Поздравляю! How to Congratulate in Russian

Congratulations – universal expressions of joy and appreciation on momentous occasions. But the specific words and customs around celebrating vary greatly between cultures.

In Russia, congratulating someone demands nuance and sincerity. Russian culture deeply values traditions and protocols for honoring major life events. To properly congratulate your Russian friends, colleagues, and hosts, you must learn the meaningful phrases that convey respect.

How to congratulate in Russian

This article will explore the fascinating world of congratulations in Russian. You’ll discover the key vocabulary for birthdays, holidays, graduations, weddings, and more. Master heartfelt verbal expressions to compliment milestones and achievements.

Basic Congratulatory Phrases

The core of congratulations in Russian revolves around the verb поздравлять. This verb means “to congratulate” and can be used to celebrate any special occasion.

Я хотел бы поздравить вас/тебя… – I’d like to congratulate you on …

Verb conjugation is pretty basic:

поздравляю – I congratulate

поздравляешь – you (informal) congratulate

поздравляет – he/she congratulates

поздравляем – we congratulate

поздравляете – you (formal/plural) congratulate

поздравляют – they congratulate

There are two main forms commonly used to offer congratulations:

Поздравляю – used when you yourself are congratulating someone.

Поздравляем – used when a group is congratulating someone.

Поздравляю!/Поздравляем! – Congratulations!

Поздравляю с днём рождения! – I congratulate you on your birthday!

Поздравляем с новой работой! – We congratulate you on your new job!

Это было круто! Поздравляю! – That was excellent. Congratulations!

Ты это заслужил! Поздравляю! – Congratulations! You deserve it!

The verb поздравлять is used together with the preposition с which means “with.”

This structure allows congratulations for any event using с + the instrumental case of the noun.

You can omit the verb completely and just use a phrase with the preposition с meaning “with” to congratulate someone:

С днём рождения! – With the birthday! (Happy Birthday!)

С Новым годом! – With the New Year! (Happy New Year!)

С повышением! – Congratulations on your promotion!

How to use the verb поздравлять in Russian

There’s also the noun “поздравление” (congratulation).

Прими мои поздравления… – Accept my congratulations…

If it concerns the personal merits of a person, congratulations can be expressed with the word “молодец“.

Молодец! – Well done!

The word молодец is a noun, that can be used for males and females (она молодец/он молодец). There is also another version of the word – молодчина. This noun can be translated as

Holiday-Specific Greetings

Russia has many cultural and religious holidays throughout the year that call for celebratory greetings. Master these holiday-specific phrases to express warm wishes at the appropriate times:

С Новым годом! – Happy New Year!

Здоровья и счастья в Новом году! – Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year!

С Рождеством! – Merry Christmas!

Счастливого Рождества! – Happy Christmas!

С Днём защитника Отечества! – Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day!

С Международным женским днём! / С 8 марта! – Happy International Women’s Day!

С праздником, дамы! – Happy holiday, ladies!

С Днём Победы! – Happy Victory Day!

See Also: A Journey Through Russian Holidays and Celebrations

Making Wishes in Russian

In addition to congratulatory greetings, you can express warm wishes to friends and colleagues celebrating major holidays.

The key verb for making wishes in Russian is желать meaning “to wish.” This verb is commonly used in the first person present tense to express a wish for someone:

Я желаю – I wish

Мы желаем – We wish

For example:

Я желаю вам счастья. – I wish you happiness.

The verb желать takes the dative case, so “you” becomes the pronoun вам/тебе.

You can wish someone different things by using the genitive case:

Желаю тебе удачи. – I wish you good luck.

Я желаю вам здоровья. – I wish you health.

You can also add specificity:

Я желаю вам хорошо отдохнуть на каникулах. – I wish you a good rest during the holidays.

You can also use phrases like:

Хочу пожелать вам… – I want to wish you…

От всей души желаю… – I wish you wholeheartedly…

Желаю, чтобы… – I wish that…

Пусть (у тебя) … – Let (you) have…

Example Wishes

Желаю в Новом году крепкого здоровья, счастья, удачи и исполнения желаний!– I wish you strong health, happiness, good luck and fulfilled dreams in the New Year!

New year wishes in Russian

Желаю мира, добра, счастья и здоровья! – I wish you peace, kindness, happiness and health!

Желаю крепкого здоровья, счастья, удачи во всем! – I wish you strong health, happiness and good luck in everything!

Желаю любви, гармонии, исполнения желаний! – I wish you love, harmony, fulfilled desires!

С днём рождения! Желаю тебе счастья, здоровья и успехов во всём! – Happy Birthday! I wish you happiness, health and success in everything!

Желаю молодожёнам любви, верности, терпения и долгой счастливой совместной жизни! – I wish the newlyweds love, loyalty, patience and a long, happy life together!

Желаю успехов и новых достижений на новом этапе жизни! – I wish you success and new achievements at this new stage of life!

Желаю успехов, вдохновения и плодотворной работы на новом месте! – I wish you success, inspiration and productive work at your new job!

Пусть у тебя всё получится на экзамене! – Let you succeed on the exam!

Желаю, чтобы ты выздоровела как можно скорее. – I wish that you recover as soon as possible.

Будь счастлив(а)! – Be happy!

Счастливого пути! – Happy travels!

Удачи! – Good luck!

Удачи на собеседовании! – Good luck on the interview!

С Богом! – God be with you!

Congratulations for Life Events

Russians take celebrating major life milestones very seriously. Master these congratulatory phrases to honor big events and achievements:

Поздравляю с окончанием школы/института/университета! – Congratulations on graduating from school/institute/university!

Поздравляю с получением диплома! – Congratulations on receiving your diploma!

Поздравляю с бракосочетанием! Желаю любви, согласия и взаимопонимания на долгие годы! – Congratulations on your nuptials! I wish you love, harmony and understanding for many years to come!

Поздравляю молодожёнов и желаю согласия, любви и счастья в семейной жизни! – Congratulations to the newlyweds, I wish you harmony, love and happiness in family life!

Пусть ваш союз будет счастливым! – May your union be a happy one!

Поздравляю с рождением ребёнка! Желаю крепкого здоровья малышу и терпения родителям! – Congratulations on the birth of your child! I wish good health to the little one and patience to the parents!

See Also: Russian Vocabulary and Phrases For Family

Поздравляю с новосельем! Желаю счастья, достатка и уюта в новом доме! – Congratulations on your new home! I wish you happiness, prosperity and coziness in your new home!

Пусть новый дом станет по-настоящему родным для вас и вашей семьи! – May your new house become truly homey for you and your family!

Поздравляю с выходом на пенсию! – Congratulations on your retirement!


Learning how to properly congratulate someone in Russian is about more than just knowing the right words. It demonstrates an understanding of an ancient, proud culture that places great significance on celebrating life’s major moments.

Mastering these congratulatory phrases and gift-giving customs shows your respect for Russian traditions. It enables you to fully participate in honoring achievements, holidays, and special occasions. Whether you are congratulating a close friend or a new acquaintance, your effort to celebrate in Russian will be greatly appreciated.

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