Close this search box.

Congratulations On or For?

Do you know the correct preposition to use with congratulations? Is it correct to say “congratulations for” or “congratulations on”?

Actually, both can be correct!

Graphic illustrating the difference between "congratulations on" and "congratulations for". On should be used when expressing good wishes in the context of a private event, whereas for is given as a way to praise the achievements of someone.

Congratulation is the single form of the word, and it means the action of congratulating. In the plural, congratulations is what you say to express pleasure in someone else’s success.

On is the correct preposition when you are expressing good wishes in the context of a positive event:

  • Congratulations on your wedding!
  • Congratulations on your baby!
  • Congratulations on your new job!
  • Congratulations on winning the game!

Congratulations can be given as a way to praise someone’s achievement. If you are using it like that, then for is the correct preposition:

  • Congratulations for reaching 100 days of sobriety!
  • Congratulations for leading the team to victory!
  • Congratulations for saving the business from bankruptcy!
  • You can also offer congratulations to someone.
  • The boss offered congratulations to his employees.
  • The villagers offered congratulations to the power company for the quick restoration of electricity.

You can also use this word reflexively:

  • “You should congratulate yourself.”

You can also just use the word congratulations by itself:

  • “They shouted ‘Congratulations!’ as the newlyweds walked to the car.”

In modern times, wedding guests congratulate both the bride and groom. However, in the past, it was not proper etiquette to congratulate the bride. The correct way was to congratulate the groom and then to offer “best wishes” to the bride. The groom was congratulated because he had won out over his rivals. The bride was offered wishes that her husband would be a good one.

Posted by Avatar photo
By Patrice Riley

Patrice Riley is the pen name of Dr. Deborah Riley. She is a retired English professor that enjoys grammar, literature, and all things writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *