good for you vs. bravo

sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
Hello friends,

As you know "good for you" and "bravo" have a meaning closer to I applaud your accomplishment. We say "good for you" or "Bravo" to someone who has done something well.
Then which one is more used among you native English speakers?

Source: self made general question
Thank you
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    To be honest, sb, I'd tend to use "Good for you" ironically: I wouldn't use it to convey sincere congratulations:(.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    There are some previous threads on this, sb, including
    Good for you!
    I have found many thraeds about the usage of "good for you" but I just wanted to know whether "bravo" is used among native English speakers too or not.
    Any way, thanks for answering.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, because it's slightly less common, bravo​ can be used ironically (but of course not necessarily). My neutral term is 'well done!'
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Once a person told me that "Kudos to you" is also used.
    Is he right? Do you also use this ironically?
     

    irinet

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    This word seems to be international. We often use it for congrats. When ironically, we add an interjection and lower the tone by saying: "Ei, bravo!".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Bravo" is generally used to applaud a performance which is why its use in normal circumstances is ironic. I'm saying "bravo!" as if you just sang an aria in an opera house full of people when in fact you've just managed to tie your shoes.
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    I object slightly to "its use in normal circumstances is ironic." Certainly it is used ironically at times, but every other congratulatory phrase can be used ironically, too. All it takes is the right tone of voice or facial expression and - bingo! - you have irony or sarcasm. It's perfectly possible to use "Bravo!" to indicate "Congratulations!" in a sincere way. Irony or sarcasm isn't built into the word.
     
    Last edited:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Bravo" is generally used to applaud a performance which is why its use in normal circumstances is ironic. I'm saying "bravo!" as if you just sang an aria in an opera house full of people when in fact you've just managed to tie your shoes.
    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    I'd be tempted to say "Bravo, Myridon," but since I'm not given to pretentious speech, I don't think I've ever used the word. :D
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    The problem with my answering your question, SB, is that I disagree with those who have indicated that "good for you" and "bravo" are necessarily sarcastic. Both words can be, and perhaps an individual might habitually use one sarcastically, but they aren't used sarcastically all the time by everybody. They can be used sarcastically or sincerely. Both uses are perfectly fine.

    And the same with "kudos." It can be sincere or sarcastic.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    The problem with my answering your question, SB, is that I disagree with those who have indicated that "good for you" and "bravo" are necessarily sarcastic. Both words can be, and perhaps an individual might habitually use one sarcastically, but they aren't used sarcastically all the time by everybody. They can be used sarcastically or sincerely. Both uses are perfectly fine.

    And the same with "kudos." It can be sincere or sarcastic.
    Yes I do agree with you. It depends on the tone of our voice.
    Thank you
     

    FNA

    Member
    English
    Likewise I do not not primarily use "good for you" or "bravo" in a sarcastic or ironic way.

    Good for you is in my use more personal, i.e. "I quit smoking." "Good for you."
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    The Google Books Ngram Viewer puts "Bravo!" above "Good for you!" in frequency, but this doesn't settle the question of irony.
    I agree with JustKate (#13), that any expression of congratulation can be used ironically.
    I would add that, offhand, I can't think of any that are inherently ironic.
    Well, I think "Good for you!" is more often used to a child who has accomplished something like tying his/her own shoes—and that's why it may seem ironic when said to an adult.
    And, sdgraham, if you think "Bravo!" sounds pretentious, how do you feel about "Kudos!"?
    I find "Kudos!" very literary, likely to be written in movie or book reviews. I don't think I've ever heard it spoken. (And I've never seen it with "to you".)
    What I hear by far most frequently in the everyday speech around me is "Good job!"
    But general expressions of approval are like slang, in that they gain and lose popularity quickly. (Think of "Wonderful!", "Super!", "Far out!", "Neat!", "Fantastic!", etc.)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I object slightly to "its use in normal circumstances is ironic." Certainly it is used ironically at times, but every other congratulatory phrase can be used ironically, too. All it takes is the right tone of voice or facial expression and - bingo! - you have irony or sarcasm. It's perfectly possible to use "Bravo!" indicate a "Congratulations!" in a sincere way. Irony or sarcasm isn't built into the word.
    I didn't say it was impossible to use it sincerely. I said "in normal circumstances". Nor did I say that other phrases couldn't be used ironically.
    It is quite a strong form of "congratulations." Without tone of voice to guide you, using "Bravo!" (or "Super-duper excellent!", etc.) in a situation where "Good." or "That was nice." would be sufficient is going to seem sarcastic or ironic. If someone told you they were getting married and you said "Bravo!", they might take it wrong no matter how you said it.
     
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