: a statement of courtesy, without any malice, is transformed into an offense.
    I think we should always look to the spirit and soul with whom our interlocutor speaks or writes, and affect our reaction only to that.

    Thanks in advance for your attention. (OOOOOps !!)

    Like

  6. Alexei says:

    The Russian equivalent of this phrase is considered OK for a business letter in Russian correspondence, and, I believe, people thoughtlessly translate it word-for-word when they write formal letters for English speakers. I’ve never actually thought that it can be inappropriate. Culture differences strike again :)

    Like

  7. Jessica Jewell says:

    I think this is definitely a matter of culture. However, I receive just as many “thanks in advance” messages from native speakers as from non-native. Usually no malice is meant by it. And if one stops to think, typically it’s not said in irony. However, when dealing a pile of email, a little phrase can affect one’s feeling towards an email and inclination to answer. I recently received a request from a student to write a recommendation for him on linked in. He concluded with “Thanks in advance.” As the last message in my inbox I just couldn’t face writing a recommendation after being “Thanked” in advance. (He was a very good student so I did return to it later).

    Please keep in mind that a cultural tip while it may seem picky may help you get what you want. Recently, when writing a letter to the French government, a friend helped me craft the following as a closing (I have translated it from the original which is at the bottom of this comment).

    “Finally, I thank you kindly for considering my application and all its pieces. I am at your disposal for any further information and thank you for your understanding.

    I beg you to accept the expression of my highest regards,”

    Would we ever write this in English? No of course not. Was I offended when my french friend told me that my abbreviated one line closing was completely insufficient and that I would never get what I wanted if I sent it as is? Of course not again.

    So take these cultural suggestions as suggestions. If you’d like to continue thanking people in advance best of luck! Also keep in mind that most people won’t tell you when a little phrase like this annoys them but you may be able to guess it from their response (or lack thereof).

    =================================
    “Par conséquent, je vous remercie de bien vouloir faire votre possible pour prendre en compte mon dossier à partir des pièces que j’ai pu rassembler. Je me tiens à votre disposition pour tout complément d’information et vous remercie par avance pour votre compréhension.

    Je vous prie d’accepter l’expression de mes sentiments distingués,”

    Like

    • Jay says:

      I liked learning your reasoning why you felt a bit annoyed or even disappointed to hear the phrase in question “thank you in advance”.

      If you would allow me, I would like to share my perspective on how some people say this phrase with the purpose of good intention to the recipient, and by no means in bad intention at all, be that may hidden or explicit.

      When you are saying this phrase, while you may come across as being a bit assertive on your request to the recipient, you are assuring the recipient that upon conceding to the request you’ve made, you will promise to the recipient that s/he’s help will be appreciated.
      So, in short, it is quite a suave phrase to show all the gratitude for your request if the person concedes to do, but if that person doesn’t then obviously you indicate to the recipient that you wouldn’t necessarily have to feel thankful, which in its strictest sense is true, and do we really deserve to hear thank you for even listening to someone’s request that you are going to say no to anyway? I’d say why not spare them for more important occasions.

      So from this perspective, the person who asks for a request shows that s/he will do his/her best to make the best out of the bargain, but then again, the right for the recipient to decide the proposal request still faithfully remains to the recipient and it has never been, and will never be, violated at all. So don’t get upset for declining a thank you, although of course, it would be great if we can get as much as we want and help as much as we want! Then, “thank you in advance” shouldn’t really sound that bad after all!

      Like

  8. H. says:

    I’ve found your post very enlightening. I’m a non native english speaker, and can also say that would be pretty normal to say “thanks in advance” in my culture. But since we are speaking english, why not do it right, right? So, ok. Point taken and I wont write it.
    But what troubles me there is that all this debate may be confusing the action you are ‘thanking for’. I think when one says “thanks in advance” (unless the person wants to be explicitly unpolite) s/he is thanking his interlocutor not for doing what was asked but for considering it. So, of course if the answer is positive you should say “thanks” again. And also, I don’t think your examples were very good, because that is clearly an expression that you (not you, I know) use trying to be formal and polite (although I think there is nothing wrong in saying ‘thanks’ for a waiter once order something, even though he did not brought it yet… and I even saw native english speakers doing it already.)
    Nice post. Thank you.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      H: A clarification. When I talk about “Thanking in advance” a waiter I mean thanking before he/she has agreed. Usually the way an interaction goes in person is you make eye contact with the waiter and say “Can I please have some water”. The waiter nods or agrees in some way and then you say “Thank you.” This isn’t rude. One doesn’t ask for water without making eye contact with the person and waiting for some reply. (At least good customers ;).)

      Like

  9. kunio says:

    this topic let me think there’s something wrong in every conversation that i did in english. i realize that english’s not my native language but that’s not the real problem for me. the real problem is why do people think the people who use thank you in advance is “persumptuous”. We all say thank you in advance just because we want to express feeling grateful that might we don’t have enough time to say it later, may be that’s right there’s difference cultur in every country but i though we all have been united in one language called english. so i think it doesn’t matter if there is a man or woman use thank you in advance because i know people can understand that there are many people who coming from different country and culture

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      It certainly is difficult to communicate in a non-native tongue. Luckily english is not as strict or difficult to navigate as say french or german (with vous and tu or Sie and Du). Of course with time people typically realize that no malice is meant by these little mistakes but fitting into the idiosyncratic aspects of a language can make one’s life easier.

      Like

      • BlackSeaGold says:

        Hi!
        I strongly disagree with your stance on “tank you in advance”. By signing off this way, I mean exactly that — I thank the other person for what they’re going to do for me when they read my request. This is a polite way to re-state that I expect them to do what I’m asking.

        Like

  10. Cristobal says:

    I’m not an English native speaker and you just made me realize how many times I’ve unfortunately used the “in advance” sentence.
    Many thanks for clearing that up!

    Like

  11. Hasenpriester says:

    “Thanks in advance” is commonly used in eurasia, even in the UK ;)
    So it´s probably not an english issue but rather an american one :p

    Like

  12. Rick says:

    In the Netherlands, it’s completely normal. ”Bij voorbaat dank” is used at the end of all kinds of e-mails. Also, i don’t think it’s annoying/offensive at all.

    Like

  13. Anne-Céline says:

    Amazing how this subject is perduring over years! Very interesting indeed… I fell upon it while looking for a nice translation of the very common french sentence ” vous en remerciant par avance” … I was ashamed, reading Jessica’s first post, of using it quite often in french as I understood it can be considered as very demanding and annoying.
    And then I was relieved when I realized that, in french we have got two expressions slightly different: “par avance” et ” d’avance”, “Par avance ” would denote a sincere mark of gratefulness in expectation, while “d’avance” expresses a more imperative and somewhat negligent request.. “Merci d’avance”, like “in advance”, is somewhat rude, but not “merci par avance”…

    Like

  14. I am a politician,:I want to thank the people for reading my program and (I hope) voting me at the election day (due next week) .

    I am a city manager and I want to thank the volunteers that (tomorrow) will do their best to cook spaghetti at the poor-party-lunch.

    I am Giovanni and I want to thank you (in advance ? noooo) for forgiving my non-native English.

    It seems that under the above circumstances we Italians would say – Ringraziamenti anticipati (literally anticipated thanks) . And you Brits?

    Thank you in mmmmm

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      As an American, I would simply say “Thank you” for most of those cases (program readers and volunteers). For voters (before voting), I probably wouldn’t say “thank you” but rather give a promise. American politicians also typically thank supporters along the journey. Hope that helps and maybe a Brit can chime in.

      Like

      • Mike Seckerson says:

        Jessica.

        I’d like to say that I, a “Brit”, have no problem with the ‘thank-you-in-advance’ type of pre-emptive gratitude; in fact several of my pupils have used it when e-mailing me for specific help with, say, some homework in advance of a lesson. I find it perfectly polite and quite charming too.

        I thank you in advance for your kind and courteous attention to these points.
        Mike the Real.

        Like

  15. dear JJ, I fear there is a misunderstanding between us, due to language and culture barrier.
    What we do mean with “Ringraziamenti anticipati” depends on
    – tone of voice
    – how you move your hands
    – counterpart
    – circumstances.
    Instances are:
    – You pay me back in two days. Thank you. (Or else you are dead meat)
    – You pay me back in two days. Thank you. (Or else I cannot buy the prescription for poor auntie)
    – The bridge must be ready before the Czar’s arrival. Thank you.

    Are you, the Americans, such a simple people that you don’t beg, don’t warn, don’t menace? you just say ‘thank you’?

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Of course we beg, menace and warn. But I frequently see “Thanks in advance.” used inappropriately in English. For example, a former student of mine recently asked me to write him a recommendation letter and ended it with “Thanks in advance”. This is completely inappropriate. If I am writing him a recommendation letter I am doing him a favor and being thanked in advance makes me less inclined to do that favor. Thanks in advance has specific (somewhat rude) connotation in English. If that’s what you’re going for in your letter or speech then by all means use it but be aware of the connotations.

      Like

  16. Dear J.J.,
    I understand that you consider.’thank you in advance’ to be rude because it short cuts the conversation in two ways. I’m a native Dutch speaker and I also wondered why we use this phrase in Dutch (where it’s considered polite and even mandatory in formal correspondence). I however, think that the ‘thank you in advance’ doesn’t necessarily refer to the request itself but just to the attention you might give to the letter/e-mail in which the request is made. That’s how I try to make sense of it.

    Like

    • mmm

      Jeremiah Crookfeller (to his daughter) – I am warning you IN ADVANCE, Pettybum,
      marry that Joe Banana and will not get a penny from my pocket.
      Pettybum – What do you mean with that IN ADVANCE, daddy?

      Like

  17. tacc says:

    I think one of the main reasons this phrase is used so often in the world of email is the fact that in contrast to the real world you know you won’t talk to the other person again after he has taken the action. There’s probably no one in the business world who would write an email just to say “Thank you”. So for my eye this still looks like a polite way of expressing your appreciation for the upcoming effort. (Usually, the other person will do it anyway. If this is really questionable I kind of agree with you that it is more polite to express your appreciation in another way.)
    Furthermore I can think of situations in the real world where you would thank someone in advance, too. Like if you ask someone to deliver a message. In most cases you wouldn’t call “Did you tell him?” – “Yes” – Thanks.”, you would just say “Thanks” in advance.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Right but in the real-world one typically acknowledges the request: “sure I can call him”. (Like the example of the waiter and the water in the post).

      Like

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  19. steffchef says:

    Reblogged this on Life Trotter Corner and commented:
    It definetly felt wrong to use this phrase, but alternative example phrases were indeed really helpful. Thank you for making my email day!

    Like

  20. Steffen says:

    I just came across this post as I wanted to figure out if “Thank you in advance” or “Thanks in advance” is more common, as I am not a native english-speaker.
    Turns out, YOU suggest (not to say command) me not to use neither one of them because YOU feel offended by reading those phrases. In fact, I find the heading of this article more offending than any email I could imagine you have ever received from one of your students.
    The alternative example phrases you provide are, of course, by far more polite. But I believe we are dealing here with your personal attitude towards your students and not willing to receive any requests from them without their complete submission.
    Beyond that, the example with the waiter is not remotely comparable. In this case, it is the job of the waiter to bring you the water. Of course, this is common courtesy, but no one has to thank the waiter to get a water. In case of your students, the “Thanks in advance” is just a polite way to show their appreciation that you will possibly look into the matter.
    I will be grateful if you would reconsider your perception of the “Thanks in advance” phrase.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Thanks for your comment Stefan. The vast majority of our impression of the world is from our subconscious rather than conscious reaction to things. My advice in this article is based on reflections of my own subconscious reaction to this single phrase. Bulgarians nod to say “no” and shake their heads to say “yes”. The British, South Africans and Australians (among others) drive on the left side of the rode. When I visited Bulgaria, even though I knew of the different head moving customs, I still got confused anytime someone said yes with a shake and no with a nod. Similarly, in Australia I almost stepped into oncoming traffic even though I knew that I should be looking right for oncoming traffic when entering a road rather than left. My point is that we can’t control our subconscious perceptions. Our brain takes shortcuts all the time whether we like it or not. Even when reading innocent emails.

      Like

  21. Michael says:

    My professors would disagree. I attend a large university where professors have thousands of students each. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the “please don’t send me thank-you emails” speech. Example: The professor tells the students to email her if they want their scantron back from an exam. 600 Students email her. She manages a quick “will do” email. She gets 600 more “thank you” emails. I always say “thanks in advance” when emailing professors and they all appreciate it.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Thanks for your comment Michael. A good example of when the rule of thumb of always sending a thank you email doesn’t apply. But I’m not sure how you know that all the professors appreciate receiving “thanks in advance”.

      Like

  22. Wilco Laan says:

    I recently used these sentences:
    “It would be great when you can send your answers this week or coming week.
    Thanks in advance!!!”

    I don’t find them offensive at all. By using “thanks in advance” you persuade and expect your audience to do something. Without this “thanks in advance” I would get half the result.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Thanks Wilco for your comment but I disagree. You definitely communicate your expectations to your audience with “thanks in advance” but I don’t think “thanks in advance” is persuasive. It depends though on how you relate to your audience. My experience is that it’s easier to attract bees with honey (respectful and grateful communications) then with vinegar (presumptuous and somewhat aggressive communications).

      Like

  23. MJ says:

    Just wondering if the student who asked you say “Thank you for very much everything”, would you be less offended?

    Like

  24. Arijit says:

    Hi, I think to say that “never end your email with thanks in advance” is incorrect, as it depends on the context. As pointed out by many in other comments. I particularly use this phrase at the end of an email when I am expecting something from someone which is overdue. I find this expression a very good way to remind the person in the other end that he/she is late in delivering something that has been agreed before in a not so aggressive way, and it does work. But yes, this expression should be used with proper discretion. Also, thanks for letting us know in US culture it is considered offensive, which is a good lesson for me.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Arijit you’re right. It is a “not so aggressive way” of reminding someone of your expectations. To me, it’s actually passive aggressive, which is something I try to avoid no matter who I’m dealing with, for the simple reason that passive aggression poisons the communication with bitterness and often resentment.

      Like

  25. Kerem says:

    I think it is presumptuous to think that “thank you in advance” is presumptuous. English goes global, you know. Hence, you may want to listen to the Italianreader who politely drew your attention to the fact that one should pay attention to the context rather than subjective perception. An advice like the one you are giving sounds like: “I know better how you should use English, since I am a native speaker.” Honestly, this sounds so pretentious I had to comment on this post. Whatever your aspirations to teach people how to speak — and write — in English properly are, this is a prescriptive advice that — in my humble opinion — doesn’t worth a penny. You are free to continue to be offended by the use of a phrase to which you assigned some subjective meaning. Just, please, don’t put yourself into position to teach other people how to use it.

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Thanks for your reply Kerem. I wrote this post not as a “native english speaker” but to share my insight into my own (subconscious) reaction to the phrase. The majority of our response to the world happens without our conscious involvement. At the same time people are overwhelmed by demands on their time and attention. So anything I can do to make this input smoother for those I come into contact with I do. Of course whether or not you follow my advice is completely up to you. You can even do an experiment! And send 100 requests with “Thanks in advance” and 100 requests without. Would be interesting to see the results!

      Like

  26. Bash says:

    I think, “Thanks in advance” can be used to express
    1) courtesy
    2) making listener to work on the request :P
    3) sender is just informing recipients that thanks mail will not be sent to their inbox later – most of the time, I usually meant this  as , I know it will be fulfilled :P
    4) To me, it looks quite humble and not offensive.
    Moreover, nothing is offensive , just depends on one’s perception :).

    Like

  27. I don’t see anything wrong in closing a message with, “Thanks in advance” or “Thank you for your understanding”. It’s a matter of courtesy. I do it every time I make a request, and get positive results (by the way) – which means recipients do not find it offensive at all.

    Like

  28. Karlo says:

    For years I have been using “thank you in advance” in my business correspondence. Never once did I think I would be offending anyone by that phrase. And only recently have I learned that it might be considered presumptuous. And now I will explain why you are completely off the mark here. The phrase, as used, is in fact incomplete. In most cultures where it is a common part of correspondence the full phrase would in fact be “thank you in advance, IF you do (what is requested in the message) for me”. But the last part is just assumed and never openly stated.
    When I write “thank you in advance” I am using that phrase to give someone benefit of the doubt that this person is not some lazy punk who will throw away my message and request, but a kind and honorable person who will fulfill my request to the best of their abilities for what they are to be thanked (at any time). Thus the phrase is actually a way of complimenting someone, not insulting them.

    Like

  29. Larry Page says:

    I think you are forgetting at least about one important case.

    That is, when the person you are “thanking in advance” actually _has_ to do the thing you are asking, but you want to sound polite. Plus, the person making the request wants to convey the recipient has to do the job

    Subordinates or people having to do something seldom like being given orders in a too direct manner (except perhaps in military institutions)

    Like

  30. Alex Mercury says:

    Thank you Jessica, very useful article.

    Like

    • Dee Dee says:

      This post perfectly describes my feelings about this. Thanking someone in advance often comes off as presumptuous, demanding, or even a bit passive aggressive, depending on context and overall tone, of course. I know that some people habitually use this phrase with the best of intent, so I don’t hold it against them; it just does not inspire my prompt cooperation.

      Like

  31. Elaine says:

    I don’t think this is always true. In some roles, you pretty much have to action certain requests, so “thanks in advance” can be a way to cushion the request- effectively an order. In these cases it would be unlikely to receive a follow-up e-mail thanking someone. Take for example a senior academic asking a secretary to rearrange a meeting. S/he knows it will be a hassle to contact everyone at short notice, so s/he expresses gratitude, but s/he also knows it will definitely be done, the secretary can’t negotiate. Likewise the academic might not get the chance (or think) to express thanks after the event. I think a lot depends on who the two people are and their working relationship.

    Now I have just seen several comments to this effect!

    Like

  32. Sean Yooon says:

    I’m not a native English speaker.
    so I always got trouble to write email in English.

    I googled “Thank you in advance” and saw your article.
    It really works good for me.
    it’s very userful. Thank you Jessica

    Like

  33. Vick says:

    Jessica, thank you so much for this article!

    Like

  34. Neka william says:

    Thank you so much for your advice on alternative to thank you in advance!

    Like

  35. Alexander says:

    Are you kidding me? I think this post proves towards something even more interesting which could be labelled “People will complain about anything” something I feel applies to pretty much every single induvidual in their teens to their late 30’s these days that spend the majority of their time on social medias twittering and sharing status updates about their important opinions on everything.

    Now I know why this phrase grinds you gears.
    You have somehow convinced yourself that people end their messages with this note as if you left a bunch of papers for a coworker so you could go relax on the weekend, but did it ever occur to you that it might actually be a genuine gesture that is used simply because you want to sound like you actually care for the help this person might want to offer you?
    If not, well at least the person read your message and regardless you thanked them for their time.

    Seriously, stop complaining about every single little thing in this world.

    Like

  36. zauker says:

    I disagree.
    First, it would be necessary to distinguish the type of conversation: Commercial? confidential?
    In business communications, there are ritual formulas as “dear sirs” or “best regards.”
    In Italy in the commercial communication is good practice to use the formula “Thanks in advance”.
    It is not at all considered to be offensive, so it’s a polite way to say thank you.
    This phrase is often placed as a ritual formula at the end of a letter, immediately before the greetings.
    The use of English in international communication implies that the partners are not always just British or American, English is often used between people of different nationalities, with different cultures.
    The use of English as a medium of exchange do not think that should involve the compliance of communication to those who are feeling, shape, and British/American culture.
    I also find it offensive when Americans in Florence eat a hamburger and Coke instead of a local food and a good glass of wine, but I think that is part of the freedom of the individual. ;)

    Like

    • Jessica Jewell says:

      Thanks Zauker for a very thoughtful response! I think in a formal business letter it is different then in an email. Like the Americans in Florence eating a hamburger, it’s all about context. In any case there are lots of other options which don’t sound like fingernails on a chalkboard so I’d stick with those :).

      Like

  37. Jeandré says:

    Dear sir or madam, or to whom it may concern.

    Please note that, pursuant to your request, be advised that there is information in this message I am sending you. As you already know, I am enclosing the above mentioned information herein for your information.

    Permit me to say that I trust that you will find this useful, in my humble opinion.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

    Sincerely yours,
    Mawkish Banality, Esq.
    Department of redundancy department

    Like

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