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I know ため can be translated into English as "for" such-and-such.

But is it appropriate to use it to thank some one for doing something?

For example, "Thank you for your email address." Would it be grammatically accurate to say: メールアドレスためありがとうございます。

Google translate seems to understand the sentence perfectly fine. But would a native speaker scratch their head at that use of ため in this manner?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Using ため as the 'for' in 'thank you for' is strange.

Off the top of my head I can think of 4 ways we normally use ありがとう to say thanks for something.

  1. masu-stem of the verb + ありがとう (this one's particularly formal)
    メールアドレスを教えていただき有難う御座います。
    Thank you for telling me your email address.

  2. te-form of the verb + ありがとう
    メールアドレスを教えてくれてありがとう。
    Thanks for telling me your email address.

  3. noun + ありがとう
    メアドありがとう!
    Thanks for your email address!

  4. noun + を + ありがとう
    メッセージをありがとう
    Thanks for your message

There's lots of other expressions which don't use ありがとう like:

~についてお礼を申し上げます
~に対し感謝します

ため is 'for' as in for the benefit or purpose of someone/something.

私のためにこんなすてきなパーティーを開いてくれてありがとう。
Thank you for throwing such a splendid party for me.

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1  
Reasons 1 and 2 are essentially the same since the 〜て form and 連用形 are pretty interchangeable as connecting clauses. 3 and 4 are basically the same just with(out) the を, and seem to be a form with the verb implied/omitted as described here. So it's really just like one reason. –  istrasci Jul 30 '13 at 16:12
1  
@istrasci It does sometimes help to have the forms entirely expanded out. –  Darius Jahandarie Jul 30 '13 at 23:23
    
@DariusJahandarie: Touché –  istrasci Jul 31 '13 at 14:15

It might be easier to understand the usage if you think of ため as "for the sake of (smb/smth)".

会社{かいしゃ}のために働{はたら}く
Work in interests of the company [=for the sake of the company]

彼女{かのじょ}は娘{むすめ}のためなら何でもやる
She will do anything for her daughter. [=for the sake of her daughter]

正義{せいぎ}のため
In the cause of justice [=for the sake of justice]

A related meaning is "for the purpose of" or "with the goal of"

君{きみ}は何のためにここへ来{き}たのだ。
What have you come here for? [=for what purpose]

金{かね}のために働{はたら}く
Work for the money [= with the goal of getting money]

ため may also means "due to" or "because of". It seems to be used this way mostly in formal speech. You can often recognize it by the missing (but this it not a 100% indicator).

飛行機{ひこうき}が台風{たいふう}のため欠航{けっこう}した。
The flight was canceled due to a typhoon.

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