Friday, January 25, 2008

Congratulations

Everyone likes congratulating someone over something. Unfortunately, sometimes, people don't know the preposition that comes after the word. I've heard people say, "congratulations for," which is incorrect.

The correct preposition is "congratulations on." "For" is a preposition used to indicate the receiver of an action, as in, "I went out for a drink" (the drink receives the action of going out) and "I made lunch for the kids" (the kids receive the action). "Congratulations" is not an action; therefore, we say "congratulations on."

I'm not entirely sure why we say "congratulations on." I suspect it's partly because "on" can indicate a state ("it's on fire"). When you congratulate someone, you're referring to a favorable state which the person is in: "congratulations on winning the game," "congratulations on finishing your degree," "congratulations on completing the project." We also say, "I would like to congratulate you on passing that test."

That's all for now, folks!

1 comment:

Qing said...

I wish the day that I can congratulate myself on finally finishing my MA study in the Philippines to come soon; therefore, I can be reunited with my families and friends in China.