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Summary of Strategies

Let’s review all the apologizing strategies we have seen in the exercises.

  • The strategies in red are core apologizing strategies, without which your utterance wouldn’t be recognized as an apology

  • The strategies appearing in blue are particularly important supporting strategies that can enhance or expand upon your apology.

  • You will see in black additional strategies that can also help you perform apologies, but they are not essential.

  • The strategies in green are general strategies that can be applied not only to apologies but also to other speech acts.



Making the request statement

Making the thanking statement (all exercises)

Using appropriate thanking expressions according to the interlocutor and the situation (Ex. 3, 6, 9, all others)


Abiding by the cultural norms for thanking

• Using the overlapping concepts and expressions of apology and thanks (Ex. 1, 8)

• Using the multiple functions of expressions of thanks (Ex. 4)

• Thanking for a previous favor when appropriate (Ex. 6)

Using an appropriate number of thanking expressions (Ex. 1, 2, 7)


 Using an appropriate level of politeness throughout the interaction (Ex. 2, 8, 9)


Using pre- and post-thanking strategies

• Complimenting (Ex. 5)

• Apologizing (Ex. 5)

Expressing surprise and delight (Ex. 5)

Promising to repay (Ex. 5)

Expressing a lack of necessity or obligation (Ex. 5)

Emphasizing the depth of gratitude (Ex. 5, 6, 7, 8)


Using the past tense of certain thanking expressions to conclude the interaction (Ex. 5)


Using an appropriate tone of voice

Using intensifiers and pronouncing them emphatically (Ex. 7, 8, 9)

Using bows in formal thanks (Ex. 7, 9)


Using some strategies for responding to thanks (accepting thanks, denying thanks, providing further help/invitation) (Ex. 10)


Learning Strategies for All Speech Acts


Finding an informant (a native or non-native expert of the culture) who can answer your questions regarding sociolinguistic or sociocultural norms in the target language/culture.


Listening to other speakers carefully to observe the cultural norms and language of their speech.  Making your own hypotheses or hunches regarding appropriate use of the target language and being willing to renew them as necessary. 


Finding resources that can inform you of the target language and culture.


Coulmas (1981), Eisenstein & Bodman (1995), Eisenstein & Bodman (1986), Ide (1998), Kim (1994), Kimura (1994), Kumatoridani (1999), Miyake (1994), Moriyama (1999), Nakata (1989), Ogawa (1995)

View the Annotated Bibliography
of the Articles Used to Create the Exercises

View More Information about Thanks

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