Monday, March 14, 2011

Common Error: "Thank God" vs. "Thanks God"

Hello, and welcome again to Mistake Monday! Today's error is small and technically, it's not actually an error some of the time. Still, it could cause some confusion. For example, sometimes my students say, "Thanks God!" To which I just reply, "I'm not God."
Why do I say that? Well, because I'm not God. But there's also a grammatical reason. Let's take a look:

Common Error: "Thanks God" vs. "Thank God"
DON’T say this:Thanks God that we weren't in that earthquake!
"Thanks God!" said Pete when he realized that the quiz was canceled.
WHY?-As I said above, "Thanks God" isn't actually an error, in the right context. If you're talking directly to God, you could say something like, "Thanks, God, that was great!"
-However, most of the time when people use this phrase, it's more of an exhortation (like a command, almost), and in that case, "Thank God" is generally considered correct.
-In the same way, people would say, "Praise God!"
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-"Thank God we weren't in that earthquake!"
-"'Thank God!'" said Pete when he realized the quiz was canceled.
-"At church, the pastor could be shouting 'Praise God! Praise God! Praise the Lord!' over and over."
"'TGIF' means 'Thank God It's Friday!'"
BUT:
-"Sean thanks God every day for his health." (Here "thanks" is a third-person verb)
-"Thanks, God, for my good health." (If praying, since you'd be talking to God)

So, that's it for today. If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact us. Thanks for reading!

2 comments:

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! If you have a specific comment about this post, please tell me. If you have a general question about the site or a common error suggestion, you can also use the "Contact" link at the top of the page.
-Ryan