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ございます vs. ございました

Angel Valis

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So, in about a month I will be moving to Japan for my new job, and I thought I would ask a question that's been bothering me for a long time.

When thanking someone, when is it appropriate to say 「ありがとうございます」vs. 「ありがとうございました」? I take it that the past tense would be used when someone has already done something for which you're thanking them, but what about when at the grocery store or something like that? Technically, they've rung me up for my purchases and so the action is in the past...but it's so close to the present, that I just don't know what the most appropriate tense is.

Essentially, I've either not been paying attention to people, or I've just not picked up on the pattern of when to use one over the other.

よろしくおねがいします。
 

Toritoribe

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Here's good explanations.:)
For example, arigato gozaimasu vs arigato gozaimashita. The difference in usage is not really a verb tense thing in the normal sense, but depends on the context--whether it's an interim thank-you or a final thank-you. When you select a big ticket item in the dept store, the clerk will likely say Thank you using the present tense -masu form. When you finish being cashed out at the register, you will always get a final -mashita form of Thank-you.

わかりました, what does it really mean? | Japan Forum

Newbie: ありがとうございます vs. ありがとうございました? | Japan Forum
 

Angel Valis

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That simultaneously makes a lot of sense and leaves me confused, but I do think that I understand it more than I did to begin with. I'm also surprised that the board has seemingly never been purged haha.

Toritoribe-san, ありがとうございました。(Though, should it be ~ました here since you've answered my question, or ~ます since you're always so helpful?)
 

Toritoribe

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Yeah, ありがとうございました is more common, but いつもありがとうございます also can work.
 
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