raise a toast

Discussion in 'English Only' started by novice_81, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. novice_81 Senior Member


    Is it correct to say: Let's raise a toast to your exam passed for A. or (... to your A passed exam?)

  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Is this about 'raise a toast' or about the word order with passing exams?

    About 'toast' first: basically you toast a person. You raise a loyal toast to The Queen; or you toast Anne and Bill, who are getting married today. (There may be minor differences between 'toast' and 'raise a toast to'.) But by extension you could toast a thing: let's toast your thesis, or your degree (something that's doing well, or has been successful). This is limited, however. We raised a toast to their marriage? Hmmm. Not sure what kind of abstract things you'd toast. An exam you've passed? Maybe. No. No, a toast is to wish future prosperity to someone or something: once an exam is over, that's it, it has no future. Fellow native speakers, would you say 'They toasted their success in the exam' before the exam? after it was over? at all?
  3. novice_81 Senior Member


    I would say it's about the part "to your exam passed for A".

    cheers and thanks for the answer
  4. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Okay, I was avoiding that bit because it was harder. Instead of A, let's call it chemistry. So you want to congratulate someone on:

    (1) :cross:your exam passed for chemistry
    (2) :cross:your passed chemistry exam

    No, you can't use 'passed' as an adjective in this sense, as in (2). I'm not so sure why (1) is wrong. We can't say 'for chemistry' like that. We don't go into an exam for chemistry. We go into a chemistry exam; or possibly (less commonly) an exam in chemistry. But subsituting 'in' for 'for' in (1) doesn't make it right. Now why not? Hmm.

    I would say 'the chemistry exam you passed' or (much less commonly) 'the exam you passed in chemistry' or 'the exam in chemistry you passed'. So definitely not :cross:'your exam passed in chemistry'. But I would like to work out a good reason why not.
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    "your exam passed for an A" isn't right. The exam didn't pass anything. You passed.
    You got an A on your exam.
    You passed your exam with an A.

    You could say:
    .. raise a toast to the A on your exam.
    .. raise a toast to your getting an A on the exam.
    .. raise a toast to your passing the exam with an A.
    and a lot of other variations.
  6. novice_81 Senior Member

    Thanks for your help!
  7. ALept New Member

    Maybe I haven't been paying attention - I certainly haven't been to any weddings lately - but I don't normally hear "raise a toast". In my circles we usually say something like "propose a toast to ...", "raise our glasses to ..." or "drink a toast to ..."
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It seems that AE-speakers might raise a toast - 16 examples in COCA, but none in BNC.

    BNC - British National Corpus
    COCA - Corpus of Contemporary American English

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