letter of congratulation vs congratulations

elicosafi

Member
Español
Which one is correct?

I sent a letter of congratulation.
I sent a letter of congratulations.

I have seen both words used in different contexts.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I've also seen both "congratulation" and "congratulations" used in different sources. I'd use the singular "congratulation" in that sentence of yours.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    "Letter of congratulation" is correct: singular.
    When using the word in addressing someone upon his or her success, it's "Congratulations!"
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    "Letter of congratulation" (singular) sounds odd to me. In fact, I don't think I'd ever use "congratulation" in the singular.

    There are about 100,000 more Google results for "letter of congratulations" (plural) than for "letter of congratulation" (singular).

    It seems that both are used. If anything, the plural seems to be more common.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Letter of congratulation" (singular) sounds odd to me. In fact, I don't think I'd ever use "congratulation" in the singular.

    There are about 100,000 more Google results for "letter of congratulations" (plural) than for "letter of congratulation" (singular).

    It seems that both are used. If anything, the plural seems to be more common.
    Actually, the singular is more common on Google.

    You need to go to the last page of Google results to find the "true" numbers ... and I've found that it's easiest to do this if you personalize your Google results to show 100 results per page.

    Here are the results I just found:
    letter of congratulation: 329 results
    letter of congratulations: 278 results

    I would have used the singular "congratulation," even before I ran the searches. :)
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    On my computer it's showing 276 for the plural and 262 for the singular, but either way the difference doesn't seem to be drastic.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    "Letter of congratulation" is, for me, just like "letter of condolence." You wish someone congratulations, or extend your condolences, but if it's a letter, then I would use the singular ... of course I've already said that. :)
     
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