Update: "to appreciate" has multiple meanings, I'm specifically interested in the one that expresses gratefulness; quoting Wiktionary:

To be grateful or thankful for.

Some relevant translation of "appreciate" I've found are "<etw. Akk> schätzen", "sich <etw. Gen> bewusst sein", "für <etw. Akk> dankbar sein" and the phrase "sehr nett von Ihnen/dir".

What construct can be used where I would say "I appreciate it" to emphasize that I'm especially thankful for a favour in English? I'm interested in both an informal situation ("I appreciate you walking the dog this morning, honey") and in a formal setting ("I appreciate you preparing the documents in advance to speed up the negotiations").

  • 2
    Can you add some idiomatic examples of that phrase in context? Non-native speakers of English might not be familiar enought with the connotations, pragramtics, etc. Jun 9, 2020 at 9:51
  • 3
    What remains unclear after having looked at a decent dictionary?
    – guidot
    Jun 9, 2020 at 9:55
  • There is no direct equivalent in German, I actually like to use the English phrase to sometimes express my thoughts to my German friends. Jun 9, 2020 at 12:07
  • Without any specifics, there are dozens of valid answers. Please edit your question to specify a context, what aspects of “I appreciate it” are important to you, and how formal you want to be.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:23
  • Thanks for the feedback. I have updated the question with more details, hopefully it's unambiguous now.
    – raindev
    Jun 10, 2020 at 10:48

3 Answers 3


The literal equivalent

Ich weiß das zu schätzen.

belongs exclusively to a formal register in German, whereas the English original seems to be neutral in so far as it is applicable along a range of contexts.

Some formal ways to express gratitude:

Ich bin Ihnen sehr zu Dank verpflichtet.
Ich bin Ihnen wirklich sehr dankbar.


Vielen Dank.
Danke schön.
Herzlichen Dank.

Informal ('preciate it):

Das ist lieb.
Du bist ein Schatz/Engel. (Bist'n Schatz!)
Super. (Supi.)


Danke, Mann/Alter/Dicker.

Some of these involve literal thanks (danke), others function pragmatically in this manner (super).

Formal – informal is a bit of a crude distinction. For instance, in offices where people are generally friendly with each other, I find Du bist ein Schatz! pretty unsurprising (though more likely to be used by a woman).

Then there's dialect. In the region I grew up in, merci (pronounced in a German fashion with the accent on the first syllable and a vocalised r) was common.

  • 5
    Some of these need explanation (warnings) regarding when they would be appropriate. You can always use "Appreciate it." but personally I'd be piqued if a random stranger said "Danke, Dicker." or "Du bist ein Schatz." to me.
    – user6495
    Jun 9, 2020 at 12:16
  • Thank you for the detailed answer! Where does “sehr nett von Ihnen/dir“ fall on the spectrum?
    – raindev
    Jun 10, 2020 at 14:46
  • 1
    @raindev The "formula" seems to be (das ist) (sehr) lieb/nett/freundlich (von Ihnen/dir). Which does not belong in the category of literal thanks and could be combined with such: Vielen Dank, das ist sehr nett von Ihnen. Nett feels more formal than lieb (but it also feels weird to make distinctions like that).
    – David Vogt
    Jun 10, 2020 at 15:53
  • 1
    @raindev, be aware that lieb can be perceived as intimate or childish.
    – Carsten S
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:28
  • @DavidVogt, vielen dank, das ist sehr nett von Ihnen, meine Frage zu erklären.
    – raindev
    Jun 11, 2020 at 15:10

Ich weiss es zu schätzen.

This is an interesting form. It is more formal than "I appreciate it."; it can mean a big "thank you". Literally of course it means "I know how to treasure it"

(there is pretium = price in appreciate, too)

"Ich schätze es/ihn/sie" can also work, but it is not clear which kind of schätzen is meant.

?Ich schätze meine Gesundheit                 (health check? einschätzen?)
Ich schätze meine Gesundheit hoch ein         (=is important)
Ich weiss meine Gesundheit zu schätzen        (=appreciate)

For your example "I appreciate you walking the dog this morning, honey." you should use the phrase "Ich weiß es wirklich zu schätzen.".

Ich weiß es wirklich zu schätzen, dass du heute Morgen mit dem Hund Gassi gegangen bist, Liebling. (I really appreciate that you took the dog for a walk this morning, darling.) This sounds nice too. It sounds like you really mean it.

There are other ways to use the phrase Ich schätze (I appreciate):

  • "Ich schätze es sehr..." or "Ich schätze es wirklich..." can also be used to signify appreciating something or not appreciating something.

Examples of usage:

  • "...ich schätze es sehr, wie er etwas anpackt, wie er denkt, wie er arbeitet." - Homo Faber von Max Frisch (...I really appreciate how he tackles something, how he thinks, how he works.)

  • "Ich schätze es wirklich nicht, unter Zeitdruck arbeiten zu müssen..." - Unergründliches Universum von Dolores Cannon (I really don't appreciate having to work under time pressure...)

  • Danke, ich weiß Ihre Antwort wirklich zu schätzen! What about the concerns the others expressed regarding "schätzen" being too formal?
    – raindev
    Jun 11, 2020 at 15:16

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