ways to say congratulations in Italian

Learn All The Ways To Say Congratulations In Italian From Best Wishes To Well Done For Life’s Special Occasions



When you have an Italian friend or associate who has reached an important life event or chapter in their life, you may want to congratulate them in their native language. However, you need some phrases to congratulate them properly and express your congratulations in Italian. This article provides an extensive list of Italian congratulation words and phrases you can use in both formal and informal settings for a variety of occasions.

Whether it’s a graduation ceremony, a new baby, a wedding, a new job, or another milestone, you’ll learn multiple ways to share your felicitazioni, auguri, bravi, and more. Master these Italian congratulation phrases so you can proudly express your best wishes when the opportunity arises!

Italian Congratulations Vocabulary

Here is a list of useful words to know around the topic of congratulations in Italian. I placed this at the beginning so you can learn these words before we proceed any further.

Italian Vocabulary for Congratulations:

  1. Congratulazioni – Congratulations
  2. Auguri – Best wishes
  3. Felicitazioni – Felicitations
  4. Rallegramenti – Congratulations (more formal)
  5. Complimenti – Compliments (also means “Well done”)
  6. Bravo (Brava for females, Bravi for a group) – Well done or Great job
  7. Successo – Success
  8. Traguardo – Milestone
  9. Onomastico – Name’s Day/Saint’s Day
  10. Anniversario – Anniversary
  11. Natale – Christmas
  12. Fidanzamento – Engagement
  13. Impiego – Job
  14. Casa – House
  15. Esame – Exam
  16. Laurea – Graduation
  17. Negozio – Store
  18. Matrimonio – Marriage
  19. Nozze – Wedding
  20. Sposi – Newlyweds
  21. Cartolina – Card (for wedding cards)
  22. Obiettivo – Goal
  23. Fortuna – Luck
  24. Evviva – Hooray
  25. Buon – Good (used in various contexts)
  26. Gravidanza – Pregnancy
  27. Trasloco – Move (to a new house/location)
  28. Congratularsi – To congratulate
  29. Augurare – To wish
  30. Felicitare – To felicitate

congratulations in italian lesson

How To Say Congratulations In Italian

Congratulazioni and Auguri are the main ways that can often be used for everything. Let’s focus on these now, we’ll later look at other specific ways to say congratulations for different occasions.

Congratulations translates to congratulazioni in Italian. However, there’s another word which we use a lot for giving our best wishes. That’s auguri. In just a minute, we’ll look at the difference between the two.

Congratulazioni comes from the verb congratulare, which means to congratulate someone. Whereas, auguri comes from the verb augurare, which means to wish.

Congratulazioni Pronunciation

Now, let’s practice how to say congratulazioni. Don’t forget to listen and practice with me.

Auguri Pronunciation

Click the audio below to listen to me say auguri, and practice along.

Congratulazioni vs Auguri

If we think about it, whatever the language, we congratulate someone when they have reached a special milestone in their lives. We also like to give someone our best wishes for whatever is to come, because with every milestone there is a change and change brings new things and we can only hope that the change will be a positive one for them.

So congratulations (congratulazioni) and best wishes (auguri) are often used in the same situation, although there are different ways to phrase them.

However, certain occasions are meaningful for everyone simultaneously. Examples include festivities like Christmas and New Year, St. Valentine’s, Easter, and so on. In these instances, we only use auguri.

There’s one exception though and that’s birthday wishes. Even though our birthdays don’t happen on the same day, we only say auguri. I mean it wouldn’t make sense to congratulate someone on their birthday after all. That’s not a proper achievement but more so a natural event that happens every year.

When to Use Congratulazioni

Use congratulazioni when someone reaches a milestone.

You can say congratulazioni in Italian for all of these milestones.

  1. Baby news & birth
  2. Engagement
  3. Wedding
  4. New job
  5. Passed exam
  6. Got a degree or other certification
  7. New business
  8. New house
  9. New car
  10. Received an award

The simplest way is to say congratulazioni but some of the above involve more than that. We’ll look at those phrases later in this article.

auguri or congratulazioni in italian

When to Use Auguri (Best Wishes in Italian) + Examples

Say auguri when you want to give someone your best wishes.

Use auguri for these occasions:

  1. Birthday – Auguri di Buon Compleanno (Best Wishes on Your Birthday)
  2. Name’s Day/Saint’s Day – Auguri di Buon Onomastico (Best Wishes on Your Name’s Day)
  3. Anniversary – Auguri di Buon Anniversario (Happy anniversary)
  4. Christmas – Auguri di Buon Natale (Best Wishes for Christmas)
  5. New Year – Auguri di Buon Anno (Best Wishes for the New Year)
  6. Valentine’s Day – Auguri di Buon San Valentino (Best Wishes on Valentine’s Day)
  7. Easter – Auguri di Pasqua (Best wishes for Easter)
  8. Women’s Day – Auguri per la Festa della Donna (Best Wishes on Women’s Day)
  9. Mother’s Day – Auguri per la Festa della Mamma (Best Wishes on Mother’s Day)
  10. Father’s Day – Auguri per la Festa del Papà (Best Wishes on Father’s Day)

Above I gave you the literal translation from Italian to English, however, each also means happy .., so happy birthday, happy anniversary, happy Christmas, etc. However, in Italian, if we want to say it that way we don’t use auguri but we say Buon +, so buon compleanno, buona festa del papà, buon Natale, etc.

PS: If you want to emphasize your best wishes, you can say auguroni. That means big wishes because -oni is a prefix that in Italian we add to make something sound big. For example, we call a small doll bambolina and a big one bambolona; in this case, it ends with an s because it’s a feminine noun.

Other Ways To Say Congratulations In Italian

Two close alternatives to congratulations in Italian are felicitazioni e rallegramenti. However, these are a little more formal and less commonly used when speaking, but more so when writing.


Felicitazioni is derived from the verb felicitarsi which means to be happy for someone’s achievements.

When to use it: in formal settings or when writing a formal card message.


1. Le mie felicitazioni più vive. (My warmest congratulations.)

2. Le mie felicitazioni alla Signora Tedeschi. (My congratulations to Mrs. Tedeschi.)

3. Le mie felicitazioni per il traguardo raggiunto. (My congratulations on reaching the milestone.)

4. Le mie felicitazioni per il vostro matrimonio. (My congratulations on your marriage.)

5. Le mie felicitazioni per la tua laurea. (My congratulations on your graduation.)

6. Le mie felicitazioni per la vostra dolce attesa. (My congratulations on your sweet anticipation.)

7. Le mie felicitazioni per la nascita del vostro primogenito. (My congratulations on the birth of your firstborn.)

8. Le mie felicitazioni per la vostra pensione. (My congratulations on your retirement.)


You can use rallegramenti to replace felicitazioni in the above examples. The only difference is that you need to say i miei rallegramenti because rallegramenti is a masculine noun.

Considering that allegria means cheerfulness which is another similar sentiment to happiness, the meaning of those sentences are pretty much the same. When you use this expression you mean that you are cheerful for the other person’s achievement.


  1. I miei più vivi rallegramenti. (My warmest congratulations.)
  2. I miei più vivi rallegramenti alla Signora Tedeschi. (My congratulations to Mrs. Tedeschi.)
  3. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per il traguardo raggiunto. (My congratulations on reaching the milestone.)
  4. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per il vostro matrimonio. (My congratulations on your marriage.)
  5. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per la tua laurea. (My congratulations on your graduation.)
  6. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per la vostra dolce attesa. (My congratulations on your sweet anticipation.)
  7. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per la nascita del vostro primogenito. (My congratulations on the birth of your firstborn.)
  8. I miei più vivi rallegramenti per la vostra pensione. (My congratulations on your retirement.)

Complimenti – Well Done in Italian

Another synonym of congratulations is complimenti, which translates to well done in English.

If someone has achieved a milestone, you can tell them congratulations but also well done because they likely worked hard to achieve it.

Let’s look at what to say for the same occasions we saw earlier.


  1. I miei complimenti vivissimi. (My heartfelt compliments.)
  2. Complimenti Signora Tedeschi. (Compliments, Mrs. Tedeschi.)
  3. Complimenti per il traguardo raggiunto. (Compliments on reaching the milestone.)
  4. Complimenti per il vostro splendido matrimonio. (Compliments on your splendid marriage.)
  5. Complimenti per la tua laurea. (Compliments on your graduation.)

I would not personally use complimenti for the other 3 occasions – pregnancy, birth, and pension.

Great Job in italian 

Great job in Italian translates to bel lavoro and it’s a synonym of well done (complimenti). The latter is much more used. 

In certain cases, you could say: Complimenti, davvero un buon lavoro. It’s like you are emphasizing your appreciation for the work done.

Bel lavoro is more used when it involves a good job, whether that’s a good job done at work, a great masterpiece, a great kitchen built, or a great event installation. In those instances, you can say bel lavoro.

Bravo in Italian

A much more casual way to congratulate someone is to tell them bravo, which you are likely familiar with as it’s also used in English. That’s a similar way to saying well done or great job.

If you are speaking to a woman, you would tell her brava.

When you are addressing a group, you would say bravi.

Tanta Felicità!

Tanta felicità translates to much happiness.

You can use it for any happy event in the life of a person you know – like an engagement, a wedding, a pregnancy, a birth, a new house, a new car, a new job, a new relationship, a move to another country, etc.

The most common way to use it is to say I wish you much happiness, which translates to:

Ti auguro tanta felicità (to one person)
I wish you much happiness.

Vi auguro tanta felicità (to a group of people)
I wish you (the group) much happiness.

Cento di questi giorni! 

Another way to give someone your best wishes when they are celebrating a really happy moment in their life is to say Cento di questi giorni, which translates to hundreds of these days. What this means is that you wish that person 100 more days with the same happiness, which is 100 more positive milestones in their lives.

wedding congratulations in Italian

Wedding Congratulations In Italian & All You Need To Know

Italian weddings are likely the number one occasion for which you need to brush off your Italian congratulations, so let’s do that. Here are different expressions used to wish someone happiness and other nice things on this important day.

  1. Auguri agli sposi.
    Best wishes to the newlyweds.
  2. Tanti auguri agli sposi.
    Many congratulations to the newlyweds.
  3. Complimenti per il vostro matrimonio.
    Congratulations on your marriage.
  4. Congratulazioni per le vostre nozze.
    Congratulations on your wedding.
  5. Le mie felicitazioni per questo giorno importante.
    My congratulations on this important day.
  6. Evviva gli sposi.
    Hooray for the newlyweds.
  7. Vi auguri un futuro pieno di amore, salute e felicità.
    Wishing you a future full of love, health, and happiness.
  8. Buona fortuna per questa nuova avventura.
    Good luck on this new adventure.
  9. Tanti auguri per una vita felice insieme.
    Best wishes for a happy life together.
  10. Tanta felicità agli sposi.
    Much happiness to the newlyweds.
  11. Vi auguriamo il meglio.
    We wish you the best.
  12. Tanti auguri e figli maschi.
    Best wishes and may you have sons.

Wedding best wishes in Italian

5 Great Wedding Toasts in Italian To Impress The Newly Weds

Whether you want or are asked to stand up and say a few words, or you just want to add an extra something to your wedding cards, these are really beautiful messages you can get inspired from or use. Just make sure to mention the person who said them.

  1. “La misura dell’amore è amare senza misura.”

The measure of love is to love without measure. (St. Augustine)

  1. “Il matrimonio è un pranzo interminabile con il dolce servito per primo”, 

           Marriage is an endless lunch with dessert served first. (Julian Barnes)

  1. “Brindo a voi e a questa vita: Pace Amore e Gioia Infinita!”

I toast to you and to this life: Peace, Love, and Infinite Joy! (Negrita)

  1. “Amare non significa guardarsi negli occhi, ma guardare insieme nella stessa direzione.” 

To love does not mean to look at each other, but to look together in the same
direction. (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

  1. “L’amore non ha bisogno di essere capito, ma solo dimostrato.”

Love does not need to be understood, only demonstrated. (Paulo Coelho)

How To Write an Italian Wedding Card

If you want to go the extra mile and write your Italian friends’ wedding card in Italian, here’s what I suggest.

On one side: copy one of the quotes above.

On the other side write this:

Tanti auguri di cuore agli sposi (Name & Name) da (Your Name & Partner Name). Siamo felici di celebrare questo giorno importante per voi, e vi auguriamo un futuro insieme pieno di felicità, salute e amore.

how to write an Italian wedding card

Happy Anniversary In Italian – Auguri A Year or Fifty Later

When you want to wish someone a happy anniversary, whether it’s the anniversary of their marriage or their business opening, here’s how to say it:

Tanti auguri di buon anniversario

In this case, we don’t say congratulations for your anniversary; instead, we use auguri. You could, however, also say congratulations for this milestone. That translates to:

Congratulazioni per questo traguardo

If you wish to be more specific here are a few examples of how to do so.

  1. Auguri per il tuo secondo anniversario di matrimonio.
    Best wishes for your second wedding anniversary.
  2. Auguri per il terzo anniversario della fondazione.
    Congratulations on the third anniversary of the foundation.
  3. Auguri per il quinto anniversario della nascita della tua impresa.
    Congratulations on the fifth anniversary of the birth of your business.

Other Occasions To Wish Auguri In Italian

Earlier we discussed all the occasions you could use congratulazioni for, but I told you we would look at how to say that in Italian later on. Well, it’s time to learn those phrases.

Auguri For A New Baby

To say congratulations in Italian for baby news use these phrases:

Congratulations on Your Engagement in Italian 

Next time you hear your Italian friend is getting married or maybe a local friend has announced their engagement to an Italian, send them your best wishes with these phrases:

Auguri for a New Job

Everyone gets a new job now and then, unless they own a business. So it’s handy to know to wish that in Italian should you have an Italian enthusiast friend or an actual Italian acquaintance. Here are a few ways to congratulate someone on that achievement:

Congratulations on the New House

If you have friends who are about to get engaged or married, they are likely also getting a new house. Here’s how us Italians would give them our congratulations for their achievement.

Well done for Passing the Exam

Both younger and older acquaintances often share with us their study’s success, whether it’s passing an exam or getting a new certification. In this section, we’ll look at how to say congratulations for passing an exam.

Auguri For Getting Your Degree/Certification

Following the exam section, it’s now time to learn how to give someone your best wishes for achieving an even bigger goal – getting a certification or even better a degree, master’s, PHD, etc.

Auguri for Your New Business

Another very important event in the life of certain people is the opening or the start of a new business venture. Here’s how we like to congratulate our Italian entrepreneur friends.

PS: Entrepreneur is imprenditore in Italian.

Auguri For Your Upcoming Country Move

Finally, if you happen to have a friend or family member moving abroad, let’s say that country is Italian, here’s how to give them your best wishes.

How To Reply To Congratulations & Auguri In Italian

What if it’s you receiving those best wishes? Here are 10 general replies you can use for most of the best wishes and congratulations examples we’ve learned so far.

  1. Grazie or Grazie Mille.
    Thank you or Thank you very much.
  2. Ti ringrazio or Vi ringrazio.
    I thank you or I thank you all.
  3. Sono veramente toccato dalle tue belle parole.
    I am truly touched by your kind words.
  4. Grazie del tuo supporto.
    Thank you for your support.
  5. Grazie del pensiero.
    Thank you for the thought.
  6. Non ce l’avrai fatta senza di te/voi.
    I couldn’t have done it without you.
  7. Sono lusingato/a.
    I am flattered. (use “lusingato” for males and “lusingata” for females)
  8. Sono davvero felice di ricevere i tuoi auguri.
    I am really happy to receive your good wishes.
  9. Che belle parole, grazie.
    What kind words, thank you.
  10. Grazie per gli auguri.
    Thank you for the wishes.

How Not To Say Congratulations In Italian

I have come across a few articles that suggest using these expressions to wish someone congratulations. Well that’s wrong so don’t do it.

  1. Mi raccomando

This means to listen to me or make sure to.. (do something). So it has nothing to do with congratulations. It’s almost the opposite. We use it when we are trying to advise someone to do something rather than congratulate them on having achieved the thing already.

  1. In bocca al lupo

That’s another way of saying good luck, so we use it when someone it’s about to take an exam, go for a health checkup, or ask someone to marry them. It’s far from congratulating someone, as it’s used before the great occurrence happens.

  1. Buona fortuna

This is the same as saying in bocca al lupo or Good Luck, so the previous reasoning applies here too.

Italian Expressions To Learn Next

If you have many friends that speak Italian, you likely need to learn or brush off these other Italian expressions:

Congratulazioni To You For Reaching The End! Bravo/a.

As you can see, there are many wonderful Italian words and phrases to communicate congratulations for all kinds of life events, achievements, and milestones. By learning these vocabulary words for congratulations in the Italian language, you’ll be prepared to congratulate your Italian friends, colleagues, clients, and other connections no matter the occasion.

Keep this guide on common Italian congratulation phrases handy so you can immediately say “Congratulations!” or “Auguri!” when you hear about pregnancies, graduations, new jobs, engagements, marriages, and more. Use the right phrases to share your heartfelt congratulations in Italian in both casual conversations and formal congratulatory notes or cards.

FAQ On How To Congratulate Someone In Italian

How do you congratulate someone in Italian?

The main ways to congratulate someone in Italian are “congratulazioni” (congratulations) and “auguri” (best wishes). You can say “Congratulazioni!” or “Tanti auguri!” to offer congratulations and good wishes for milestones and achievements.

What does Tanti Auguri mean when someone says congratulations? 

“Tanti auguri” means “best wishes” in Italian. So when someone says “Tanti auguri!” to congratulate you, they are offering you their very best wishes.

How do you say best wishes in Italian?

“Auguri” is how you say best wishes in Italian. You can make it more enthusiastic by saying “Tanti auguri!” which means “Many best wishes!”

What is the Sicilian word for congratulations?

The Sicilian word for congratulations is the same as in Italian, just pronounced with a different accent.

What do Italians say when they graduate? 

Common Italian phrases said at graduation ceremonies and celebrations are “Congratulazioni per la laurea!” (Congratulations on your graduation!), “Auguri dottore/dottoressa!” (Best wishes, doctor (male/female)!), and “Complimenti!” (Well done!).

What is the difference between Tanti Auguri and Auguri?

“Tanti auguri” means “many best wishes,” while plain “auguri” means just “best wishes.” So “Tanti auguri!” adds emphasis and enthusiasm to the well-wishing.

Why do Italians say auguri?

Italians say “auguri” to wish someone well for a happy occasion or milestone in their lives. It expresses goodwill and hopes for their future success and blessing on the next chapter ahead.

Why do Italians say Forza? 

Italians say “Forza!” to mean “Go!” or “Come on!” It’s a cheer of encouragement you’ll hear commonly at Italian sporting events or when urging someone on to give their best effort. It expresses support.

What is the meaning of auguri?

The meaning of the Italian word “auguri” translates to “best wishes” or “congratulations” in English. It conveys wishing someone happiness and fortune.

How do you respond to auguri in Italian? 

Common Italian responses to receiving “auguri” or well-wishes are “Grazie” (Thank you), “Vi ringrazio molto” (I thank you very much), and “Sono molto grato/grata per gli auguri” (I’m very grateful for the well-wishes). You can also just return “Auguri!, if it’s a common cenelebration like Christmas or Easter”

Can you just say auguri?

Yes, you can just say the single word “Auguri!” on its own to offer someone best wishes or congratulations in Italian. The plurals “Congratulazioni! and “Complimenti!” can also stand alone.

Can you say auguri for a wedding?

Yes, “auguri” is very commonly said to congratulate newlyweds in Italy. Popular wedding wishes include “Auguri agli sposi!” (Best wishes to the newlyweds), “Felicitazioni per le vostre nozze!” (Congratulations on your wedding), and “Tanti auguri per una vita felice insieme!” (Best wishes for a happy life together!).

What are a few basic ways to say congratulations in Italian?

Some basic Italian congratulations phrases are:

– Congratulazioni! (Congratulations!) 

– Auguri! (Best wishes!)

– Complimenti! (Well done!)

– Bravo/a! (Good job (male/female)!)

How do you give your best wishes for the future in Italian?

To give your best wishes for someone’s future in Italian, you can say phrases like “Ti auguro un felice futuro” (I wish you a happy future), “Vi auguro tutto il meglio” (I wish you all the best), or “Tanti auguri per un futuro pieno di gioia!” (Best wishes for a future full of joy!).

Alessia Spampinato