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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
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      • Russian Federation
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    #1

    to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    23 february in Russia is a public holiday. We "congratulate" men as defenders of Motherland. We give little presents to them on this occasion.
    Is the word congratulate natural for a native speaker in the following context? Do you use "to congratulate" in a similar way when talking about your public holidays? This is what one of my students wrote about the way she spent that day (it was about just one day in her life, not about this holiday). Could you make some changes in this text (as you would say it) so that the text would sound more natural?

    Yesterday I woke up at 7 am. I took a bath. Then I prepared breakfast for my family. I ate some porridge and drank two cups of tea. After that I went to the gym. When I returned home, my grandmother visited us to congratulate my father . After that I went for a walk with my friend. We went to a cafe to have a meal. After I came home I read a book. At the end of the day I took a bath and went to sleep.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    I find that usage quite unnatural. I would expect people to "thank" other people for things like defending their country, or perhaps to "celebrate" them. We tend to congratulate people on personal achievements (passing their exams, passing their driving test, giving up alcohol) or on their birthday, wedding or anniversary. This is how I would write your paragraph:

    Yesterday, I woke up at 7am, had a bath then prepared breakfast for my family. I ate porridge, drank two cups of tea then went to the gym. After I got home, my grandmother arrived to thank my father for his contribution to the defence of the Motherland. After that, a friend and I went for a walk and afterwards had/ate a meal at a café. When I got home I read a book. At the end of the day, I had a bath and went to bed.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    Sorry, emrs2d2, I failed to explain it properly. The point is that we "congratulate" even schoolboys on this day, every man, no matter what his age is, the young ones are future defenders of the country even though they haven't done any great deeds yet. I also feel that the word "congratulate" is not good here, but I don't know how to describe it when somebody "congratulates" their male friends, colleagues or relatives on such a day. Women give men (and boys) presents and say something like "Wishing you a happy 23 February". How can I describe my actions If I, say, went to my aunt's place "to congratulate" my uncle and my nephew on 23 February?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    I can't think of an appropriate word if you want to follow it with the recipient of the action.

    I wished all my relatives "Happy 23rd February" or similar.
    We celebrated "Motherland Day" together.
    We exchanged good wishes and presents with our friends and relatives on "Motherland Day".

    (Note that I invented the term "Motherland Day" based on your first post. I don't know what the official name is for the public holiday.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    Your suggestions are very good, thank you very much.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  6. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    And can I say "She visited him to give him her good wishes on the "23rd February"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  7. Roman55's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    I am not a teacher.

    Yes, you could. Or you could pay tribute to him.

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Yesterday I woke up at 7 am. I took a bath. Then I prepared breakfast for my family. I ate some porridge and drank two cups of tea. After that I went to the gym. When I returned home, my grandmother visited us to congratulate my father . After that I went for a walk with my friend. We went to a cafe to have a meal. After I came home I read a book. At the end of the day I took a bath and went to sleep.
    I see that ems changed "took a bath" to "had a bath". In AmE, "took a bath" is the normal expression.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: to congratulate sb on a public holiday

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I see that ems changed "took a bath" to "had a bath". In AmE, "took a bath" is the normal expression.
    Ah yes, I did that totally without thinking. In the UK, we "have a shower" and "have a bath". We do hear "take a shower" occasionally but, for some reason, very rarely "take a bath".

    I'm just going to have a shower. I won't be long.
    When I get in, I want to have a really long, hot bath.
    Give me two minutes. I'm just going to dive in the shower.
    I need to grab a quick shower and then we can go out for dinner.
    I'm treating myself to a long soak in the tub.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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