Whether you’re a writer or learning English as a second language, there are certain idiomatic expressions that can be hard to pin down. One of those is “much appreciated.”
“Much appreciated” is commonly used in the English language, in both written and verbal speech. However, knowing when to use it appropriately is important if you want to sound native and natural.
This is especially true if you are writing formal communications (such as a work email) or an article that will be published on the web.
In this guide, we will explore the meaning of “much appreciated,” when to use it, and when to avoid it. Also, we will talk about other alternatives you can use in its stead.
The short version: “Much appreciated” is a short way to express gratitude and thanks. It’s best used in text messaging or not-so-formal emails.
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“Much appreciated” is a term used to express appreciation, gratitude, or thanks. Usually, it is said in response to a favor someone did for you or will do in the future.
For example, if someone did you a favor, you might send them a short text message saying, “Much appreciated!”
In that case, it is a way of expressing your thanks for something they did for you.
You can also use it in another context: when you are expecting someone to do a favor for you. In that case, it is a preemptive thanks.
For example, you can say something like:
“It would be much appreciated if you can send me Bob’s contact information, so we can arrange a deal.”
As you can see, “much appreciated” is a term that can be used by itself, as a standalone expression of thanks, or in a longer sentence.
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“Much appreciated” is generally a more casual way of expressing thanks, especially if it is used as a standalone expression.
For example, if an acquaintance did you a favor, you might send them a text saying, “Much appreciated,” along with a smiling emoji or something of the sort.
However, it is not too casual. In other words, you probably wouldn’t text it to your girlfriend, boyfriend, or very close platonic friend.
Instead, you might say something like, “Thanks so much!”
In either case, “much appreciated” is not a very formal way of expressing thanks, unless you are using it in a wider sentence, such as, “It would be much appreciated if you signed the contract as quickly as possible.”
I would say that it is somewhere in between formal and informal. It is not super casual, but it is not always appropriate in formal communication.
In formal emails or business letters, you might write something along the lines of:
“I am writing to express my appreciation for your efforts in…”
However, you would not write a quick email saying, “Much appreciated!” It’s more appropriate for text and SMS messages.
Similarly, you would not sign off on an email with:
Instead, you might write something along the lines of:
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“Much appreciated” is correct. “Much appreciation” as a standalone expression is not typically correct, and it is not native syntax, so people will look at you strangely if you use it.
In some situations, though, “much appreciation” could be used, but not as a standalone expression.
Instead, you could use something like:
“He didn’t show much appreciation for my efforts in helping him get out of that hot mess he got himself into.”
Alternatively, you can use “a lot”:
“He didn’t show a lot of appreciation for my efforts in helping him get out of that hot mess he got himself into.”
However, you would not text, “Much appreciation!” That sounds unnatural.
“Much appreciative” doesn’t make sense and is grammatically incorrect, so don’t use it in any situation.
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When used in one-off standalone expressions, “much appreciated” is used more often. However, you may also use “greatly appreciated” in certain sentences, and it would also be grammatically correct.
For example, you can say, “It would be greatly appreciated if you could sort this out for me.”
“Greatly appreciated” sounds slightly more formal than much appreciated. You could also say “highly appreciated.”
What about “very appreciated”? Instead of “very appreciated,” you would use something like “very appreciative” (although “much appreciative” is incorrect, as said earlier).
For example, you might say something like, “I was very appreciative of his work to help me out, until I found out that he was doing it all for his own selfish gain.”
“Appreciative” is an adjective, and “very” is a word that can be used to emphasize an adjective. An adjective describes a noun.
For example, you could say that the sky is blue, or then you can say that it is very blue. Similarly, you (a noun) can be appreciative of someone’s work, or you can be very appreciative of their work.
“Appreciation,” meanwhile, is not an adjective but a noun. Much can be used to express a large quantity of certain nouns, but only nouns that are not countable.
For example, you would not say, “much tables.” instead, you would say, “There were many tables at the function.”
That is because tables are something you can count. There might have been 100 tables, or perhaps 500, but it is a specific number (even if you don’t know the number yourself).
However, “appreciation” is a noun that you can’t count. You can’t have two appreciations, for example; that doesn’t make any sense.
So, you’d say that you have “much appreciation” for someone’s efforts. In this case, “appreciation” is always singular, and you use much to specify a mass amount.
It would be similar for a noun like patience. You could say, for example:
“That guy doesn’t have much patience. Be careful not to make him angry or drag things out when dealing with him.”
Meanwhile, appreciated is a verb used in the past tense. The verb itself is “appreciate” and you are saying that you appreciate something.
In such a case, we could use much as an intensifier for the verb. In that sense, it has the same meaning as “really.”
So, when you say that it is “much appreciated,” you are actually saying that you really appreciated it.
You can use it with other verbs as well, although it might come off as a bit formal. For example, you could say:
“I much enjoyed his performance at the opera today.”
Again, it comes off as formal and a bit stilted, despite being grammatically correct. If you want to use it in a more informal or casual context, you might say something like, “I really enjoyed the food today.”
For whatever reason, though, “much appreciated” is used quite commonly, while “much enjoyed” is not.
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“Much appreciated” can sometimes be shortened to “appreciated,” especially in formal contexts. Usually, this would be when writing text messages, when you want to save time and effort.
It’s similar to the way you might write “b4” instead of “before” or “love it” instead of “I love it.” You just drop the first word, but the intention remains clear.
So, if someone did you a favor or sent you money, you might write a one-word text, “Appreciated.”
However, it would be more commonly used for lesser favors. For greater favors that require more effort, it would be best to put a little more effort into your text as well and write the full “much appreciated.”
“Appreciated” alone sounds a bit less thankful. When someone does you a favor, the least you can do is put in the effort to give them a proper thank you!
“Appreciate it,” while sounding like “appreciated,” has a similar but slightly different meaning.
“Appreciated” means past tense, while “appreciate it” is present tense. In natural language, though, the same meaning is generally inferred.
“Appreciate it” is also a bit of a contraction, as you are leaving out the “I” in front of it. It should be “I appreciate it,” as “appreciate it” by itself isn’t grammatically correct.
That is why it is more used in text messages, when people often use language that isn’t technically grammatically correct.
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“You’re appreciated” is a bit more specific than “much appreciated.” When you use “much appreciated,” you typically mean that a specific action or effort is appreciated.
Meanwhile, when you say “you’re appreciated,” you are specifying that you appreciate that specific person and are thankful for their existence. It is a lot sweeter, and you would mostly use it with a close friend who really helps you out all the time, not just once.
“I appreciate you” is pretty much the same thing as “you’re appreciated.” The difference is that it is stronger, as you are using active voice instead of passive voice.
Active voice is when a subject does something. Passive voice is when you say that an action is being done by someone, whether you specify who that person is or not.
When you say “you’re appreciated,” you aren’t specifying who is appreciating that person you are talking to. Saying “you’re appreciated by me” is a bit long-winded and lengthy, and it’s not a form of speech you would normally use.
Instead, if you want to be strong in your expression of appreciation, say “I appreciate you.”
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Depending on the context, you might be looking for other ways to express your appreciation. For example, it might not sound like you are grateful enough if you just say “much appreciated,” or it might seem like too much effort in certain situations.
Here are some other ways to express gratitude.
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A simple “thank you” is often all you need, especially for small favors. However, for larger favors, you can also say something like “thank you so much.”
You can also combine a “thank you” with an expression of appreciation. For example, you can say, “Thank you, I really appreciate it.”
If you want to put even less effort into expressing your appreciation, you might just say “thanks.” It’s best for expressing your gratitude for small favors, especially over text message.
However, “thanks” could be used in other contexts. For example, if a waiter brings you the food you ordered, you could say “thanks” or “thank you.”
Saying “much appreciated” in such a scenario might sound a bit weird. They are just doing their job, after all; it’s not like they are doing you a favor.
Still, you can say “thank you” to be polite.
Here are some casual ways to use the word “thanks”:
- Thanks a ton
- Thanks a lot
- Thanks so much
- Thanks a bunch
- Big thanks
- Thanks a million
- I can’t thank you enough
These expressions can be used in text, along with emojis. You can also text “thanks xoxo,” with “xoxo” standing for hugs and kisses.
“Thank you very much” is a bit more formal, but it has a similar meaning. Other more formal ways of expressing thanks include:
- Many thanks
- Thank you kindly
- Kind thanks
- Warm thanks
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There are other ways to express gratitude and appreciation other than using words like “appreciated” or “thanks.” Here are some more creative ways to express your appreciation for someone or something someone did:
- I’m forever grateful
- I owe you big time
- You’re the best, and I couldn’t have done it without you
- You mean the world to me
- I am forever indebted to you
- I’ll never forget this
If you are looking for more formal expressions as an alternative to “much appreciated,” here are some ideas:
- Much obliged (this is rarely used nowadays, but it’s definitely grammatically correct)
- I’m eternally grateful
- I am grateful for your support
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Here are some additional tips on how to make your “thank you” more genuine and come across as if you really mean it.
A lot of the time, the specific words you use doesn’t matter as much as the way you say it.
If you say “much appreciated” in a dismissive way, like you are being forced to say it, it won’t come off as genuine.
On the other hand, if you say “thank you” with a big smile and while maintaining eye contact, with a thankful expression on your face, it will come off as sincere.
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If you are expressing appreciation over a text message, and it isn’t a very formal conversation, consider using some emojis.
Emojis serve an important purpose. When communicating over text or instant messaging, it’s incredibly difficult to convey emotion.
Emojis allow you to do just that.
So, which emojis should you use? The praying/thankful emoji (two hands facing the sky with the palms facing each other) is a great emoji that you can use, even for non-casual conversations with acquaintances.
If it’s a close friend, you can add a smiley face. If it’s a lover or romantic interest, you can add some hearts or a blushing face.
In the past, people would use emoticons, like the smiley emoticon: “:)”
Nowadays, however, most people don’t bother with those. They were more common when fewer people had smartphones and texted via dumb phones, which didn’t usually have emoji support back in those days.
If you are writing an email, on the other hand, inserting emojis isn’t typically appropriate. Nevertheless, be descriptive and show your effort by writing a few more sentences.
Express how grateful you are for their help and how much it will assist you.
You can also add some explanation marks for emphasis, when appropriate.
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A cute way to express appreciation is to write your message of gratitude on a post-it note. Then, put it where the person will come across it, as a nice surprise.
For example, you can leave it on the fridge or coffee machine, so your husband finds it in the morning when taking their morning coffee.
Or, you can put it on the dashboard of their car.
If you are writing to a coworker, you can place it on their desk or computer.
Either way, it shows you went the extra mile, as writing a note on paper takes more effort than typing it in a text message. It also shows you are being thoughtful and want them to have a pleasant surprise.
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If you really want to show your appreciation, I recommend giving the person a small gift as a token of thanks.
It could be anything, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. A small box of chocolate hearts together with a thank-you note will usually be highly appreciated.
Giving money isn’t usually recommended, as it’s not about the money you are spending on the gift but the thought. In some cases, though, it might be appropriate, such as when thanking a waiter for their excellent service (write a thank you note on the receipt and leave a tip).
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“Much appreciated” is a great way to express your thanks and appreciation, but it’s not the only one. In some contexts, there may be more appropriate options you can use.
Either way, remembering to thank someone for their efforts will go a long way in maintaining healthy relationships and establishing a mutual friendship.
Don’t be afraid to express your thanks in any way you can!
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.