Practical English: Responding to good news

Learn English Speaking - Good News

“We just got engaged!”

Congratulations!

Say “Congratulations” when something good happens to a person:

  • Getting engaged or married
  • Having a baby
  • Having a wedding anniversary
  • Being accepted into college, or graduating from college
  • Getting a job or promotion
  • Receiving an award or recognition (for example, “Employee of the Month”)
  • Having some success – opening a new business, buying a house, etc.

Don’t say “congratulations” on birthdays – say “Happy birthday!” instead!

You can also make a sentence using “on”:

  • Congratulations on your promotion!
  • Congratulations on getting into Harvard University!

Good job!

Say “Good job!” when a person did something good:

  • The person did good work on a project
  • The person played well in a game or sang/danced well in a performance
  • The person got the answer to a question right in school

Some variations are “Great job!” and “Nice job!”

You can also make sentences with “on”:

  • Good job on the sales report – it was accurate and well-organized.

Lucky you!

Differently from “good job,” we say “lucky you!” when something good happened to the person by luck, when they received something nice or a good opportunity.

  • Winning the lottery
  • Receiving free tickets to a show
  • Going on three months of vacation

We don’t make sentences with “Lucky you!” – you say it alone. But you can make sentences with “You’re so lucky that…”

  • You’re so lucky that you get the day off from work tomorrow!
  • You’re so lucky that the teacher didn’t notice you were late to class!

That’s great news!

Say “That’s great news!” (or one of the variations below) to respond to some information or a piece of news, for example:

  • “My son passed all his exams.”
    “That’s great news!”
  • “Our company grew 20% this year.”
    “That’s wonderful news!”
  • “A new cultural center is opening in the neighborhood.”
    “That’s fantastic news!”

I’m so happy for you!

Say “I’m so happy for you!” when there is (or will be) a very positive change in someone’s life, especially when their life will be very different as a result.

  • Getting engaged or married
  • Having a baby
  • Getting into college
  • Getting a job or promotion

You can also use it together with “Congratulations”:

  • “We’re going to have a baby!”
    “Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! You’ll be great parents.”

Good for you!

Say this when a person has done (or is going to do) something to make their life better:

  • “I quit smoking last year.”
    “Good for you!”
  • “I’m going to study abroad.”
    “Good for you! I’m sure it’ll be a great cultural experience.”
  • “I signed up for a cooking class.”
    “Good for you! I bet you’ll really enjoy it.”

You’ll learn hundreds of conversational English expressions in this course:

Everyday English Speaking Course

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