Thank You For Being Patient, or Thanks For Your Patience? Speaking Correct English | Grammar Rules 2022
One of the things that makes language acquisition so difficult is that there are different levels of formality.
These many methods of using a particular language, known technically as “registers,” captivate linguists but often irritate learners. It should be unsurprising since English is just no exception here. There are professional registers and those best fit for a corporate context and a manner of speech used by regular people.
Although English registers are less complex than in another language, there are phrases and non-standard usage of English words or phrases that might be perplexing. For example, politeness is typically an important official or business register feature in many languages. That is also true in English.
In this piece, we’ll examine one example, the phrase “thank you for your patience,” and see what it means and how to apply it.
What does “Thank you for your patience” mean?
This phrase is widely used in two ways in customer service settings. The precise meaning will be determined by the context of the letter, conversation, or another form of contact in which the phrase is used.
English Correspondence: “Thank you for your patience”
When dealing with technical help or another support line, the phrase “thank you for your patience” is frequently used to apologize for short wait times.
If you find this in a letter alerting you about something that has yet to happen, the message is more like, “this could take a while for this to occur, so we regret it in advance.”
The parts of “Thank you for your patience” explained
Before we look at the settings in which this phrase may be employed, let’s take a quick look at the terms it includes. The second term, “your patience,” describes the act of remaining patient or awaiting without becoming agitated.
The initial sentence, “thank you for,” is nearly identical. The writer or speaker is expressing gratitude for something that you’re doing.
When you put them together, you get “Thank you for your patience,” which is a nice way of acknowledging someone’s patience.
Why “Thank you” Instead of “Sorry”?
One of the most intriguing aspects of this sentence is how perplexing it is mentally.
Isn’t it true that “thank you” signifies something akin to “sorry”? Because it is bad manners to admit that there has been or will be a delay, it is the usual business practice to flip it around and concentrate on a positive element of the client instead.
How and When to Use “Thank You for Your Patience.”
One of the most typical uses of this term is to recognize and apologize for a delay that has already occurred.
If you’ve been on hold for an hour, received a refund a month later than planned, or have been inconvenienced in any other manner by waiting for things to happen, chances are somebody will say this to you.
One of the main principles of customer support is always to err on prudence, and then, you could hear this remark even if the delay was brief or nonexistent.
Regardless of how long the delay, “thank you for your patience” might be seen in this context as an admission that you were held up and waiting for anything to happen and an apology for the time wasted.
Use of “thank you for your patience” on a support line
The customer support person compliments the consumer while admitting that the answer was sluggish.
However, even when the delay is openly acknowledged, the inclination is to concentrate on the consumer. “Thank you for your tolerance with my slowness,” it says, not “Thank you for your patience while you waited.”
Again, reinforcing the customer’s favorable attributes (actual or imagined) goes a long way toward establishing a good impression.
“Thank you for your patience” for Future Delays
You could be perplexed if you encounter this sentence yet haven’t had to wait for anything.
This is another example of how difficult official English registers can be.
In truth, this is the same tactic as telling an irate client that they’ve been patient rather than acknowledging you were sluggish about anything. The only difference today is that the passage of time has been reversed. We’re not talking about science fiction. Instead, put oneself in the position of a consumer.
Consider getting a letter stating, “It will take me six months to fix your claim.” Sorry.”
Consider obtaining one that reads, “We appreciate your patience as we handle your claim.”
Not only does the latter assist in avoiding making any guarantees regarding wait times, but it’s also considerably less aggressive, and it once again places the onus on the consumer to live up to the patience to which you’ve assigned them.
How to Distinguish “Thank you for your patience.”
Because this sentence is the same in both situations, you may be unsure how to distinguish between them.
When someone says, “Thank you for your patience,” are they implying that you’ll have to wait a long time or simply admitting that you may have already had to wait?
Remember that, particularly in customer service environments, you are unlikely to speak with the person who makes decisions or is accountable for any delays you may be facing.
Even if you are furious and upset, it is advisable not to vent on this individual and understand that they most likely have tough work. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for certain. But, as the above example indicates, it may occasionally signify both.
Most of the time, though, the intended meaning will be clear in this case of the dialogue.