Merci de / pour = Thank you for

In French, to express thank you for, you will use merci followed by either de or pour.
Here are the different cases:

Merci de/pour [quelque chose] = Thank you for [something]

Merci pour votre compréhension.
Thank you for your understanding.

Merci de votre compréhension.
Thank you for your understanding.

Merci pour le cadeau.
Thank you for the gift.

Merci pour le repas.
Thank you for the meal.

To express thank you for + [noun], you can use either merci de or merci pour + [nom], although:

- either de or pour is colloquial with abstract nouns (votre compréhension, patience, gentillesse...), with merci de being a bit more elegant.

- merci pour is the one you use with actual things (le cadeau, la carte...)

By the way, the expression Merci du cadeau ! is sarcastic in French = What a gift! / Talk about a gift!


Merci de [faire quelque chose]
 = Please [do something] / Thank you for [doing something]

In French, you can use merci de + [infinitif] to express Please + [do something] in a formal/professional context.

Merci de patienter.
Please wait.

Merci d'écouter ce qui suit.
Please listen to what follows.

J'ai vraiment du mal, merci de m'aider.
I'm really struggling, please help me.

Merci de ne pas parler pendant la présentation.
Please do not speak during the presentation.

After a preposition (here de), ne pas both come before the infinitive.

 

ATTENTION :

To express Thank you for + [do-ing] - when you're thanking the person for an action already done - you will use Merci de + [Infinitif Passé] : 

C'était très difficile, merci de m'avoir aidée.
It was very hard, thanks for helping me.

Mes amis, merci à tous d'être venus.
My friends, thank you all for coming.

Sarah, merci d'être venue.
Sarah, thanks for coming.

Paul, merci d'être venu.
Paul, thanks for coming.

Merci d'avoir fait ce gâteau, il était délicieux.
Thanks for making this cake, it was delicious.

 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Préposition

Slang/Expression/Highly Idiomatic

Infinitif passé

Examples and resources

Merci pour le cadeau.
Thank you for the gift.


J'ai vraiment du mal, merci de m'aider.
I'm really struggling, please help me.


Sarah, merci d'être venue.
Sarah, thanks for coming.


Merci de votre compréhension.
Thank you for your understanding.


Merci de patienter.
Please wait.


Mes amis, merci à tous d'être venus.
My friends, thank you all for coming.


Merci pour votre compréhension.
Thank you for your understanding.


Merci d'écouter ce qui suit.
Please listen to what follows.


Paul, merci d'être venu.
Paul, thanks for coming.


Merci d'avoir fait ce gâteau, il était délicieux.
Thanks for making this cake, it was delicious.


Merci pour le repas.
Thank you for the meal.


Merci de ne pas parler pendant la présentation.
Please do not speak during the presentation.


C'était très difficile, merci de m'avoir aidée.
It was very hard, thanks for helping me.


Q&A

Max

Kwiziq community member

22 September 2018

4 replies

merci de v. merci pour le/la/les,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I answered "merci du" in this question but was marked incorrect when in face the lesson states an equivalence between the two. Please explain.....

5________ cadeau, je l'aime beaucoup.Thank you for the gift, I like it a lot.Merci pour leMerci du

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 September 2018

23/09/18

Merci de/pour votre question, Max!

This is a tricky one to explain. You would never say "merci du cadeau" but "merci pour le cadeau".

To simplify things and according to the Académie française :

Use Merci de 

1. When it is followed by a verb in the infinitive ( present or past)

Merci de m'avoir invité/e! Thanks for inviting me! 

Merci de venir à 16 heures pile. = Please come at 4 pm on the dot.

2. With  abstract nouns 

Merci de votre attention! = Thank you for listening!

Merci de votre aide! = Thank you for your help!

Merci de votre obligeance! = Thank you for obliging me!

Use Merci pour with concrete nouns 

Merci pour les chocolats!

Merci pour le cadeau! 

Merci pour les fleurs!

This is the same if you use the verb remercier (to say thank you)

Hope this helps!

Max

Kwiziq community member

23 September 2018

23/09/18

Cutting to the chase, use "merci pour" only where there is a concrete item for which you are thanking someone? Very helpful. 

Max

Kwiziq community member

23 September 2018

23/09/18

Ok, however, I see the following in the lesson:

Merci pour votre compréhension.
Thank you for your understanding.

"Votre compréhension" is an abstact rather than concrete noun. Your advice seems to clearly contradict the lesson I have just pasted in. I have no dog in this fight. Either sounds fine to this non-native speaker and there is certainly no loss in meaning. I would be pleased to hear other opinions. I'll try some prescriptivist googling of MERCI DE & MERCI POUR and see what comes up. French is a moving target!

Max

Kwiziq community member

23 September 2018

23/09/18

Reading the lesson further I find "- either de or pour is colloquial with abstract nouns (votre compréhension, patience, gentillesse...), with merci de being a bit more elegant.

- merci pour is the one you use with actual things (le cadeau, la carte...)

That sounds copasetic. While you have contradicted the lesson, I am in thrall to your rule: It just sounds better to this non-native ear.

In any even, the lesson rule might be restated as follows:

Use pour after merci where the thing you are giving thanks for is a concrete object. In all other cases, prefer de for elegance and pour as you wish.

God, I love this language!

Tom

Kwiziq community member

13 August 2018

4 replies

Colloquial vs formal

The lesson states " either de or pour is colloquial with abstract nouns (votre compréhension, patience, gentillesse...), with merci de being a bit more elegant.

I don't get the sense of this statement.

If both are colloquial then what is the formal way of expressing " Thank you for your understanding".

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2018

14/08/18

Hi Tom, I guess what that means is that either de or pour are used in spoken French with abstract nouns. The use of pour being more colloquial and de being more elegant/formal.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Tom

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2018

14/08/18

Of course I get that.

I'm just pointing out the imprecision of the statement. Colloquial use does not equate with the spoken language but is rather a Register within the spoken language.

As far as I am aware a word or phrase cannot possess the duality of being both colloquial and formal.French speech with pour being colloquial and de being formal.

Perhaps I'm just being obtuse, but  as aspiring linguists we should strive for precision in language.

Alan

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2018

14/08/18

It's hard to believe either of these are "colloquial". I wonder if it should be "idiomatic"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2018

14/08/18

The English is a bit imprecise. I interpreted as "colloquial" meaning "used in spoken French", irrespective of register.

-- Chris.

David

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2018

3 replies

Thanks for coming

The quiz says: ____ les gars! Thanks for coming guys!

The answer is Merci d'etre venus

This is clearly correct in the usual situation where the guys have come and are being thanked for it.

But suppose that the guys had promised to come and were being thanked in advance for it? The same English sentence would work for that situation, even if it would be more explicit if we said "Thanks for agreeing to come, guys". How would the French look in that case?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

25 July 2018

25/07/18

Hi David,

You could say:

"Merci de venir à l'heure les gars! = "Please come on time guys!"

David

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2018

25/07/18

That is not quite the same meaning. It has turned a thankyou into a please that even implies doubt as to whether the guys will be on time without a reminder.

I suppose that this would be nearest to the meaning I wanted: "Merci d'avoir accepté de venir, les gars" but all of this assumes that the straightfoward "Merci de venir les gars" is not correct usage. Is that so?

Max

Kwiziq community member

22 September 2018

22/09/18

When thanking in advance, one says MERCI D'AVANCE  at some point. NSP? Je te remercie d'avance d'avoir fait quoi qu'il en soit....

Brittany

Kwiziq community member

16 November 2017

2 replies

Marche-t-il pour le négatif? Par exemple: "Merci de ne parler pas pendant la présentation."

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

16 November 2017

16/11/17

Bonjour Brittany !

Yes indeed, however note that negation after a preposition will come as follows:
Merci de ne pas parler pendant la présentation.

Thanks to you, I've now added this case to the lesson :)

À bientôt !

Brittany

Kwiziq community member

5 December 2017

5/12/17

Très bien. Merci!
Thinking...