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What verb should I use instead of an ellipsis?

Suppose I said "Happy birthday" to John. Then, I decided to tell my friend that I ... John with/on his birthday.

The point is I want to highlight that I didn't just said "Happy birthday" to John, but I sort of congratulated him on it. But I don't think the verb "congratulate" fits here, because it's more about success and achievements rather than an age mark.

P.S. The same question can be applied to the following situation:

  • I ... Carmen with/on a New Year.
  • You can use "congratulate" in that occasion - but it will sound funny, silly, or sarcastic. But nothing unreasonable between friends. "Happy birthday man. Congrats! You have lived for 25 years. Never thought you would make it this far." or "Congratulations for having lived this long man! It must have been hard considering the things you do." Ah well ... – AIQ Jun 27 at 18:22
  • Yeah, I just wondered if there is such a verb which I could use in a neutral situation, not in an informal one :) – Bonrey Jun 27 at 18:24
  • "wished" - I wished John many happy returns of the day. – AIQ Jun 27 at 18:25
  • Oh, okay. And could I also say "I wished John a Happy New Year"? – Bonrey Jun 27 at 19:16
  • 1
    wish: to hope or express hope for another person's success or happiness or pleasure on a particular occasion – AIQ Jun 27 at 19:28

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