Learn English phrases: thank God, thank goodness, thanks to you

Hi students, it’s Shayna from EspressoEnglish.net. I’m actually going to film this lesson again, because in the past video the top of my head was a little bit cut off. Today I want to explain some phrases that my students have been asking about: the phrases thank God and thanks to someone. These are different phrases in English and I’m going to take the opportunity to teach you a few more phrases that you can use as well.

Thank God / Thank goodness

Thank God is used when we are really thankful and happy for something, especially when we are relieved because something very bad could have happened, but it didn’t happen.

For example, imagine you have a friend and your friend got into a car accident, but fortunately nobody was injured. You could say, “Thank God no one was hurt in the accident.” You were expressing your great relief that everyone is okay and no bad injuries happened in the car accident.

You can also use the phrase thank goodness in these situations. You could say, “Thank goodness nobody was hurt.” or if you get lost in a city but you have a cell phone so you can call for help, or find some directions then you can say, “I got lost but thank goodness I had a cell phone, so I was able to get to the right place.”

Both thank God and thank goodness are used in similar situations, when something bad could have happened but didn’t happen, and so you are happy you are thankful you’re relieved. Imagine that your friend is driving their car and it’s a very rainy day, so the roads are slippery and dangerous but your friend arrives safely at your house. You can say, “Thank God you arrived safely.”, or “Thank goodness you arrived safely.” to express that great relief.

Now I see some students, especially my Spanish and Portuguese speaking students sometimes make the mistake of writing thanks God. That’s actually incorrect, I know we have a similar expression, expressing thankfulness to God in Spanish and Portuguese, but in English we actually write, thank God and not thanks God.

Thanks to (someone)

We also have the expression, thanks to someone and this expression is used in a slightly different situation. Thanks to someone is used when we want to give the person credit for something good that they did.

If you have a big project at work and your co-worker helps you a lot and because of your co-worker the project is finished on time, then you can tell this co-worker, “Thanks to you, the project was finished on time.” You are giving that person credit for the good thing that they did. Or you can use it to give credit to someone else, not necessarily the person that you’re talking to.

A good example is that, my dad taught me how to change a car tire. If I have a problem like I have a flat tire when I’m driving then my dad, he taught me how to change the tire. If I get a flat tire and then because of my dad’s teaching, I can change the tire myself. Then I could say, “Thanks to my dad, I was able to change the tire.” I’m giving my dad credit for the good thing he did in teaching me.

Let’s review. Thank God and thank goodness are used when you are very happy and relieved that something bad didn’t happen. Then thanks to a person is used for when you want to give that person credit for a good thing he or she did.

I’m thankful / I’m grateful

You can also use the phrases, “I’m thankful” and “I’m grateful” to express thankfulness and gratitude in general. Use these phrases to express how happy you are for the good things in your life.

We usually use, “I’m thankful” and “I’m grateful” with the preposition for and then a noun. For example, “I’m thankful for my friends” or “I’m thankful for my family.” Let’s imagine that you got an opportunity to study in another country and you’re really happy. You could say, “I’m grateful for this opportunity.” These two phrases are used to express thankfulness and gratitude in general.

One final mistake to avoid, look at how we spell these words thankful and grateful. Don’t write two l’s – it’s only one l at the end of thankful and grateful, and don’t get the word grateful confused with the word great. We have the word great, it’s spelled G-R-E-A-T. The word grateful it’s pronounced very similarly but it’s spelled G-R-A-T-E-F-U-L.

Learn phrases for speaking English

So that’s it for today. I hope that these phrases have helped you understand when to use each one. If you want to learn more spoken english, then I have two great courses that I think you’ll really enjoy, one is called Everyday English Speaking. In that course I go through a lot of situations in daily life, shopping, restaurants, travel. Also social situations, what to say in English if you need to encourage someone or comfort someone who is sad or deal with someone who is angry.

I teach you all sorts of phrases in the Everyday English Speaking Course. You can click here for more information about that. If you are a more advanced student, if you are upper intermediate or advanced then I also have a course called, Everyday English Speaking Level Two. In level two there are some more advanced conversations that are a little more difficult to understand, but they have more informal expressions, phrasal verbs, slang and other phrases that native speakers use a lot, but you might not learn in your English textbook.

Both courses are based on conversations and I’ll teach you the expressions in context, because that makes it much easier to remember them. These are my most popular courses at Espresso English. If you’d like to learn more spoken English, go check them out.

If you enjoyed this video please like it, share it with other English learners and I’d love if you could leave a comment saying one thing that you are thankful for grateful for, to put these phrases into practice. Bye for now.