While I was chatting with one of my friends on Facebook, I wrote this to him after he was selected in a on-campus recruitment drive by the company TCS from our college:

Congratulation on being selected in TCS.

Then I thought, should it be "on" instead of "for"? I felt perplexed. I thought if I said on it would mean "Congratulation on the occasion of being selected in TCS." and if I say "for" it would mean "Congratulation for being selected in TCS." So is it understandable to use "on"? Or must I use "for" here?

  • 5
    I have no problem with the preposition, but I would probably use the plural: congratulations.
    – J.R.
    Feb 6 '13 at 19:18
  • 3
    If I were to have a problem with a preposition in this sentence it would be in with TCS. (But perhaps that's because I haven't any idea what TCS is.) Congratulations on is perfectly acceptable. Feb 6 '13 at 20:24
  • @barbarabeeton, TCS is an IT giant company in India. :) And about the plural, yes, it should be Congratulations.
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 6 '13 at 20:25
  • 2
    Thank you. In that case, the preposition with TCS might also be any one of several other prepositions, depending on the occasion for the selection: for if the selectee was chosen to join TCS; at if the selectee is currently an employee and the selector was also at TCS; from if the selectee is a TCS employee and the selector was someone outside the company. (There are other possibilities as well.) Feb 6 '13 at 20:42
  • There are two major problems with the sentence, but on isn't one of them. It should be Congratulations on being selected by TCS. Feasibly for TCS, but given TCS is a company, I assume TCS itself made the selection - for would be more appropriate if it was something like selected for the award, where the award itself didn't actually do the selecting. Feb 7 '13 at 0:44

Using on here is perfectly idiomatic. And it's quoted as an example in a respected dictionary:

words expressing one’s praise for an achievement or good wishes on a special occasion:
our congratulations to the winners

[as exclamation]:
congratulations on a job well done!

  • [mass noun] the action of expressing congratulations:
    he began pumping the hand of his son in congratulation

Congratulations for would be understood. Google Ngrams shows that on is far more common than for, though.

[As an aside, in TCS sounds odd, but I've no idea what TCS is, so it may be fine.]

  • TCS is name of a company.
    – Mistu4u
    Feb 6 '13 at 20:31

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