In English, congratulations is a form of praise when someone achieves something special or unusual, for example when someone:
- gets engaged
- gets married
- gets a job promotion
- gets a new job
- has a new baby
- passes an exam
- graduates from school
- wins an election
- wins a race or contest
Congratulations on winning the election!
Congratulations on your new baby!
Congratulations on on winning a gold medal!
Congratulations is often shortened to congrats in writing. English speakers don’t usually say congrats.
Since I started teaching English, I have been congratulated for everything! Often English learners say congratulations when they mean good job or well done!
When you want to tell someone that they have done well on a project, taught a class well, given a good speech, or generally done something well, you can say:
Good job on the report! I think the executives will like it.
That was a great class, teacher. Well done!
Excellent speech! The audience really enjoyed it.
When all the players shake hands at the end of a sports game, they say “good game” to each other. When a sports team wins a tournament, you can also say “Congratulations!” to the team.