Throughout our lives, we have different reasons to celebrate. These moments are not only a perfect opportunity to wish our friends and family the best, but also to congratulate them. Given that situations might be very different from each other, many people wonder how to say congratulations in Spanish.
These are the most common expressions to say congratulations in Spanish. Some of them are more suitable for congratulating someone for a holiday while others are more appropriate for personal and professional achievements:
- Me da gusto por ti
- ¡Buen trabajo!
When learning Spanish, it’s important to learn how to say congratulations in different contexts. For that reason, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 most common ways to say congratulations in Spanish.
I’ve also included explanations so you know what contexts are more suitable for each expression. You’ll also find some examples that will help you understand better how to use this vocabulary.
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By the end of this, you’ll have learned how to say congratulations in Spanish for all occasions 😉
1. Felicidades – Congratulations
If you’re learning Spanish, you may know that felicidades means ‘congrats’ or ‘congratulations’. So, this word is one of the most common ways to say congratulations in Spanish. As a standard term, this expression can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
‘Felicidades’ can be used to congratulate people on a holiday, but also for special events in their personal or professional lives. Notice that if you want to emphasize your congratulations you can use the variation muchas felicidades.
Below are some examples of how to use this expression. Keep in mind that, depending on how clear the context is, you can use ‘felicidades’ as a single expression or in a more complex sentence.
Felicidades + [preposition] + [determiner] + [ noun]
Felicidades por esta nueva etapa en tu vida.
Congratulations on this new stage in your life.
Hermano, muchas felicidades a los dos por su bebé.
Bro, congrats to you two for your new baby.
Felicidades por tu matrimonio, espero que sean muy felices.
Congratulations on your marriage, I hope that you’re very happy.
Karla, Tony me contó de nuevo trabajo, ¡felicidades!
Karla, Tony told me about the new job, congratulations!
If you pay attention to the previous examples, you’ll notice that we use the preposition por to introduce the event or thing that you’re congratulating people for. However, using the preposition ‘a’ allows you to focus on who you’re congratulating.
2. Enhorabuena – Congratulations
Enhorabuena is a slightly more formal word to say congratulations in Spanish. This expression is more popular in Castilian Spanish while in Latin America we might use it in books, meetings, or other formal situations.
‘Enhorabuena’ is also translated as ‘congratulations’ and we don’t use it when celebrating holidays. In fact, this expression is only applicable if you’re congratulating someone on a personal or professional achievement.
Enhorabuena + (preposition ‘por’) + [determiner] + [ noun]
¡Enhorabuena por su compromiso, chicos!
Congratulations on your engagement, guys!
Betty, enhorabuena por el nuevo contrato.
Betty, congrats on the new contract.
Karla, me acabo de enterar de tu ascenso, ¡enhorabuena!
Karla, I just heard about your promotion, congratulations!
Take Note: Depending on the elements that you use, enhorabuena can work either as an expression (congratulations!) or as a noun. No matter how it’s used, this word is always used to congratulate.
Le escribí a Richard para darle la enhorabuena por su bebé.
I texted Richard to congratulate him on his baby.
3. Feliz… – Happy
Another common way to say congratulations in Spanish is by using the word ‘feliz’. Depending on the type of event that you’re referring to, ‘feliz’ can be translated either as ‘happy’ or ‘merry’. In Spanish, it’s used to congratulate people on a special date or holiday that occurs on a regular basis, but also to wish them the best during celebrations.
In order to make sense, feliz needs to be completed with a noun that describes the celebration or date that you’re talking about. Some of the words that you can use to combine with this expression include:
- Pascuas – Easter
- Cumpleaños – Birthday
- Día de la madre – Mother’s days
- Navidad – Christmas
- Día del padre – Father’s day
- 5 de mayo – 5 de mayo
- Día de los inocentes – April fools
- Aniversario – Anniversary
- Fiestas – holidays
- Día de gracias – Thanksgiving
To have a better understanding of how to use this word, let’s see some examples. Keep in mind that ‘feliz’ needs to use its plural form ‘felices’ if the party that you’re referring to is a plural noun (such as pascuas).
Feliz + [noun]
¡Feliz aniversario, mi amor!
Happy anniversary, my love!
Suzy, ¡feliz cumpleaños! Espero que la pases bien.
Suzy, happy birthday! I hope you have a great time.
¡Felices fiestas a todos! ¡Los quiero mucho!
Happy holidays to you all! I love you very much!
Take Note: Even though it finishes with an ‘s’, the word cumpleaños is singular. Think about it, although it would be amazing to eat cake all the time, we all just have one birthday. Additionally, keep in mind that ‘feliz’ is the direct translation of ‘happy, so it can also be used to talk about feelings.
Related Resource: 5 Ways to Ask & Say When Your Birthday is in Spanish
4. Felicitar – To congratulate
When saying congratulations in Spanish, you can also use the verb ‘felicitar’ which basically means ‘to congratulate’. In some contexts, this verb can be translated as ‘congratulations’ as well.
Although you could use it to wish someone a happy birthday, it’s more commonly used to congratulate people on a personal or professional achievement.
Just like any other verb, to use felicitar correctly, you need to conjugate it in whichever tense you need. Below are some examples of how to use this verb to say congratulations in Spanish. Notice that you can use prepositions to introduce the person that you’re congratulating or the thing that you’re congratulating for.
[Subject] + (direct object pronoun) + [‘felicitar’ conjugated] + [prep] + [noun]
Sammy no me felicitó por mi cumpleaños.
Sammy didn’t congratulate me on my birthday.
Mañana felicitaré a mi suegra por sus bodas de oro.
Tomorrow, I’ll congratulate my cousin on her golden anniversary.
Holly y yo los felicitamos por el esfuerzo que han hecho.
Holly and I congratulate you all for the effort that you’ve made.
Amor, te felicito por tu nuevo trabajo. Te deseo lo mejor.
Honey, congratulations on your new job. I wish you all the best.
Notice that if it’s clear to whom you’re congratulating, you can replace that person with a direct object pronoun (just like examples #1, #3 and #4).
Take Note: When using ‘felicitar’ in Spanish, you can combine it with the verb querer as a way to say congratulations in a more polite way.
Quiero felicitarte por tus logros.
I want to congratulate you on your achievements.
5. Me da gusto por ti – I’m happy for you
In a personal context, you can use the expression me da gusto por ti as a way to both congratulate someone, but also to express your happiness for that person’s achievements. As a result, ‘me da gusto por ti’ can be translated as ‘I’m happy for you’ or ‘I’m glad for you’.
Even though you can use this expression in both formal and informal situations, keep in mind that ‘me da gusto por ti’ implies some type of familiarity with the person that you’re congratulating.
Below are some examples of how you can customize this expression to be used by different subjects. If you want to intensify your congrats, you can add the word mucho or muchísimo to the mix.
[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘dar’ conjugated] + gusto + [pronoun]
Hija, escuché que conseguiste el trabajo, me da gusto por ti.
Daughter, I heard that you got the job, I’m glad for you.
Supe que te casaste con Ally, me da muchísimo gusto por ustedes.
I heard that you married Ally, I’m so happy for you guys.
Sandy está viviendo en Argentina, me da mucho gusto por ella.
Sandy is living in Argentina, I’m so happy for her.
Notice that in this case, the reason why you’re congratulating someone is usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. Of course, in some situations, this information might already be clear.
Take Note: In other contexts, the expression dar gusto can express that a person is happy for certain actions or events.
Me da mucho gusto que hayas podido venir.
I’m very happy that you were able to come.
A mi papá le da gusto escuchar que aprobé mis exámenes.
My dad was happy to hear that I passed all my tests.
Related Resource: How to Conjugate ‘Dar’ in Spanish
6. Felicitaciones – Congratulations
Felicitaciones is a more formal way to say ‘congratulations’ in Spanish. This expression is more suitable when recognizing people’s achievements or when congratulating someone for a personal or professional event.
Due to its formality, ‘felicitaciones’ can be applied in business or school environments. Here are some examples of how to use this expression.
Felicitaciones + [preposition] + [noun]
Por favor, dale mis felicitaciones a tu esposa.
Please, congratulate your wife on my behalf.
Felicitaciones por haber entrado a la universidad.
Congratulations on being accepted into University.
Sr. Smith, felicitaciones por los nuevos proyectos.
Mr. Smith, congratulations on the new projects.
Felicitaciones al departamento de marketing por su increíble trabajo.
Congratulations to the marketing department for their incredible job.
Notice that if there’s not enough information, you might need to explicitly state the reason you’re congratulating someone.
7. ¡Buen trabajo! – Good job
When it comes to congratulating someone for a job or task well-done, you can use the expression buen trabajo which means ‘good job’ or ‘well-done’. This phrase is a form of recognition that can be used in formal and informal situations to congratulate others.
As for variations, you can replace ‘buen trabajo’ with:
- ¡Bien hecho! – Well done
- Que buen trabajo hiciste – You did an amazing job
- ¡Excelente trabajo! – Great work
Here are some examples of how to use this expression. Notice that the preposition con allows you to introduce the activity that you’re congratulating on.
[Expression] + [preposition ‘con’] + [definite article] + [noun]
Cindy, buen trabajo con el reporte de gastos.
Cindy, good job with the expenses report.
Chicos, leí su artículo, ¡excelente trabajo!
Guys, I read your article, great job!
Peter, que buen trabajo hicieron con los planos.
Peter, you did an amazing job with the designs.
Oigan, buen trabajo con los postres, se ven deliciosos.
Hey, guys, good job with the desserts, they look delicious.
To be fair, it’s always nice to be congratulated on a special day or on something you did right. Since knowing how to do this can be helpful, in this article, we’ve learned 7 super common ways to say ‘congratulations’ in Spanish.
On top of learning new vocabulary, we’ve also covered when and how these expressions can be applied. Remember that some of these expressions are meant to congratulate on a date or holiday, while others are more suitable for personal or professional achievements.
¡Felicidades! Now you know how to congratulate people in Spanish! !¡Buena suerte!