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I rarely hear благодарю, so I was wondering under which circumstances would one use that word? Are благодарю and спасибо interchangeable?

  • No, these two are completely different, not even close. Maybe you confuse благодаря with благодарю? – user31264 Oct 20 '17 at 23:35
  • @user31264 Actually no... well i'm using google's translation so maybe it's not accurate, nonetheless I can't understand the difference between them – Trey Oct 21 '17 at 0:39
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    If you're confused between благодарю vs спасибо - the only difference is in style. Благодарю sounds a bit more formal than спасибо. Also see the other comment from @DK – Vitaly Osipov Oct 22 '17 at 0:51
  • @Vitaly Osipov What comment from DK?? – Douglas Held Sep 1 '18 at 18:02
  • @DouglasHeld It was here a year ago, no idea where it went. Likely the user deleted his account, – Vitaly Osipov Sep 6 '18 at 1:17
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They are interchangeable to a certain degree. Благодарю is much more formal. In some cases, it might also be considered more polite. This being said, Спасибо is absolutely "safe" and polite in any situation. When in doubt, I would suggest using Спасибо, as Благодарю may sound a bit awkward, outdated or even sarcastic (in certain contexts). Спасибо could be translated as both Thank you and Thanks, while Благодарю only as Thank you.

Благодарю is still widely used in some fixed phrases like "Благодарю за внимание" (Thank you for your attention)

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Благодарю it is almost like спасибо but a bit you are wearing a top hat and a walking stick. Person considered to have a unique style(if he always use this word), be a bit fancy, or just formal.

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"Благодарю" means "I express thanks" while "спасибо" means "I am glad".

The thing is one can express thanks even if he is not really glad or for somebody else. This makes благодарю more formal and impersonal. "Okay, I do not really feel glad, but you did it for me so I express thanks because of etiquette or whatever".

So, one can use благодарю but not спасибо in a situation when

  1. Somebody did for you something you think you had right to anyway.

  2. Somebody gave you a gift which you do not like.

  3. You express thanks for another person or a group. A head of state can thank for a gift or service to his country with благодарю but not with спасибо.

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Actually the truth behind these two words are pretty interesting. Благодарю in general is a high vibrational word and is used everywhere where спасибо is used and now people are using it more often, because спасибо actually means спаси бог in shortened which translation is god help, save me god etc. there is also an answer to it , нe за что.

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