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Life skills tip of the week: ways of praising someone

Macmillan Life Skills: language is a life skillLearning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skillsaid Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month.

As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.



This week’s language tip helps with ways of praising someone.

Well done: the most common way of praising someone when they have done something well:
I passed all my exams!’ ‘Well done! Let’s go out and celebrate.’

Congratulations: used for praising someone who has achieved something important, such as passing a major exam:
I’ve passed my driving test.‘ ‘Congratulations!’

Good for you: an informal way of telling someone that you approve of what they have done:
‘I told him I would only do it if he paid me more.’ ‘Good for you. He needed to be told.’

Way to go/Good job: a more informal way of telling someone that they have done something well:
Way to go, Mary! Keep up the good work.
‘We should finish just ahead of schedule.’ ‘Good job, Karl! That’s fantastic news!’

Good thinking/That’s an idea/You’re a genius: used for praising someone when you think that their idea or suggestion is good:
Hannah, you’re a genius! I never would have thought of that myself.
Good thinking! That’s a much better way of doing it.

Someone is to be congratulated: a formal way of saying that someone has done well:
Your secretary is to be congratulated for his prompt actions.

Let’s hear it for…/Hats off to…: used for saying that you think someone deserves a lot of praise:
Let’s hear it for everyone who took part in the campaign.
Hats off to Derrick and his team! They finished the project in record time.

Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page; you can find the tenth life skills lesson plan there. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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Liz Potter

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