I am trying to thank someone for their help in Latin. Here are two sample sentences I tried to translate, with my attempt in italics.

Thank you for your help. - Gratias propter auxilium tui tibi ago.

Thank you for helping me. - Gratias propter adiuvandum mihi tibi ago.

  1. Is propter a good word here? What could be better words?
  2. Is adiuvandum the right way to translate helping?

1 Answer 1


For your first attempt, the only issue is that tuus, -a, -um should agree with auxilium. The genitive pronoun tui is not usually used for possession, with some rare counterexamples. I would thus amend to:

Gratias propter auxilium tuum tibi ago.

As for your second sentence, I would advise against using the gerund in this way. The accusative of a gerund is almost always used with ad to express purpose, and it would be incorrect to use it alone in this way.

As a more general comment, the "two" sentences you are translating are semantically identical. It's an easy trap to fall into, thinking that help or helping need to be translated respectively by a noun or gerund. Especially with Latin translation, you need to focus on the sense of the sentence much more than the individual words.

As for your first question, propter is perfectly fine, though I tend to prefer ob as a shorter (and fairly well-attested) combination. One possibility:

Gratias ob auxilium tibi ago.

If you wish to emphasize the fact that the person was helping me, a more prolix version could be:

Ob auxilium mihi oblatum gratias tibi [plurimas] ago.

Which is literally:

Thank you [very much] for the help you have given me.

  • Thank you very much! However, in last translation: does oblatum carry meaning that it was you who gave help or sentence is something more like Thank you [very much] for the help that was given to me?
    – user1846
    Aug 2, 2017 at 22:33
  • Is gratias dare (as opposed to agere) classical too?
    – Rafael
    Aug 3, 2017 at 12:45
  • @PrzemysławP It literally means "the help offered to me" (offero > oblatus). It's impossible to construe this without "you" because of the later "tibi."
    – brianpck
    Aug 3, 2017 at 13:41
  • @Rafae; I've never heard gratias dare: pretty sure that would just be an English/Spanish calque!
    – brianpck
    Aug 3, 2017 at 13:43
  • @brianpck It's impossible to construe this without "you" because of the later "tibi." You could theoretically thank someone for help that was given to you by someone else ;)
    – user1846
    Aug 3, 2017 at 13:59

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