Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Anniversary vs. birthday

    Hello, Good afternoon !

    I would like to know if is wrong, inadequate refer to birthday as an anniversary like:

    my wife's anniversary.

    Thank you !
    Ricardo Jacob

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,216
    #2

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    In the US, it would be very puzzling. We would assume you mean the anniversary of your marriage, so why it would be your wife's anniversary but not yours would be a mystery.

    There are other uses - for example, at my company, you get a gift on various milestone employment anniversaries, so if at a meeting, someone said "Today we want to recognize Kim's 5-year anniversary" we would know it meant she joined the company 5 years ago.

    But it's never used for a birthday.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #3

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    Very technically speaking, a birthday is the anniversary of one's birth. But it is rarely, if ever, referred to in that fashion. "Anniversary" is a word used to commemorate special occasions, like weddings, first dates, very large purchases ("Happy Anniversary! It was one year ago today that we bought this house together.") , things like that. Interestingly enough, even though we don't usually refer to birth dates as "anniversaries" we do use the word when referring to death dates. Not in a celebratory fashion, of course; some people just tend to keep track and mention something like "It's the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. I remember exactly what I was doing that day when the phone rang and my mom gave me the bad news."

  4. riquecohen's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 6,002
    #4

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    It`s interesting to note that Ricardo is Brazilian. In Portuguese. aniversario is the word for birthday.

  5. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #5

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    Quote Originally Posted by riquecohen View Post
    It`s interesting to note that Ricardo is Brazilian. In Portuguese. aniversario is the word for birthday.
    There are similar cognates in French, Italian, Spanish.... The only link we have in English with the turning of the year ('anniversary') is when we say 'Many happy returns' (on someone's birthday).

    b

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,216
    #6

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    when we say 'Many happy returns' (on someone's birthday).

    b
    As a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, I know that he uses that phrase, but I've always wondered if modern-day BrE speakers use it too.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #7

    Re: Anniversary vs. birthday

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    As a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh, I know that he uses that phrase, but I've always wondered if modern-day BrE speakers use it too.
    Yes we do. What we don't say so much now - although I'd call it slightly old-fashioned rather than archaic - is the fuller version: 'many happy returns of the day'. But the shorter version is current and common.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. happy anniversary
    By Abstract Idea in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Oct-2009, 11:57
  2. anniversary event please help asap
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Jun-2009, 06:54
  3. anniversary or memorial?
    By loveydovey in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Dec-2007, 03:05
  4. 30th anniversary or 30th Anniversary ??
    By SDSteve in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Sep-2005, 07:35
  5. anniversary
    By piggy386 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-Nov-2004, 03:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •