Thank You vs Thanks
Thank You and Thanks are two expressions that should be used differently. Thanks is a plural noun and hence it cannot be sued with a direct object. It is interesting to note that ‘thanks’ is often followed by the expression ‘a lot’ as in sentences
1. I said ‘Thanks a lot’
2. Here is a cake for you. – ‘Oh! Thanks a lot’.
It should be noted that ‘thank’ is a transitive verb and hence is followed by a direct object as in the sentence ‘Francis thanked Fredrick for his help’.
On the other hand the expression ‘thank you’ is followed often by ‘very much’ only and not by ‘a lot’.
‘Thank you very much’ is correct whereas ‘thank you a lot’ is not a correct way of expression. Both ‘thank you’ and ‘thanks’ are followed often by ‘for’ and immediately by a gerund (ing). Look at the sentence ‘He thanked her for going with him to the shop’.
Sometimes ‘thanks’ is used to refuse something that is offered as in ‘No Thanks’. In the same way ‘thank you’ is also used to refuse something that is offered as in ‘No thank you’. In some cases ‘thank you’ is used to accept things when they are offered. Francis would say ‘thank you’ to accept when he is offered fruits by Florence who would have said ‘Would you like some more fruits?’
It is important to know that thank you is the modern form of the older expression ‘I thank you’. Hence the personal pronoun ‘I’ is always dropped while speaking. Sometimes the word ‘thanks’ is followed by the expression ‘so much’ as in ‘Thanks so much for calling’. The expression ‘thank you’ is more formal than ‘thanks’. At the same time both the expressions are interchanged these days.