How to say thank you in Greek (and express gratitude in Greece)

How do say ‘thank you’ in Greek and express gratitude? Knowing a few kind words of Greek will endear you to these super-friendly people who love showing hospitality to new friends.

There are two main ways to say thank you in Greek and in this article I’ll show you how to pronounce the formal and informal versions of ‘thank you’ and when to use each of them.

You’ll also be able to choose a few other common phrases when more than just ‘thank you’ is required.

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The informal ‘thanks’ in modern Greek

Learning a new language can be daunting, and it’s hard to remember new words and phrases when you aren’t using them every day.

Close up photo of a Lidl supermarket worker operating a checkout in Nea Moudania, Greece
A Lidl supermarket worker in Nea Moudania, Greece

But if you will be spending time in Greece, thank you is surely one of the most useful phrases to remember. By informal, I mean thanks.

The way to say thank you in informal Greek is “efharisto.”

The phonetic pronunciation is: /efxaɾiˈsto/ –

The Informal Thank You in Greek

If you’d like to say thank you then you need to add a “se” to the beginning – so “Se efharisto” means thank you in Greek.

Formal Ways To Say Thank You In Greek

Don’t panic – even though there is more than one way to say thank you in Greek, the formal way is very similar to the informal way!

drawing of greek businessmen shaking hands with Greek flag as a background
Two Businessmen Shaking Hands With Greek Flag As A Background

If you suddenly met the fabled Zeus, king of the ancient Greek gods, and he gave you a lump of gold, I reckon you’re probably going to want to say “thank you Zeus” rather than “thanks dude.”

You just never know when you’re going to need to thank someone formally!

In order to say thank you rather than thanks, you need to add a small word at the beginning – se. So thank you is simply se efharistó.

If you’d like to say thank you very much in Greek, you just need to add a few more words at the end – para poli – so to put it all together you’d say Se efharistó para poli. (Sometimes the phrase is written as Se efcharistó para poli).

And if you’d like to say ‘thanks a lot,’ just leave out the “para” and say efharistó poli.

The Formal Way to Say Thank You Very Much

If you don’t know the person you are speaking to, or if you are speaking to someone older than you, it is polite to use the formal version of Thank you very much.

Instead of using “Se” and the beginning, you’d substitute it for “Sas.” So the formal way of saying thank you very much is Sas efcharistó para poli (or Sas efharistó para poli).

A Summary of common Greek words to express one’s gratitude

Thanks – ευχαριστώ – efharistó

Thanks very much – ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ – efharistó para poli

Thanks a lot – Ευχαριστώ πολύ – efharistó poli

Thank you – σε ευχαριστώ se  – efharistó

Thank you very much – σε ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ – Se efharistó para poli

Thank you very much (formal) – σας ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ – Sas efharistó para poli

Examples of Greek Thanks

If you think you’ve got the different ways to say thank you down, here are a few common ways that thank you is used by Greek people:

Picture of People lined up and waiting to check out of the luxury hotel, Athena Village Pallas, Greece
People waiting to check out of a luxury hotel, Athena Village Pallas, Greece

Thank you for your kind words –  Efharistó ya ta kalá sas lóya – Ευχαριστώ για τα καλά σας λόγια

Thank you for the gift – Efharistó ya to dóro – ευχαριστώ για το δώρο  

That’s very kind of you – Íne polí evyenikó ek mérus sas – πολύ ευγενικό εκ μέρους σας

Thank you for coming today – Sas efharistó pu írthate símera – Σας ευχαριστώ που ήρθατε σήμερα

I am grateful – Eímai evgnómon – Είμαι ευγνώμων

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you say thanks in Greek?

Photo of A waitress serving exotic drinks to tourists sitting at a waterfront bar in Mykonos, Greece

There is a formal and an informal way to say thanks in Greek. The simplest (informal) way is to use the word efcharisto. And if you want to say thanks a lot, just add the word “poli” to the end: efcharisto poli.

What is Efharisto?

greek word for thanks - efcharisto

Efharisto (σ ευχαριστώ) is how you say thanks in Greek. It’s the informal way to say thank you. It is what Greek friends would say to each other unless it is a formal occasion and then they would use the phrase “Sas efharistó.”

What does Yamas mean in Greek?

photo of people toasting each other - yamas in greek

Yamas means cheers in Greek. It’s a shortened form of Stin yeia mas (στην υγειά μας ) which translates as to your health.

How do you say hello, please, and thank you in Greek?

Ya Su - word for hello in greek on greek flag background

It’s easy to say hello, please, and thank you in Greek. These simple Greek expressions will delight Greek people when you speak Greek to them in a polite way.

If you are saying hello to one person, you say “Ya Su”(Γεια σου). If you are saying hello to more than one person, you say Ya Sas (Γεια σας).

Please is also an easy word – Parakaló (Παρακαλώ). But you should use the formal way if you’re saying hello to strangers and older people. In this case, you’d say sas parakaloúme (σας παρακαλούμε).
Thank you is simply 
se efharisto.

How to say ‘please’ and ‘you’re welcome’ in Greek

Trip Anthropologist

Please is Parakaló but becomes sas parakaloúme when you are speaking to older people or strangers. You’re welcome is the same – Parakaló (παρακαλώ).

Resources to help you learn Greek

If you’d like to know more than just a few words of the Greek Language, I can highly recommend the wonderful series of language learning courses from Pod101.

Greek Pod101 is really easy! I made cards and knew at least 30 words within a week by spending a few minutes a day on each short video lesson.

Final Thoughts

ευχαριστώ πολύ, I hope you enjoyed learning the different ways to say thank you in Greek and that you find it helpful on your Greek adventures!

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