Please could you help me to create a Latin motto which means ‘I am, therefore I thank.’ I’ve thought of sum ergo laudo, but perhaps laudo is closer to ‘I praise’. I’m looking for a word with a nuance closer to ‘I give thanks’ or ‘I am thankful’ but, because this is for a motto, I should like to capture the meaning of ‘I thank’ in a single Latin verb. Am I correct in thinking that the word order in the motto would be sum + ergo + (the word you suggest)? Thanks so much!

3 Answers 3


There is no Latin verb that means "thank". There is the noun "thank", gratia, and you can "give thanks", agere gratias. Using this, you'd get sum ergo gratias ago.

But this might sound a little clumsy, so using laudare (which is more "to praise" than "to thank") is a decent option. Whether you value simplicity or accuracy more is a matter of taste. With laudare you'd get sum ergo laudo as you suggest.


The other two answers focused on "to give thanks" part of your question, but neglect the other option you gave: "I am thankful." The latter allows for more possibilities, although I think the most straightforward would be:

Sum ergo gratiam habeo.
I am therefore I am thankful/grateful.

gratias agere is more active in nature, and really does mean something more like "I give thanks"; whereas gratiam habere is more about the state in which someone is, so "I am grateful." For a motto, I take it you want to express the fact that you are a grateful person, not that you go around saying thanks to everyone. For this reason, gratiam habere is better.

I can't think of a way to express this in a single word---there is no inherent reason why a language should be able to express something like this in a single word. Maybe you could poach a word from another language, like the Greek? There you could do:

sum ergo εὐχαριστῶ (eucharisto, whence the word 'Eucharist')

However, that doesn't make for a good motto outside of Classics/Biblical Studies circles.


This question deals with ways of saying "thank you" in Latin. Looking at L&S entry for bene, we can see that "I thank you" can be said as

bene facis, bene vocas, bene narras

Thus, you could say something like

sum ergo bene vocas

Later in the entry there is a suggestion bene alone can also be used, as also stated in the linked question.

PS: credit goes to the linked question for inspiration.

  • 1
    Hmm... Bene facis and the others mean roughly "you do well". That is, they're more "you deserve praise" than "I give praise". Latin seems to want to phrase things that way, but I'm not sure they work well in a motto.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:12
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    Thank you so much for your help and expertise, so willingly and promptly given. Jan 14, 2019 at 18:55
  • If you look at Penelope's post, you'll see that she actually divided up the ways to say "thanks" into two different categories. The three you mentioned fall under the "Thanks expressed as pleasure and assent to the preceding action/suggestion etc:", which differs from the "thanks used to express thanksgiving."
    – cmw
    Nov 26, 2021 at 16:31

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