Originally Posted by Jragon
Another question, arigatou gozaimasu vs arigatou gozaimashita. Obviously the latter is the past tense, but are they totally interchangeable or is there a real difference? I've listened to a lot of stuff in Japanese and they seem to be used totally interchangeably, but it bugs me not knowing for sure.
In a lot of situations they are interchangeable, but sometimes not. For example, if someone is thanking you at the end of the night for an enjoyable evening, they would use "Arigatou gozaimashita". If someone is pouring you a drink and you want to say thanks, you would use "Arigatou gozaimasu".