Congratulation or Congratulations: Which is correct?

Filed in Important tips by on June 28, 2023 0 Comments

Welcome to another grammar debate! Today, we’re diving into the world of congratulatory expressions Congratulation or Congratulations.

Have you ever found yourself wondering whether it’s “congratulation” or “congratulations”? Well, fret no more because we’re here to shed some light on this linguistic conundrum.


Whether you’ve just aced a test, landed that dream job, or celebrated a milestone, it’s important to know how to express your good wishes correctly. So without further ado, let’s delve into the difference between congratulation and congratulations and discover which one is correct for various contexts.

Get ready for some enlightening insights that will help you navigate the delicate art of celebrating others’ achievements with finesse!



What is the difference between congratulation and congratulations?

When it comes to congratulating someone, the words “congratulation” and “congratulations” may appear quite similar at first glance. However, there is a distinct difference between these two terms.

Let’s start with the word “congratulation.” This singular form is used when referring to one specific act of expressing congratulations. For example, you might say, “I want to extend my heartfelt congratulation to you on your promotion!” Here, the focus is on conveying a single message of well wishes or praise for a particular achievement.

On the other hand, we have “congratulations,” which is the plural form of the term. This version encompasses multiple acts of offering congratulations. It’s like casting a wider net when celebrating someone’s accomplishments. So if you were attending a graduation party and wanted to address everyone in attendance collectively, you might say something like: “Congratulations to all the graduates!”

To put it simply, think of ‘congratulation’ as an individual cheer while ‘congratulations’ represents a chorus of people joining together in celebration.

Now that we’ve clarified their differences let’s explore how each term evolved.


The history of the two words

The history of the words “congratulation” and “congratulations” is quite fascinating. Both words can be traced back to Latin roots, but they have taken different paths in their development.

The word “congratulation” originated from the Latin word “congratulatio,” which means expressing joy or pleasure for someone’s success or good fortune. In English, it was first used in the 16th century and was initially referred to as an expression of praise or approval.

On the other hand, “congratulations” evolved from the older form of congratulation with the addition of an “-s.” This plural form came into use around the 17th century and gradually became more common than its singular counterpart.

Interestingly, while both forms are now accepted as correct, there are subtle differences in their usage. Generally, we use “congratulations” when offering well wishes on multiple achievements or occasions. For instance, you might say “Congratulations on your graduation and new job!” On the other hand, we use “congratulation” when referring to a single act or event deserving of praise: “I extend my warmest congratulation for winning that award.”

So whether you opt for congrats or congratulations depends on how many accomplishments you’re celebrating!


How to Congratulation or Congratulations correctly

Congratulation or Congratulations

When it comes to using the words “congratulation” and “congratulations,” it’s important to understand how they differ in usage. While both are expressions of praise or admiration, their usage depends on the context and number of recipients.

Let’s look at “congratulation.” This word is used when expressing congratulations to a single person. For example, you would say, “I want to offer my heartfelt congratulation on your promotion!” Here, we have one person receiving the congratulations.

On the other hand, we have “congratulations,” which is used when expressing congratulations to multiple people. So if you wanted to congratulate an entire team for winning a championship title, you would say something like: “Congratulations to all the players for their hard work and dedication!”

To use these words correctly, remember that “congratulation” is singular and refers specifically to one individual. Meanwhile, “congratulations” is plural and acknowledges achievements or events involving several people.

In summary:

  • Use “congratulation” when addressing one person.
  • Use “congratulations” when addressing multiple people.

By understanding this distinction in usage, you can ensure that your congratulations are expressed accurately and appropriately in different situations.


Examples of congratulation and congratulations in use

When it comes to using the words “congratulation” and “congratulations,” context plays a crucial role. Let’s take a look at some examples of how these two terms are used in everyday conversations.

1. Singular form: “Congratulation”

  • Sarah received a congratulation from her boss for winning the Employee of the Month award.
  • John sent his heartfelt congratulation to his best friend on their wedding day.
  • The teacher gave each student a personal congratulation for their excellent performance in the school play.

2. Plural form: “Congratulations”

  • Congratulations on your promotion! You truly deserve it.
  • We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the newlyweds!
  • After years of hard work, she finally earned her degree. Congratulations!

3. Colloquial use:

  • Hey, congrats on acing that exam! That’s awesome!
  • I heard you got accepted into your dream university—congratulations, buddy!


Remember, when referring to an individual achievement or offering praise to someone directly, use “congratulation.” On the other hand, when expressing good wishes or recognizing multiple accomplishments, opt for “congratulations.”

Now that we have explored various examples of both terms in action let’s dive deeper into understanding their correct usage and historical background in the next sections. Stay tuned!



Both “congratulation” and “congratulations” have their place in the English language. Although they may seem similar, there is a slight difference between the two.

“Congratulation” is a singular noun that refers to the act of expressing praise or approval for someone’s achievement or success. It is used when you want to congratulate someone individually or as a collective whole.

On the other hand, “Congratulations” is a plural noun and is commonly used to express congratulations to multiple people or on multiple occasions. It has gained popularity over time due to its versatility in addressing various situations where congratulations are warranted.

When it comes to using these words correctly, keep in mind that “congratulation” should be used when referring to one specific instance of congratulating someone, while “congratulations” should be used when conveying congratulations in general.


Here are some examples to illustrate this:

  • “I would like to extend my sincerest congratulation on your promotion.”
  • “Congratulations on winning the award! You truly deserved it.”

So next time you find yourself wanting to celebrate someone’s accomplishments, remember the distinction between these two words and use them appropriately.

Whether you choose “congratulation” or “congratulations,” what matters most is the genuine sentiment behind your well-wishes. So go ahead and spread some joy by offering your heartfelt congratulations!


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