A high-rep member told the OP of this question that saying 'thanks in advance' is rude. Why is this so?

  • 77
    It's not rude, merely extraneous. Ignore Greg.
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 16:14
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    Simply because hardly anyone I come across saying thanks is actually thankful. Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 19:22
  • 10
    It's a waste of bits. We prefer the tla tia. Too many ones being thrown away uselessly. We don't care about the zeros, of course, but we want to save ones if possible.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 21:14
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  • 19
    If you thank someone inadvance for something they have not agreed to do it is considered rude as you are pressuring them unduly to acquiesce or be put in a bad position to refuse you.
    – GBa
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 19:40
  • 17
    Imagine if your boss said "I need you to come in Saturday, thanks in advance", then walked away. How would you like it?
    – GBa
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 19:40
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    Sorry, @Greg, your dogma doesn't seem to be finding too many supporters. Me personally I'm offended by the acronym "IANAL" because it has the word "anal" in it, but I don't go telling others they're wrong for using it. Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:02
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    Also, would you prefer he say, "screw you in advance"? Sounds to me like you'll be working Saturday either way :) Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 22:09
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    @Chris: I'm not sure what to make of this. "Thanks in Advance" is not rude on any planet I've ever visited. If anything, it is a gesture of consideration. What is rude is the amount of everyone's time this innocuous bit of trivia has consumed.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 15:19
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    @Robert Harvey: indeed so. I don't think I'd care so much if it didn't keep cropping up and taking attention away from people's questions. Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 15:46
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    @Chris: Well, it's already covered adequately here anyway.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 15:48
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    See also: english.stackexchange.com/questions/49218/…
    – Salman
    Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 5:19

8 Answers 8


I've seen this same user complaining about this before, and started an argument with 3 other users about it. I flagged the post and all the comments were deleted. (By the way, 1000 Rep is not really considered "high-rep"). Ignore him and the comment.

"Thanks in advance" is not rude in my book. I'm from the U.S. if that means anything.

Pointless? Definitely. Rude? That's quite a stretch.

If you want to, edit it out and flag the user's comment as unconstructive/obsolete, and otherwise ignore this type of comment. It's certainly not helping anything, and if the user really is offended by it, he is more than welcome to suggest an edit instead of complaining in the comments and wasting our time on meta, which IMO is rude.

  • 61
    He can Go Thank Himself.
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 16:21
  • 9
    He appears to think everything is rude.
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 18:45
  • 13
    Only an absolutely pedantic snob would consider "Thanks in advance" as rude. Besides, rather than being rude^H^H^H^H a charming fellow, he could have just edited the posts.
    – user7116
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 19:02
  • 7
    I flagged one of the posts, looks like a mod zapped all the "Thanks in advance is considered rude" comments (it was close to 30% of the user's total comments).
    – anon
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 20:21
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    I just used the rest of my flags on all his pointless comments. :/
    – Nahydrin
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 19:33
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    Looks like he's getting the hint. (See revision 3)
    – anon
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 20:08
  • Nope, he's back at it again... Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 4:33
  • 17
    The proper response to "Thanks in advance" is "You're preemptively welcome, supposing you'll still be grateful at this point." (From alt.usage.English, Feb 2011)
    – mmyers
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 15:37
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    @sixlettervariables Would you be an absolutely pedantic snob if you considered "You are welcome in advance" rude? It's the same logic.
    – Aillyn
    Commented Nov 22, 2011 at 18:45
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    @sixlettervariables: Look up "pedantic". I don't think it means what you think it means. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 10:25
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    To the Right Honorable @LightnessRacesinOrbit, Inconceivable! Perhaps hyperbole is not quite as portable as once thought. Though if not pedantic, he surely passed it along before he went into plaid. Kind regards,
    – user7116
    Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 13:40
  • @sixlettervariables: Cheers & hth. Commented Mar 6, 2012 at 13:45

In a linguistic sense, I think some people can interpret "Thanks in advance" as rude because it may indicate that you're not interested in sticking around for an answer - you're just going to come back and pick up whatever is left when you return. So I've heard, at least. On the linguistic scale, there's a better site to ask if you want to know how "Thanks in advance" can be interpreted as rude in this language.

In a site policy sense, we don't like "Thanks in advance" and similar not because it's rude, but because it's against our signature-and-salutations policy. You can read up on the basics in this question thread. In summary, it's basically a noise that's inbetween greetings (which take up space and delay the onset of reading the question) and signatures (which take up space and are extraneous), in that it takes up space as noise that doesn't contribute towards the actual question you're asking.


To me, "thanks in advance" implies an expectation of assistance. While not rude per se, it is somewhat offputting to see that expectation put out there. The thanking can wait until some assistance has been offered, and on this site an upvote or an accepted answer counts as a "thanks".

  • Then how about "Thanks in advance if any"?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 20:42
  • @Pacerier the SE policy is simply not to thank people. This is a Q&A site, not a chit-chat site (paraphrasing Stack Overflow's tour). Much of the time, question askers who comment with "thanks" don't bother to accept or upvote the answer. Those adding it to questions might not realize people have spent days of their life editing it out of these posts. "Thanks" in any form isn't useful.
    – ggorlen
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 1:43

I don't think that it is. But there are some issues with its use.

I'll list the ones that bother me:

  • People keep writing "thanks in advanced" instead, and that really irritates me. I'm sorry, but I can't help it: just knowing that you think there's a "d" on the end makes me angry.

  • As others have indicated, "thanks in advance" implies expectation of aid. To be fair, it's a realistic expectation given the nature of this site. I can see why someone would think it "rude", though I think that's a bit of a stretch. Really, though, "please" is far more appropriate; "thanks in advance" just seems a bit obnoxious.

  • This is already well-covered elsewhere, but "thanks" in general can seem a bit slimey. You're not actually demonstrating gratitude in any meaningful way. Did it put you out when you wrote "thank you"? Did it cost you anything to write that? You're pretending that you're being polite and grateful, but actually all you did was type a few characters. That's a little insulting. Instead of writing "thanks", just contribute to the community by voting, answering and commenting. That's how you can actually demonstrate gratitude... not by writing a few characters and pretending that it means something: no matter your kind intent.

  • 1
    The last point really makes no sense. Typing "thanks" doesn't prohibit the user from contributing in all possible ways to this community, unless it's an hour-long exhausting activity. He can very well just do both. I don't get how if I want to express my gratitude to somebody I am being "insulting" and "pretensive". That's ridiculous and actually insulting.
    – xji
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 15:06
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    @XiangJi: I don't know what I can say now that I didn't say in the answer. If you disagree with it, or didn't grok it, I can't change that. "Thanks" is noise. A waste of space. Repetitive. Tedious. Pointless. Non-constructive. And it has no upside. Then, going further, asserting that it does have some moral upside is in fact not true. It's a completely empty symbol. You saying "thanks" to me gives me nothing, and if you think you're being really nice and kind by doing so then you're wrong and almost insulting me thinking that's all I need in life. That's what I'm saying. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 15:15
  • All the claims you have made about "thanks" being worthless or negative apply equally well to saying "thanks" in real life, so either you don't ever say "thanks" to people IRL, or there's a problem in your reasoning somewhere. Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 14:27
  • @j_random_hacker The question is specifically about "thanks in advance", not thanks more generally. No, I don't say "thanks in advance" IRL. Commented Mar 16, 2019 at 14:36

Saying "thanks" is a way of indicating that you have received something of value (or at least something you perceive to be of value). Thanking someone for a correct or insightful answer, for example, is certainly appropriate.

Where saying "thanks in advance" is problematic (in my opinion) is that it divorces the display of gratitude from the receipt of useful information. In other words, you're thanking unspecified people for things that they have not provided to you yet.

As noted already, it's certainly a pointless thing to say, but I suspect that it could also be interpreted as an indication that the poster does not value your time personally and is merely "going through the motions" in the hopes that it will land him an extra answer or two.

However, given the massive proliferation of language/cultural barriers and "newbie" developers (and the relative scarcity of genuine sociopaths, at least among software developers as far as I'm aware), I would tend to err on the side of, "The poster means well but is uninformed".


In advance means "ahead in time." Thanks in advance means you are thanking people who answer before you get any answer. It doesn't seem to be rude, and it doesn't seem to imply that you are not going to read the answers given for your questions.

That said, normally on SE sites it's preferred if the question just contains the question being asked, and not phrases similar to "any help is appreciated," or "thank you for reading me."
Such phrases, even if they are an extra, are surely less noisy of any phrases added before the question itself, such as "Hello guys," or "Hello Drupalers," or "Ave, conncetioniorum virtualorum habitantes!" That is probably the reason why the greetings in a question have been removed before the thanks, which (as far as I know) are not yet automatically removed.

  • 3
    Also, greetings cut into the question excerpts when they're shown in lists while extraneous fluff at the end of the question does not.
    – Brad Mace
    Commented Jul 11, 2011 at 18:45
  • It turns out that "thanks" is more difficult to remove than greetings (I remember Jeff talking about it somewhere), without causing unintented side effects.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 15, 2011 at 15:15
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    @Robert: FYI, that was here. Though I still don't quite understand that logic. s/\n?Thank(s| you)\.?$//i seems pretty simple to me. Commented Jul 17, 2011 at 20:10
  • @BradMace Yes, extraneous fluff added after the question is less "noisy," even if putting the same sentences at the end of every question should still be avoided, IMO.
    – avpaderno
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 16:36

To understand why it's considered rude, picture this:

It's Christmas. The family is gathered around the tree, and you're all about to open presents. You stand up and say,

"Thanks in advance for any presents!"

  • 1
    Somebody downvoted this answer. I guess in some families they actually do this! No offense was meant. :D
    – user142148
    Commented May 11, 2012 at 17:36
  • I didn't downvote this, but in my opinion, the inference in this statement is that you should be thankful only for presents that meet some criteria of yours. That you shouldn't show reasonable gratitude for people who actually gave you something, even if it wasn't necessarily what you wanted. The problem with "thanks in advance" is that you haven't done anything to be worthy of it. In your example, you've already been given presents; you simply don't know what they are yet. Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 1:18
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    @NicolBolas, among other things, saying "Thanks in advance" indicates that you're getting the gratitude part out of the way ahead of time because you can't be bothered with it later. And it's presumptuous.
    – user142148
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 2:42
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    @Kyralessa, Actually I don't see how this is a good explanation. It doesn't differ much from saying "Thanks in advance" after posting a question.
    – Pacerier
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 20:44

I see items like 'thanks in advance' as being rude because they are not needed and just take time. They remind me of how salespeople sometimes try to control my actions!

  • I'd think you are thinking too much into it..........
    – Pacerier
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 20:45

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