How to Say Congratulations in French

Two Methods:Saying CongratulationsVariations on "Congratulations"

Congratulating someone in French is no harder than in English, as long as you know the proper vocabulary. However, fluent speaking is about more than just a vocab word. Luckily, there is not a lot of memorization needed to say "Congrats" in French. Most of the translations are nearly word-for-word.

Method 1
Saying Congratulations

  1. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 1
    Know that the French word for "congratulations" is "félicitations." You can use "félicitations" the same way in French as you do in English, by simply saying it after you hear good news.
    • "I won the game!" He said. "Congratulations!" I replied.
    • "J'ai gagné le match!" Il a dit. "Félicitations!" J'ai répondu.
  2. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 2
    Learn how to pronounce "félicitations" correctly. Félicitations is pronounced as follows: feh-lees-ee-ta-see-on. In French, the last letter of a word is rarely pronounced, so you don't hear the "s" when you say it. Remember, also, that "i" has a long E sound in French, like in the English word "see."[1] End the word on a nasally "on" sound.
  3. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 3
    Congratulate someone for an event or success by adding "pour." To congratulate someone on something like their upcoming wedding, use "félicitations pour."' This is the equivalent of "Congratulations on ____."[2] For example:
    • "Congratulations on the wedding!" → "Félicitations pour votre mariage!"
    • "Congratulations on the promotion!" → "Félicitations pour ton avancement!"
  4. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 4
    Congratulate someone on doing something by adding "pour + avoir/être."' If you want to congratulate someone on an action, such as winning a game, you need to add the verb avoir or être. Which one you add depends on if the verb is transitive (avoir) or intransitive (être).[3]A complete list of intransitive verbs can be found here, while any verbs not on this list utilize avoir. The past tense of the acting verb ("to win," for example) comes next.
    • "Congratulations on winning the game!" → "Félicitations pour avoir gagné le match"
    • "Congratulations on arriving safely!" → "Félicitations pour être arrivé sain et sauf."
    • When in doubt, remember when you use passé compose to conjugate a verb. If the verb uses "être" in the passé compose, you use it here as well.
    • Intransitive verbs are verbs, in general, related to motion.

Method 2
Variations on "Congratulations"

  1. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 5
    Learn other phrases to tailor your congratulations for specific compliments. While "félicitations" works in a wide variety of situations, you may want something more specific occasionally.[[Image:Say Congratulations in French Step 3.jpg}}
    • "Good work/job" → "Bon travail!"
    • "Great success/Good Luck" (used interchangeably) → "Bonne réuissite."[4]
    • Give my compliments to ____" → "Addressez tous mes compliments à ____"
  2. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 6
    Use the verb form, "to congratulate" just like you would in English. This is the same as saying "She congratulates you." Luckily, the translation is not too difficult. "Félicitations" means congratulations, and "féliciter" means "to congratulate." Remember that, in French, the subject of the person you congratulate must come before the verb, unlike in English. Thus:
    • "I want to congratulate you." → "Je veux vous féliciter."
    • "The President congratulates him." → "Le Président le félicite."
    • Add "pour" to make specific congratulations: "They congratulate you on the win" &rarr: "Ils vous félicitent pour le victoire."[5]
  3. Image titled Say Congratulations in French Step 7
    Use slang or idiomatic expressions instead of a formal congratulations. Just like in English, you can use some slang terms to tell someone you're proud of them. This gives you variety, instead of always saying "félicitations."
    • "Bravo!" much like in English, expresses awe at a job well done.
    • "Chapeau," which translates to "hat" in English, is used in place of "hats off to you." It may, however, seem a little old-fashioned.[6]


  • Listen to a French speaker to check your pronunciation.
  • The best way to learn idiomatic expressions, like slang, is to visit a French speaking country.

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Categories: French