I came across this sentence:

Well done to even think of it.

which struck me as odd grammar-wise.

I did some research and well done to seemed to be always followed by a name or a pronoun but never a verb. I think the sentence should be:

Well done for even thinking of it.

but I am not sure if "well done to (verb)" is actually valid in informal language.

Could you please give me some examples which can be used in this construction other than well done?

  • 2
    Well done is used in response to something and usually followed by a period: "Well done. Now, the next skill we are going to practices is [whatever]. Well done for is acceptable but not usual.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 20:27
  • @Lambie Thank you. Actually the first time I saw it was on Facebook, the second time was, while I was doing my research, in this fossil forum question where the 9th comment reads: "I commend you for your ingenuity in taking an impression; well done to even think of it! This shows that you at least suspected that something was there that is now gone." Do you think it could be colloquial or do you think it is just wrong?
    – Mohammad
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 20:58
  • 1
    No, it's fine, like I said. But the usual is also what I said. :)
    – Lambie
    Commented May 7, 2021 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


An interesting construction. If someone tries to create an AI that understands English I’d take this sentence as a test.

Usually you say “well done” to someone. “Well done” to John for arranging this party. But here the “to” indicates the infinitive form: “To be or not to be”. “To think”. “To think of it”. “To even think of it”. So what this sentence means: Someone thought of it. (“Think of it”). That was surprising and unusual. (“Even think if it”). We talk about this action (“to even think of it”). This action was commendable (Well done to even think of it”).

Different sentences would be “How clever / thoughtful / disgusting to even think if it”.

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