A happy new year / Happy new year

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magic dragon feeders

Senior Member
Japanese
I'd be glad if someone would answer my question. Thanks in advance.
I'd like to know the difference between 'A happy new year' and 'Happy new year'.
I hear the former has a festive mood, and not the latter. Is that really so?
Can I think the former expresses one time event having festive or celebratory mood, and not the latter?
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    These expressions are likely to be used in different contexts.

    "Happy new year," is complete. You could say that on its own.

    "A happy new year" really needs to be part of a longer sentence. For example, "I wish you and your family a happy new year."
     

    Veera

    Senior Member
    India-Tamil & Telugu
    Thank you Panjandrum. As a non-native speaker, I am very thankful to you for explaining the exact difference between these terms. It's really a wonderful explanation. I came to know the meaning now only.
     

    magic dragon feeders

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    --- Thank you for your kind answer, but I know that "A happy new year" is used in sentences like, 'I wish you a happy new year' or 'Have a happy new year'. What I want to know is why "A happy new year" as well as "Happy new year" is used on its own when greeting.
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    --- Thank you for your kind answer, but I know that "A happy new year" is used in sentences like, 'I wish you a happy new year' or 'Have a happy new year'. What I want to know is why "A happy new year" as well as "Happy new year" is used on its own when greeting.
    "A happy new year" would never be used on its own as a greeting. As panjandrum has already said, it must be used as part of a longer sentence. If you have heard this used on its own, I imagine that the speaker was not a native speaker of English.
     

    magic dragon feeders

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    --- Thank you, Panjandrum, Tegs, and cyclo neviv.
    I've sometimes "A happy new year" said by several Americans. An acquaintance of mine, Irish, said, "A happy new year" and "Happy new year" are both used, and the former is used for expressing festive mood. But I'm not so sure. Of course I know "A happy new year" used on its own is grammatically mistaken (Greeting words don't have an indefinite article.)
     

    Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    While plenty of ungrammatical things are said in spoken English in Ireland (I done that as a prime example), I can safely say that "A happy new year" is not one of them. Your friend must have been mistaken.
     
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