1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Congratulations on/for

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mariusstano, May 21, 2007.

  1. mariusstano

    mariusstano Junior Member

    Lithuania
    Hi,

    I see both congratulations on and congratulations for used. Are they used interchangeably or depend on something?
     
  2. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    They both are used a lot, and mean pretty much the same thing - one thing I noticed is that if you're speaking directly to someone, you'd say: "Congratulations on your promotion", but if you're talking about something, you'd write: "Congratulations are in order for John Smith who just received a promotion..."

    This is a very subtle distinction.
     
  3. mariusstano

    mariusstano Junior Member

    Lithuania
    Got that, thanks for explaining
     
  4. mickey0 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian (northern)
    Hello,
    I can't understand exactly when use one or the other. My case:

    Congratulation for the second birth!
    Congratulation for the birth of the second baby!
    Congratulation for the second baby!

    or

    Congratulation on the second birth!
    Congratulation on the birth of the second baby!
    Congratulation on the second baby!

    regards,
     
  5. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    We don't give just one congratulation -- we're expansive, so it's congratulations.

    Closest are your second set, but you want to make it more personal:
    Congratulations on the birth of your son.
    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

    Congratulations on the birth of your (second) baby. (Second is definitely optional. What do you do when you get to nine? I would suggest not counting, even for two.)
     
  6. mickey0 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian (northern)
    Sorry I forgot the 's'; anyway but the point was when use 'on' and 'for'; I can't understand it...any explaination? thanks
     
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I can't give you a list of "for" and "on" usages -- I dropped all your "for" examples to suggest they weren't correct, although you could say, "Congratulations for the second time."
     
  8. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "Congratulations" takes "on", except in the type of case mentioned by Copyright:
    "Congratulations on the birth of your child";
    "Congratulaions on being selected for the team";
    etc.

    There is no "explanation" for this. It is impossible to say why it does not take "for". "Congratulations for" is a direct translation from the Italian.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  9. mickey0 Senior Member

    Italy
    italian (northern)
    I thought there were cases in which the use of 'for' or 'on' were mandatory. So if I got it right, most of the time I have to use 'on'
     
  10. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    If we're doing grammar based on frequency, yes, go for "on." :)
     
  11. Harsirat Junior Member

    Hindi
    I always use "Congratulations for" as in the following examples:
    1. Congratulations for passing your driving test.
    2. congratulations for getting married.
    3. congratulations for having a baby girl...etc.

    But I have just seen in the other thread the person has used the following sentences:

    Congratulations on your exam success
    Congratulations on passing your driving test
    Congratulations on completing the project.

    Thanks
    Harsirat
     
  12. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    If you'd like an opinion, I would always use "on" in these sentences.
     

Share This Page