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If I want to write "Thanks for reminding me" in a formal e-mail, which is best:

Danke für die Erinnerung.

Danke, dass du mich daran erinnerst.

Danke, dass du mich daran erinnert hast.

Or is there another better phrase for this?

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I think answer N°2 and N°3 are better, than answer N°1. Answer N°1 is a little bit short. N°3, I think, is the best of all...Do you say "du" or "Sie" to him/her? It is also important, if it happens in the past, now, or in the futur. I hope, it was/is useful to you. – Giulietta Sep 2 '13 at 19:25
up vote 10 down vote accepted

While "best" is subjective and depends on the circumstances, all your examples are correct and idiomatic.

Although, since you mentioned it's a formal e-mail, you probably wouldn't address the recipient with Du. It is appropriate only for private correspondence and if you are on first name terms.

So in a formal context, either address with "Sie" or omit it completely, which would make "Danke/Vielen Dank für die Erinnerung" my choice.

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Even "Danke für die Erinnerung."? I thought that might mean more "Thanks for the memory" instead of "Thanks for the reminder." – Edward Tanguay Sep 28 '11 at 8:08
@Edward: It can mean both "memory" and "reminder", but in this case it would definitely be understood (unambiguously) as "reminder". – Martin B Sep 28 '11 at 8:10
I suggest replacing "only for private correspondence and if you are on first name terms" with "if you are on first name terms". Switching between Sie and Du depending on the context (business or personal) is highly uncommon in German. You are either on "Du + first name" terms with someone or you are not. Context is irrelevant. (Of course, whether Du terms are offered depends highly on the context.) – Heinzi Sep 28 '11 at 15:13

They all are ok. It depends though what you want to say.

Danke für die Erinnerung.

Is a bit too short to be formal. So it sounds a bit "pissed".

Danke, dass du mich daran erinnerst. (Not Formal)

Vielen Dank, dass Sie mich daran erinnern.

Danke, dass du mich daran erinnert hast. (Not Formal)

Vielen Dank, dass Sie mich daran erinnert haben.

The last two are more or less equal, but I'd go for the second.

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The first version sounds nicer as soon you replace "Danke" with "Vielen Dank". – Hendrik Vogt Sep 28 '11 at 15:11

This adds a widely used maybe little more relaxed variant that can also be used in a business setting:

Gut, dass Sie mich daran erinnert haben.
Gut, dass Du mich daran erinnert hast.

Even though "Danke" is missing this is polite as by using "gut" you add the connotation that the reminder had a beneficial effect ("Danke" alone does not say so). To emphasis this further you can also write "Sehr gut, dass...".

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