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Two studies investigated whether apologies or thanks are preferred in asking favors in the United States and Korea, and how this relates to perceptions of reduction in positive and negative face threats. In the first study (n = 224), participants composed an e-mail message where a favor was asked. In the second (n = 807), participants completed questionnaires including a prototypical e-mail for the situation described in Study 1, as well as measures of negative and positive face threats. Findings showed that (a) Koreans more frequently included apologies in favor-asking messages, while Americans more frequently included thanks; and (b) Americans considered repeated thanks to reduce the threat to hearers' negative and positive face, but Koreans considered repeated apologies to reduce the threat to speakers' positive face.