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congratulations for or on

English translation: congratulations on

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:congratulations for or on
English translation:congratulations on
Entered by: patsyarmando
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

18:14 Apr 17, 2011
English to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: congratulations for or on
I´d like to know if it´s correct to say congratulations for being promoted or you can only use congratulations on? Which is the difference in use?I always thought you could only use on but I came across some e-cards that use "Congrats for your new car!"
patsyarmando
Local time: 15:07
congratulations on
Explanation:
"Congrats for your new car" sounds like it is a message of congratulations to be conveyed to the car, rather directly congratulating its owner. I don't have any objections to shortening "congratulations" to "congrats" in an informal email message and it is not unusual to use the shortened form in informal speech. In British English it is definitely "on" and not "for" because it is an expression of pleasure on the occasion of an achievement or event. Contrast it with the expression "I am pleased for you" or even "I am delighted for you", which both seem to be saying the same thing but mean that the event or accomplishment doesn't give me pleasure in itself, but I know it is good for you so I am pleased/delighted for your sake.

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Note added at 14 hrs (2011-04-18 08:49:24 GMT)
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Oops, just noticed that I omitted a "than" above; i.e. "rather than directly congratulating its owner ...".
Selected response from:

B D Finch
France
Local time: 20:07
Grading comment
I think this is the most suitable answer. Thanks a lot for your help!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +7congratulations on
B D Finch
4 +2congratulations on
Tony M
5 +1on + noun / for + verb
MedTrans&More


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
on + noun / for + verb


Explanation:
I would use on here, as a noun (new car) comes afterwards.


    Reference: http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0172160#m_en...
MedTrans&More
United Kingdom
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Paul Lambert: I like that explanation.
5 mins

neutral  B D Finch: Your reference doesn't support your answer. In fact it shows the use of "for" as an option only when the verb "to congratulate" is used, not with the noun "congratulations". "Congratulations on winning", shows that your noun/verb rule doesn't work.
5 mins
  -> maybe you're right, but here, as we have a noun, it's 'on', as I had written previously

neutral  LaraBarnett: It is possible to say on + verb.
3 hrs
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43 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
congratulations on


Explanation:
I think one almost has to use 'on' if it is going to be followed by '...being / having done... sthg' — but if it is followed by a direct noun object, then 'for' can sometimes work, as in your car example (though it still grates a little to my rather conservative ears!)

Tony M
France
Local time: 20:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 209

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  B D Finch: I think the noun argument is wrong. Congratulations on your new car. Congratulations for getting my car out of a ditch - because gratitude is being expressed. Congratulations on getting your car out of a ditch.
12 mins
  -> Yes, good point! I think the choice of 'on' or 'for' is as you say more to do with the reason for the congratulations...

agree  Jack Doughty
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Jack!

agree  Thayenga
13 hrs
  -> Thanks, Thayenga!
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28 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
congratulations on


Explanation:
"Congrats for your new car" sounds like it is a message of congratulations to be conveyed to the car, rather directly congratulating its owner. I don't have any objections to shortening "congratulations" to "congrats" in an informal email message and it is not unusual to use the shortened form in informal speech. In British English it is definitely "on" and not "for" because it is an expression of pleasure on the occasion of an achievement or event. Contrast it with the expression "I am pleased for you" or even "I am delighted for you", which both seem to be saying the same thing but mean that the event or accomplishment doesn't give me pleasure in itself, but I know it is good for you so I am pleased/delighted for your sake.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 hrs (2011-04-18 08:49:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Oops, just noticed that I omitted a "than" above; i.e. "rather than directly congratulating its owner ...".

B D Finch
France
Local time: 20:07
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 148
Grading comment
I think this is the most suitable answer. Thanks a lot for your help!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Allison Wright: MedTrans&More's same link gives more info which supports my "feeling" for "congratulations on" as being the safer bet. See discussion entry.
3 mins
  -> Thanks Allison. See my note to MedTrans&More.

agree  Bashiqa
6 mins
  -> Thanks Bashiqa

agree  Tony M
16 mins
  -> Thanks Tony

agree  Aleksander Pruszynski
1 hr
  -> Thanks Aleksander

agree  LaraBarnett: Shortened way of saying "congrats on (buying) your new car"
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Lara. Yes, indeed, there is an implied gerund lurking there; though it could be "on (inheriting/being given/winning ...) your new car".

agree  Thayenga
13 hrs
  -> Thanks Thayenga

agree  Phong Le
18 hrs
  -> Thanks Phong Le
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