#179: How to Congratulate Someone in English

Jun 24, 2020 | Advanced Vocabulary, Business Professional English, English Conversation

What is the first thing you want to do when someone you love shares exciting news, like a job promotion or a new baby? You want to congratulate them, right? 

No matter what the good news is, we all love those feel-good moments of celebrating a

  • New job
  • Promotion at work
  • New baby
  • Wedding announcement
  • The end of a difficult project at work
  • Marathon after months of training

So how can you congratulate someone in English in a heartfelt, meaningful way?

In today’s Confident English lesson, you’ll learn:

  • Casual vs. formal ways to congratulate someone
  • Differences between verbal vs. written congratulations
  • An easy-to-use formula you can use to share congratulations from the heart
  • 3 examples of congratulations in real-life situations

And at the end, I’ll also tell you one happy situation when we don’t say congratulations (and what we say instead).

How to Congratulate Someone in English

Review the video summary below with examples of how to congratulate someone in English in casual and formal situations.

Casual Exclamations to Congratulate Someone in English

  • Congrats! That’s fantastic. (That’s fantastic news!)
  • You did it! I knew you could.
  • That’s awesome! Congratulations on a job well done.
  • Bravo!
  • Woohoo!
  • Yea!
  • Cheers to you.
  • Way to go!
  • Good for you!
  • That rocks!
  • You nailed it!
  • Phenomenal!
  • Great work! / I knew you could do it!
  • All your hard work has finally paid off.

Formal Exclamations to Congratulate Someone in English

  • Congratulations! You deserve this success.
  • Congratulations on your hard work. 
  • My sincere/heartfelt/warmest congratulations to you.
  • I commend you on your accomplishments/success.
  • Well done!
  • That’s wonderful news.

A 3-Step Formula to Congratulate Someone in a Meaningful Way

  1. Start with an exclamation of congratulations/share how happy you are. Be specific.
  2. Give a compliment on their hard work or hard-earned success
  3. Focus on the future with an encouraging comment.

Examples of How to Congratulate Someone Using the 3-Step Formula

Congratulations on the Job Promotion (Formal)

Congratulations, that’s wonderful news! I’m thrilled for you! You deserve this promotion more than anyone I know after your years of hard work and dedication. Here’s to your promotion and all your future success.

Congratulations on a New Job (Informal)

That’s fantastic! Congrats on getting the job. I knew the right position would come along. I hope this is the perfect fit for you.

Congratulations on a Work Anniversary (Formal)

Congratulations on being with the company for 3 years! You’ve been a tremendous asset to the team with your positive outlook and creative approach. We hope you’ll be with us for many years to come.

Congratulations on a Wedding Announcement (Informal)

Congratulations on your wedding announcement! I’m excited for both of you and I know you’ll have many happy years together.

Congratulations on Buying a New Home (Informal)

Oh, that’s awesome! Congrats to both of you on the new home. I can’t wait to see how you make it feel like you!

Congratulations on a Successful Achievement (Informal)

Congrats on finishing your big project! It was definitely a success due to your creativity and commitment. And now I hope you get some much deserved time to relax.

Now that you have a simple 3-step formula for how to congratulate someone, I’d love for you to try.

1. Imagine your best friend just got a big promotion at work. How would you congratulate her?

2. Imagine a family member just ran a marathon after months of hard work and training. What would you say?

As always, you can share your comments and questions with me below.

~Annemarie

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