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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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    #1

    Birthday wishes

    Hello,
    I would like to ask the following questions. One friend wished me a happy birthday, how should I thank him? Is it OK if I say "Thanks for the birthday wish".

    Also I'm wondering, when you wish someone a happy birthday, can you say "I congratulate you on your birthday!" It's the way English teachers sometimes teach you.

    My last question is: do English native speakers still say "Many happy returns of the day" when wishing someone a happy birthday?

    All answers will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Birthday wishes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dready View Post
    Hello,
    I would like to ask the following questions. One friend wished me a happy birthday, how should I thank him? Is it OK if I say "Thanks for the birthday wish". I usually just say "Thank you!" but there is nothing wrong with the way you suggest.

    Also I'm wondering, when you wish someone a happy birthday, can you say "I congratulate you on your birthday!" It's the way English teachers sometimes teach you. I have never said this. There's no achievement in turning a year older (aside from not having died the prior year, I guess), so congratulations seem odd to me. Perhaps in other English-speaking places, this is more commong.

    My last question is: do English native speakers still say "Many happy returns of the day" when wishing someone a happy birthday? I always think of Winnie the Pooh when I hear this. Americans don't say this. I don't know about others countries.

    All answers will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    You're welcome.
    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.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

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    #3

    Re: Birthday wishes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dready View Post
    ... can you say "I congratulate you on your birthday!" It's the way English teachers sometimes teach you.
    It's not natural in BrE.

    ... do English native speakers still say "Many happy returns of the day" when wishing someone a happy birthday?
    Some speakers of BrE say this to adults, but I think that most of us reserve it for children.
    5

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: Birthday wishes

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You're welcome.
    I will bear that in mind, thank you. :)

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: Birthday wishes

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    5
    Thank you for your reply. Now I know more about greetings. And, by the way, is that word "greetings" used often in the British and American English? I rarely hear someone salute other people this way, and I far more often hear "birthday wishes" than "birthday greetings". What's with the usage of that word?

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