15 Ways to Say Congratulations in English

Ways to Say Congratulations in English

Today you’re going to learn 15 other words for congratulations! Also check out 33 Ways to Say Yes in English.

OK, so your best friend has just got a new job.

What do you say to her?

You say “congratulations,” right?

Then she tells you that she’s just got engaged.

Do you say “congratulations” again?

Then she tells you that her brother has just been made prime minister.

Do you say “congratulations” AGAIN?

There are lots of different ways to say congratulations.

If you don’t want to say the same thing again and again, then you’ll need these!

Informal Ways to Say Congratulations

Some good news is really, really good.

For example, your sister-in-law has just told you that she’s been selected to go on a space mission to Mars with Justin Timberlake. Very good news.

And some good news is … just good news.

For example, someone in the hostel you’re staying at has finally managed to open that difficult jar of beans. Yeah — good news. But not that good.

When we congratulate people, our level of enthusiasm changes depending on the news.

If you’re too enthusiastic about the beans, then you’ll just seem weird:

"That's amazing" inappropriate example comic

Some phrases work for either situation, and some don’t.

Let’s look at them one by one.

Nice one!

This phrase is suitable for pretty much any informal situation. The key here is how you say it.

Here’s an example for something big:

“I got the tickets for the gig! And … We’ve got backstage passes!”
Nice one!”

Here’s an example for something small:

“Did you remember to lock the door?”
Nice one!”

We can also use this one sarcastically:

“Oh no! I just deleted the whole contacts list.”
“Oh … Nice one, Barry.”

Good one!

This one isn’t so suitable for big news. It would feel a little unenthusiastic if you said this to someone who had just won an Oscar, for example.

Save it for the little things:

“OK. I managed to rent some nice bikes for the day.”
Good one! Let’s hit the road!”

However, this one is particularly good if you want to be sarcastic:

“Oh … I think I’ve put the whole thing on backwards.”
“Haha! Good one!”


Good one example comic


Kudos is originally Greek and means praise or glory.

It kind of means “The universe believes you deserve respect! And I agree!”

We usually use it when we want to congratulate someone on something they’ve achieved — usually through hard work or a job well done.

“I’m finally getting a day off after completing that massive coding project.”
“Hey! Kudos!”


If kudos means “The universe believes you deserve respect,” then respect in this context simply means “I believe you deserve respect.”

It’s more personal and a little more friendly.

“I just learned 40 songs in one weekend.”
Respect! Can you sing one now?”


Would you be surprised if I told you that this was short for “fish man in the hat”?

Then you should be, because it isn’t.

It’s actually short for congratulations!

Even though it’s a shorter, more informal word, we still don’t really use it for small news. Save it for the bigger stuff.

“We won the match. Again!”
Congrats! Pub?”

You rock!

Sometimes when your friend has done something really well, you feel proud of them, right?

What better way of telling them that you’re proud of them than by telling them that they rock, as in “rock n’ roll” — you know, in the way that Freddie Mercury completely and utterly rocked!

I mean — just look at him!

Freddie Mercury singing
Queen – Freddie Mercury by Carl Lender | CC BY 2.0

“Two weeks of yoga, and I’m already learning how to fly!”
“Yeah! You rock!”

Can you feel the enthusiasm?

You rule!

As you can imagine, this is basically the same as “You rock!”

Your friend did something amazing! Now they rule!

Rule what? The world? The school? My neighbour’s tractor?

They just … generally … rule! Stop asking questions!

“They wouldn’t listen, but I just kept making my point, and in the end, they decided to follow my advice!”
You rule!”

Way to go!

I really like this phrase.

When you use it positively, it’s absolutely bursting with (full of) enthusiasm and energy.

“Your book got a review in the New York Times, and they loved it? Way to go, man!”

But this one is also very commonly used as a sarcastic phrase:

“I don’t believe it. We have to do the whole thing again just because Barry didn’t remember to submit his file? Way to go, Barry! Thanks a lot!”

Damn that Barry.

Less Informal Ways to Say Congratulations

Of course, most of the phrases we’ve looked at so far would not be suitable in every situation.

If you met the queen of Sweden, and she told you that she was recently voted the most popular Swedish queen ever, you probably wouldn’t say, “You rock!” or “Way to go, Queenie!”

Unless you’re the king of Sweden. In which case, it’s great to have you reading this blog, Carl.

I’m really pleased for you.

This one is definitely very nice and certainly suitable for formal situations:

“You’ve been voted the most popular Swedish queen ever? I’m really pleased for you!”

"I'm really pleased for you" example comic

Good for you!

It sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it?

I mean, carrots are good for you.

Long walks in the park are good for you.

But we can also use this phrase to mean “This is good news for you, and I’m happy for you!”

“Gustav has just told me the news. I got the promotion!”
Good for you!”

Well done!

This is short and simple and very efficient.

We usually use this phrase to refer directly to some work that someone has done — that someone has done well. You might say that the work was … well done.

“I blocked the hack attack and removed all the viruses. We’re safe now!”
Well done, Tammy!”

Good work!

This is more or less the same as “well done.”

“I blocked the hack attack and removed all the viruses. We’re safe now!
Good work, Tommy!”

Excellent job!

But what if the work was even better?

Then we can upgrade:

“I blocked the hack attack and removed all the viruses AND restructured the mainframe so it won’t happen again.”
Excellent job, Tammy.”

Of course, if you like, you can change excellent for any adjective that means “very good.”

I’m impressed!

It’s always nice to hear people describe how your actions make them feel (when it makes them feel good, of course).

This is a great way to reassure people that they’ve done well.

It’s particularly useful if you’re someone’s boss or supervisor — it provides encouragement and gives people motivation to do their jobs better.

“So you’ve been offered positions at Tesla, NASA and Clark and Miller? I’m impressed!”


You can say “I’m impressed,” or, if you’d prefer to sound like Roger Moore, you can go for “impressive.”

“We have built this earth destruction machine out of nothing but pure gold. What do you say to that, Mr Bond?”

Roger Moore
Sir Roger Moore 3 by Allan Warren | CC BY 2.0

RIP, Roger!

So now, next time you want to say “congratulations,” try one of these instead!

18 thoughts on “15 Ways to Say Congratulations in English

  1. Dear Gaby,
    Rhythm is the longest English word without a Vowel.
    Of all the words in the English Language the word SET has the most Definitions.
    The word QUEUE is the only word in the English Language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed. ( check it out if you want to) susan.j.

  2. There are no words in the DICTIONARY that Rhyme with ORANGE, PURPLE and SILVER.
    The number 4 is the only number with the same number of letters as the meaning of its name.
    Months that begin on a SUNDAY will always have FRIDAY the 13 th.

    1. Great comment!

      I’d say that there are ALMOST no words in the dictionary that rhyme with these words:
      I had a quick look and there’s at least one word in the dictionary that rhymes with “orange” — “sporange,” an obscure botanical term.
      There’s also “curple,” a rear part of a horse’s saddle; “hirple”, an obscure word for “limp”; and “quirple,” a rude question.
      And finally we’ve also got “chilver,” a female baby sheep, but only used in colloquially.

      But to be fair almost NO ONE knows these words, so I think you’re basically right. There are no words that rhyme with these colours (that aren’t super obscure).

      I love the number “four” thing. Made me go through the numbers in my head!

      Thanks for the awesome comment! 🙂

  3. Dear Gaby,
    I was not able to find one. We mostly do not use botanical terms for Rhyme scheme. Guess i am right then Thanks for looking it up. Get back to you later.

  4. Dear Gaby, Brain Teaser’s.
    November is the only MONTH to represent a letter in the Phonetic language.
    We are about Icm taller in the morning than in the evening. susan.j

  5. Dear Gaby,
    I still haven’t mastered Punctuations. i am not getting it when it comes in a small paragraph.
    Susan j.

  6. Dear Gaby,
    I think i am giving you a lot of trouble over these Punctuations. I will learn it as we do the work sheets.
    Thanks, susan.

  7. Dear GABY, MATCH these idioms with their Meanings.
    1. As one man. Since childhood.

    2 Be one’s own man. To be adequately strong
    3. Man and boy. with no exception, all
    4. To a man To be independent
    5. Be man enough. Together in complete agreement.
    Susan. j.

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