'Congrats' vs 'Congrates': Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 5, 2023

Are you wondering which is correct between 'congrats' vs.'congrates?' Well, you are in luck. I created this comprehensive guide with examples, definitions, and usage tips.

Need a quick answer?

Here it is:

  • 'Congrats' is the correct spelling and is a noun meaning congratulations.
  • 'Congrates' is a misspelling of the word 'congrats.'

Keep reading to find out exactly why 'congrats' is correct.

Which is Correct?: 'Congrats' vs. 'Congrates'

Between 'congrats' and 'congrates,' only one is a proper spelling. 'Congrats' is an abbreviation of 'congratulations.' There is no 'e' in the word. So, the correct spelling is 'congrats.'

When to Use 'Congrats' vs. 'Congrates'

Because 'congrats' is the only correctly spelled word, you would never use the second version.

However, how do you know when to use 'congrats?'

  • Use 'congrats' to offer your praise when someone does something commendable.

For example, you may hear someone say:

                   'Congrats' I just heard you were nominated for the Citizen of the Year award.                    

  • Use 'congrats' when someone accomplishes something like graduating from school.

For example, I might use the word to say something like:

                    You have worked so hard in school. 'Congrats' on your graduation!

  • Use 'congrats' when something positive happens to someone, like winning a contest.

For example, people often say things like:

                    Congrats on winning the Powerball! That is so exciting! 

For example, I might say:

                    Dear Mark,

                               We heard about your promotion from the board of directors. Your work on our project has been inspirational to the rest of the team, and we couldn't be happier for you. We wish you the best in your new role. 


  • Use 'congrats' as an opening.

For example, you could use it in an email like this:

                      Dear Jennifer, 

                               Congrats! I just heard the news about your job promotion. If anyone deserves the opportunity, it is you! You will be missed, but I am so happy for you.

                      I look forward to seeing the work you do in your new role! 



As you can see, there are many times when you can use 'congrats' to offer well wishes. However, be cautious about replying to a message with 'Congrats!' It can be rude or sarcastic in some situations.

How to Use 'Congrats' Properly

'Congrats' is the shortened version of 'congratulations.' So, it is best used in informal or personal communications, like:

  • Emails between you and someone you have a personal relationship with
  • Birthday, graduation, and other celebratory cards
  • Text messages
  • Social media posts

You may want to use 'congratulations' on more formal texts, like a message to your boss or a customer. Using the shortened version is less formal and could be taken wrong in some situations.

Definition of 'Congrats': What Does 'Congrats' Mean?

When you look up 'congrats' in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there is no official entry. The word is a shortened version of 'congratulations,' which means:

  • To congratulate someone

It can also mean:

  • To celebrate someone
  • To offer someone well wishes
  • A positive sentiment
  • An acknowledgment of success

Synonyms of 'Congrats'

  • Regards
  • Blessings
  • Approval
  • Felicitations
  • Respect
  • Praise
  • Compliments
  • Acknowledgment
  • Benediction
  • Compliments
  • Well wishes

Phrases and Terms Related to 'Congrats'

  • Congratulations
  • Congratulate
  • Congratulatory
  • Yay
  • Hooray
  • Hip hip hooray
  • Three cheers
  • You did it
  • With highest regards
  • You're the best
  • What an inspiration
  • Great accomplishment
  • I am proud of you
  • I knew you could do it
  • Cheers
  • Three cheers
  • Yippie
  • You nailed it
  • Job well done
  • Keep up the good work
  • Bravo
  • Salute
  • Bravo
  • Woohoo
  • Yeah
  • Good job
  • Bravo
  • Marvelous
  • Amazing
  • Exquisite
  • Good performance
  • Good show
  • Good game
  • You're the man
  • You're the woman
  • Salute
  • Very impressive
  • Amazing
  • Unbelievable
  • Remarkable
  • Incredible
  • Impressive
  • Exceptional
  • What an inspiration
  • Hurrah
  • Whoopee
  • Huzzah
  • Mazel tov

Origin of 'Congrats'

'Congrats' comes from the word congratulations, a derivative of the Latin words congratulationem and congratulari, which mean to wish joy. The first instances of the term appeared in the 1400s.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Congrats?'

You now know that between 'congrats' vs. 'congrates,' 'congrats' is the only correct spelling. But do you know how to pronounce it?

Here is a little guide to help: 

  • You can use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'congrats' correctly:


How To Use 'Congrats' in a Sentence

Now, look at the examples below using 'congrats' to ensure you know how to use it in conversation and a sentence.

  • Congrats on your promotion. I know you have worked hard for years to get this opportunity, and I am so happy for you!
  • Your manager visited me this morning, and she reported that you had the highest sales in the company this year. Congrats!
  • Susie, congrats on your engagement! You and Steve are a great couple. I wish you two the best!
  • I am so proud of all of you! Your dedication and skill have positioned us as a leader in our industry. Congrats!
  • Happy Birthday Mary! This year has been a trying time, but you made it. So, congrats!
  • I just heard your song on the radio! Congrats! That is super exciting. I bet you are stoked.
  • We wanted to send you a quick note to tell you, 'congrats on selling your company!'
  • OMG! Congrats! I can't believe you just got your first book deal. You always said you would be a famous author!
  • I don't know why everyone keeps asking if I am upset about them being together. If I saw them, I would tell them, 'Congrats!'

Final Advice on Which is Correct Between 'Congrats' vs. 'Congrates'

At this point, you should thoroughly understand whether 'congrats' vs. 'congrates' is correct. However, here is a quick recap: 

  • 'Congrats' is a noun used to wish someone well or celebrate something positive that happens to them. 
  • 'Congrates' is a common misspelling of 'congrats.'

If you ever get confused by these two in the future, you can always come back here for a quick review. You can also check out the other confusing words guides here to learn about other commonly misused English words and phrases. Brushing up on these terms can help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of the English language and become a more confident writer.


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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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