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5 Sep
ENG45  0






Life starts with birth and ends with death. There are also a lot of other things happenings but these are the two major ones writing our destiny on the stone of life.

How can we say that we are happy for that newborn baby in English? Or how can we say we are sorry to the relatives of a dead person?

There are two big words for these two events. “Congratulations” and “Condolences”.

The following examples will show you how we can use them in the real world and sentences.



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 winning a gold medal!

Congratulations are often shortened to congrats in writing. English speakers don’t usually say congrats.

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.




It is important to acknowledge the loss in one form or another. Here are a few expressions you can use to express your care and concern in English when someone passes away.

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

I was heartbroken by this sad news.

I will never forget when he/she… (share a memory using the past tense verb)

For example, I will never forget when she helped us with our crisis.

You were such a dedicated friend/mother/sister to ______________ (name).

He / She will be sadly missed. (Add a detail that describes this person’s best quality. For example, He was the best listener.OR He was always there when I needed help with the kids.)

I’m sorry, but I am at a loss for words. (If you can’t think of anything else to say or write.)

If you need anything, please ask. (Then offer something specific, such as help with the kids or a home cooked meal or a coffee date.)

When you are feeling up to it, let’s have coffee together.

I’m here for you if you need anything.

Thanks for taking the time to let me know about _________ (name of deceased).



Expressing Condolences in Writing:

Please accept my/our sincere condolences.

I would like to express my sincere condolences on the death of __________. (name)

He / She was __________. (describe this person in a word or two)

I’m sorry I could not convey my condolences in person. (If you are far away from a friend.You can use this in a phone call too.)


Common Errors:

the spelling of “peace” (not “piece”)

capitalization of “God” (not “god”)

the spelling of “condolences”

the spelling of “prayers”


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