Je te remercie pour m'aider. = I thank you for helping me.

I don't understand why aider is in the infinitive. Shouldn't it be “Je te remercie pour m'aide”?

  • Where did you get that sentence please? [I] Thank you for helping me would be: Je te remercie de m'avoir aidé. The English uses a gerund and the French uses a past infinitive. – Lambie Oct 18 '19 at 16:40
  • @Lambie > technically it will depend if you helped in the past or are currently helping. If currently helping, it could be "Merci de m'aider". – Laurent S. Oct 22 '19 at 10:48
  • Ou bien c'est présent: Je te remercie de m'aider. [présent, sens, futur, l'aide n'a pas encore eu lieu] Ou bien, c'est passé: Je te remercie de m'avoir aidé. Pourtant, ma question reste la même: Where did you get that sentence? – Lambie Oct 22 '19 at 14:35

The difficulty arises from the fact that both of

Remercier quelqu’un pour quelque chose / Remercier quelqu’un de quelque chose

are correct BUT they are not used in the same cases (according to two celebrated French dictionaries).

(See http://parler-francais.eklablog.com/merci-a3754913)

Remercier quelqu’un de + nom abstrait (aide, gentillesse, amabilité, accueil, etc.) (abstract noun)

Remercier quelqu’un pour + nom concret (cadeau, objet, fleurs, etc.) (concrete noun)

However, the usage does not make any difference between concret and abstract nouns. Counter-examples appear even in the texts of famous French authors, let alone colloquial language.

Therefore, nowadays, one may use both of

Je vous remercie de/pour votre réponse


Attention : Only de can be used with an infinitive.


Je vous remercie de m'aider. Thank you for helping me.

Je vous remercie de m’avoir aidé(e). Thank you for having helped me.

Je vous remercie de/pour votre aide. Thank you for your help.

Je vous remercie de me répondre. Thank you for answering me.

Je vous remercie de m'avoir répondu(e). Thank you for having answered me.


Voir aussi les commentaires qui suit la réponse (@jlliagre et @aCOSwt)

| improve this answer | |
  • Je vous remercie de votre réponse ;-) – jlliagre Apr 23 '18 at 20:01
  • Au debout j'avais écris Je vous remercie pour votre réponse. Je crois tous les deux sont corrects, n'est-ce pas ? J'ai modifié la réponse car dans la réponse je parle des noms abstraits et concrets. Si j'ai fait une faute je vais le corriger. – Dimitris Apr 23 '18 at 20:08
  • Les deux se disent. bdl.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/bdl/gabarit_bdl.asp?id=1012 Remercier pour était très rare jusqu'au XXe siècle. Il s'est ensuite répandu, peut être sous l'influence de l'anglais. . – jlliagre Apr 23 '18 at 20:28
  • Alors le " ;-) " voulait dire quoi ici ? Ma réponse est correcte, n'est-ce pas ? Que dois-je y rajouter ? – Dimitris Apr 23 '18 at 20:32
  • 1
    @aCOSwt Tu dipilectomes ;-) je parlais d'infinitif présent. D'autre part, "fréquent" est peut-être un peu exagéré, mais il est vrai que remercier pour avoir +pp existe bien, même si on peut ne pas schtoumpfer la tournure... – jlliagre Oct 18 '19 at 11:54

Your sentence is definitively not correct. I would add to the other responses that both following sentences sounds correct to me:

Je te remercie pour ton aide

Je te remercie de ton aide

| improve this answer | |

Your original sentence doesn't make sense in French because it would be understood as:

In order to help myself, I thank you.

Remercier pour is possible when referring to a thing :

Je te remercie pour les chocolats.

With a verb, an idiomatic sentence would be :

Je te remercie de m'aider.

Here the infinitive is used (to help).

If you want to use the noun aide (the help), you can use either of these forms:

Je te remercie pour l'aide que tu m'as apportée.

Je te remercie de l'aide que tu m'as apportée.

The latter is slightly more formal.

| improve this answer | |

The other answers rightly pointed out that it was not a proper sentence. However, distracted by the improperness of the sentence, they have not answered the actual question as to why it's the infinitive.

To the matter at hand

I don't understand why aider is in the infinitive. Shouldn't it be “Je te remercie pour m'aide”?

In other words, why is it helping (the gerund acting like a noun) in English and why aider (the infinitive) in French.

Well, that's just the way it is. As a French person, I could also ask why English use the gerund like that. I happened to read the gerund entry on Wikipedia and I stumbled upon

[...] This is not a normal use for a Latin gerund. Moreover, the clause may function within a sentence as subject or object, which is impossible for a Latin gerund. [...] Latin never uses the gerund in this way, since the infinitive is available.

And there you have your answer. Bottom line is gerund used for verbs acting like a noun is the infinitive in French.

A few examples

Fumer est interdit.

Smoking is not allowed/forbidden.

I look forward to meeting you.

J'ai hâte de te rencontrer.

I realised there was something not right about the latter example. I wanted to draw a parallel between French and English but avoir hâte de is always followed by a verb. The expression is avoir hâte de faire quelque chose. So we cannot use a noun whereas I look forward to is expecting a noun hence the gerund. I look forward to your answer. I've often seen se réjouir de for to look forward to but the latter is feeling happy and excited about something that is going to happen whereas the former is missing this component (at least, all definitions I've seen don't say anything about something that is going to happen). However, se réjouir de can be followed by a noun, so it might be a better fit, at least to support what I'm saying.

Je me réjouis de notre partenariat.

I look forward to our partnership

Je me réjouis de travailler avec vous

I look forward to working with you

And one for the road

(Playing videogames) can be dangerous. () -> the whole thing act as a noun

Jouer aux jeux vidéos peut être dangereux.

German takes it a step farther

Das Rauchen (article + infinitive + uppercase)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.