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an example of parallel structure

Common Writing Challenges


Congratulatory notes are much more common than letters of congratulations, and a short message on a greeting card is usually all that is necessary. Letters of congratulations are often one or two short paragraphs.


• I have just learned of your (election to the city council, other achievement). Congratulations!

• Great news! Congratulations, ———, on your graduation.

• Congratulations are in order.

• It does not surprise me, though, because we all know what you are capable of, and I know you will accomplish more. Best of luck with that.

• I just learned from ——— that you have (been promoted, graduated, other achievement.) A hearty congratulations! I knew that you would accomplish great things, and you have proved me right.

• Congratulations on your (appointment, election, other achievement). I always thought that you would (be successful, finish your degree, attain your goal, other achievement), and I know that you will continue to be a success.

• We all knew you had it in you. Congratulations from Michelle and me.

• You did it! Congratulations, and best wishes for more success in your future.

• I was so pleased to learn that you were named Toastmaster's Speaker of the Year. Congratulations.

• It is my pleasure to notify you that you have been selected first place winner in the second annual T. S. Elliot Memorial Poetry Contest. Congratulations!

• I just heard that your entry in the oil painting division won top of show. Congratulations!

Notes and Letters


Dear ———,

Brigitte just told me that your bid has been accepted, and you and she are now the owners of your own home. Great news!

I know you two had your heart set on the place, and I have to say it is really a charming house—almost everything you could possibly want.

I am so glad that all worked out in your favor.

Congratulations and best of luck with it.



Dear ———,

You must be the proudest father around. Please extend my congratulations to Sophie on her winning the Mozart Violin Competition.

I know she has been practicing since age three, starting out on a one-sixteenth size violin—if I recall correctly. Sophie deserves accolades for sticking to it all these years.

Congratulations are also in order for you and Noor. I know that you both sacrificed a tremendous amount to make this possible.

I do hope Sophie carries this success on the violin forward to many more honors for her hard work.

Best regards,



Dear ———,

Congratulations on your wedding plans. Your engagement to my favorite niece makes it extra special. I wish I could be there to shake your hand.

Please do let me know as soon as you can when the wedding will be. With my job taking me all over the country, the sooner I know the wedding date, the better chance I will have of getting to attend the big event.

Love from Basilia and me.



Dear ———,

Congratulations on your PhD! What an achievement. Of course, I never expected less from you, and I expect more success in the future.

Wishing you the best for an interesting future.

Your friend,



Dear ———,

It is wonderful that you have been selected to head a delegation of teachers to China. That is exciting news.

I expect you will really impress the teachers there.