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Thank you or thank-you?

Question:

Is thank you spelled with or without a hyphen?

Answer:

Both spellings are correct, but they have different uses.

Without a hyphen, thank you is a verb phrase. We use this phrase to show our gratitude to someone:

Thank you, Alan, for the lovely lawn mower!
I want to thank you, Ms. Krishna, for your valuable help.

With a hyphen, thank-you is either a noun or an adjective. As a noun, it means "a message of thanks":

Mark sent Joan a thank-you for the lava lamp she gave him.

As an adjective, thank-you is used before a noun and means "expressing thanks":

I received a thank-you card from my stock broker.