Student or Learner
I've got a question concerning the use of the verb 'congratulate'.
1. Am I right in believing that it is not used when talking about smb's B'Day as it implies some achievement made (like a diploma paper defence or a good mark at the exam etc)? If so, what about name-days? I was taught the expression 'to congratulate smb on smb's name-day', is it the way to greet smb on such a day or is 'happy saint's / name-day' more popular?
2. Do we use the perfect or the indefinite gerund after it? Is A or B correct?
A He was congratulated on winning the race.
B He was congratulated on having won the race. (which is more logical to me)
3. One more question into the bargain. Just tell me - A, B or C?
А He prided himself on handling of a very difficult situation.
В He prided himself on handling a very difficult situation.
C He prided himself on having handled a very difficult situation.
Thanks in advance!
I guess if your name is Stephen, you would be greeted specially on St. Stephen's day.
We don't have this custom in the US.
Thanks for your answers. Now I'll be most grateful to BE speakers and their opinion. What about the other questions?) I'm anxious to hear your answers.
I think it would be better if you put your questions in individual threads. You are more likely to receive a reply.
As for your second question, this dictionary entry should make it clear. congratulate verb - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
Please note I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker;
The name-days are't usually celebrated in the U.K.. it's just a matter of cultural differences.
Saint's days in UK could be understand as referring to National Days.
B'Day is just the day one was born on.
Congratulation is also an act of acknowledging that someone has an occasion to celebrate whether it is achievement made or not.
If someone say to you "happy Birth Day mate"; what one did was to congratulate you on your birthday.
He sent them his sincire congratulation on their marriage - what he did ? - he congratulated them on their marriage.
Thank you dear tom3m and Jaskin. However, your answers are a bit perplexing. The dictionary gives the following definition of 'congratulate': "to praise someone and say that you approve of or are pleased about a specialor unusualachievement:
I was just congratulating Ceri on winning/on havingwon her race."
So they do mention an achievement, which your B'Day is not :) As for the problem with name-day, I guess you are absolutely right, Jaskin, in mentioning the cultural difference and the absence of such personal celebration (which is no achievement either) in the UK.
Thank you both for your help.
You must be young. A birthday is an achievement because it means that you have managed to survive the vicissitudes of life for another year. That seems at least as much reason for congratulations as getting married is.
Generally, I wouldn't consider saying "Happy Birthday" to be congratulating someone. It is simply telling them that you know it is their birthday and that you hope they have a nice day. There are a couple of important birthdays which you might consider congratulating someone on. In the UK, turning 18 and then turning 21 are seen to be quite important.
I would congratulate someone on getting married, having a baby, passing their driving test, passing an exam, buying their first house and, in the right circumstances, getting divorced.
As the others said, we don't celebrate "name days" in the UK.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
I would not congratulate a bride on getting married. It gives the impression that she was less than desirable and that finding a man to marry her was some sort of accomplishment.