4

In the context of email sending, in order to acknowledge an email which is better?

回答有難うございます

返事有難うございます

Also, if you have some rules on when to use either, it would be much appreciated!

3
  • 5
    By the way, writing ありがとう is normally written in Hiragana. I've seen a document which actually makes it a norm but cannot find now. In the real life Hiragana way is used by majority, however there are some people who use Kanji way too.
    – Rilakkuma
    Aug 14, 2014 at 0:57
  • Good to know, I just made it a habit to press space after writing anything on my keyboard.
    – Aki
    Aug 14, 2014 at 1:30
  • 4
    In general, you should only convert something to kanji if you know that they're the right kanji and that it's appropriate to use them.
    – user1478
    Aug 14, 2014 at 10:46

3 Answers 3

7

It all depends on the content of your most recent correspondence.

If the other person has answered an important question that you had asked previously, you can use 「(ご)[回答]{かいとう}ありがとうございます。」 as 「回答」 means "an answer to a question".

I used the word "important" because something like "How are you?" is not one of the questions I am talking about here.

The honorific 「ご」 would be a nice touch most of the time, but it would be optional if you were way "above" the other person.

If no Q&A has been performed recently, you cannot use the word 「回答」 like above. You can say, instead, 「お[返事]{へんじ}ありがとうございます。」 as 「返事」 only means "reply".

That honorific 「お」 is used virtually 100% of the time in this set phrase regardless of your relationship with the other person.

3
  • 2
    If you use 「返事」, does that imply the other person did not answer an important question? (Or in other words: are you expected to use 「回答」 when the other person answers an important question?) Aug 14, 2014 at 2:58
  • 4
    @DariusJahandarie In sentences like「質問のメールに返事がきた」, 返事 itself does not imply whether he answered it properly or not. He responded, and his reply might or might not be a wonderful 回答.
    – naruto
    Aug 14, 2014 at 3:28
  • If people say "hi" to you, then you say "hi" back - is that considered 返事? Aug 14, 2014 at 10:17
2

Based on own knowledge and some research:

  • 返事 is an answer when there is a conversation about a particular topic. Basically it is used when addressing an oral conversation but not exclusively.
  • 返信 when there was question sentence and answer sentence is provided.
  • 回答 is basically an answer as a matter. For example - answer to a claim (as a thing, not its contents).
2
  • So if I understand correctly, I would usually use 回答 for emails?
    – Aki
    Aug 14, 2014 at 0:50
  • 1
    I'd say 返事 since you are discussing some topic (even if you are not, emails are normally in the form of dialog and therefore there are answers).
    – Rilakkuma
    Aug 14, 2014 at 0:53
2

返事 = a reply 回答 = an answer

返る = to come back 答える = to answer

If you want to thank someone for answering your question, use 「回答」.

If you want to thank someone for replying to your communication, use 「返事」.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .