As stated in the title, I am in doubt between using "I want to thank" and "I would like to thank" to expresse acknowledgment for the supervisors and the committee members in a thesis. I have used "I would like" at first, but when I checked it using Grammarly, It proposed to be changed to "I want to as": The phrase I would like may sound unconfident. Consider removing it or changing it to more direct language.

What is the more appropriate expression to use in this context?

  • 1
    "would like to..." is always more polite and formal than "want to.." so you would find it more appropriate for a thesis. Nov 5, 2018 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Both are acceptable. "I would like to thank" is slightly more polite, because it is a kind of "indirect" speech.

Grammarly flags this because (I assume) it is built on a particular style guide that emphasizes direct speech patterns. With expository writing, qualifications might sound "weak". For example:

I think it may be true that the African Elephant is larger than the Asian Elephant.

Instead you should know whether or not it is true, and say so with confidence:

The African Elephant is larger than the Asian Elephant.

However confident, direct speech is not always the best option in every situation, especially when expressing humility and gratitude.

I would like to thank my parents, without whom I wouldn't be.

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