In order to figure out how to say “thank you” in Japanese, you need to first determine how polite your expression of gratitude needs to be. Some phrases are more casual, while others are more formal. There are also a few phrases that express gratitude only when used in certain situations. Here’s a brief explanation of what you need to know about expressions of gratitude in Japanese.
Method One of Four:
Casual Thanks Edit
Say “domo arigatou. “This is a fairly standard yet casual way to say “thank you.”
- Use this expression with friends and co-workers, but avoid using it with someone who is in a position of authority over you. Also avoid using it in formal situations.
- Pronounce domo arigatou as doh-moh ah-ree-gah-toh.
- In its non-romanized form, write どうもありがとう. 
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Shorten it to “arigatou. ” arigatou is a pretty casual way of saying “thank you.”
- You can use this phrase with friends and family members. But someone with a higher status, for example a supervisor or teacher, should be treated with more respect.
- Pronounce arigatou as ah-ree-gah-toh-oo.
- In its non-romanized form, write arigatou as ありがとう. 
Shorten it to “domo. ” Domo is more polite than arigatou, but it falls somewhere in between casual and formal speech. 
- On its own, domo means “very much,” but it is understood to mean “thank you” depending on the context of the conversation.
- You can use this in most polite contexts, but if you need to be extremely polite to someone, you should opt for a more formal phrase.
- Pronounce domo as dough-moh.
- In its non-romanized form, write どうも.
Method Two of Four:
Formal Thanks Edit
State “arigatou gozaimasu. ”  This phrase essentially means “thank you very much.”
- You can use arigatou gozaimasu with people who have a higher status than you, including supervisors, family elders, teachers, and strangers or acquaintances who appear older or higher in rank than you.
- You can also use this phrase to express formal or heartfelt gratitude to someone close to you.
- Pronounce arigatou gozaimasu as ah-ree-gah-toh-oo goh-zah-ee- mas.
- In its non-romanized form, write ありがとうございますいます.
Switch to “domo arigatou gozaimasu. ” This is even more polite way of saying “thank you very much.”
- Use this phrase with those who have a higher status or in formal circumstances. You can also use the phrase to express sincerity with someone familiar.
- Pronounce the phrase as dough-moh ah-ree-gah-toh-oo goh-zah-ee-mas.’
- In its non-romanized form, write domo arigatou gozaimasu as どうもございまずいます.
Express thanks in the past tense as “arigatou gozaimashita. ”  If someone has done something for you in the recent past, make the phrase past tense by changing the -u ending of gozaimasu to -ita.
- Pronounce the phrase as ah-ree-gah-toh-oo go-za-ee-ma-shi-tah.