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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

How do you pronounce "congratulate/congratulations"?

I am conducting a survey about the pronunciation of the end of the second syllable of the words "congratulate" and "congratulations". If you feel like joining in, please let me know what variety of English you speak (which may be different from where you live, for instance if you are essentially a speaker of British English but living in Canada, you would identify yourself as a British English speaker) and which of the following best describes what you say :



3) GRAT yuh
(if you think you say this, could you please say the word out loud as you would in normal conversation and pay close attention to the actual consonant you produce, to be sure you are not being overly influenced by the spelling).

Thank you!


  1. I'm a speaker of American English (grew up in Missouri, white, but went to school with almost all Blacks, now live in California, have lived in Germany and studied other languages).
    I definitely say number 2 for the exclamation. I'm not completely positive, as I don't say the verb very often, but I think I might say number 1 for that, or maybe something in between 1 and 2.

  2. Toronto native age 61. Canadian English speaker. gratch.

  3. Gratch. Slightly voiced, but not as much as in gradge.

    Canadian English with American influence. Born in 1942 & raised in Oklahoma. In Alberta since 1968.

  4. Barb P from OttawaOctober 22, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    English Canadian. Born and raised on the Prairies (almost all of the time I lived in Winnipeg), but I have lived in Ottawa since 1973.

  5. English Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, age 67. I say gratch

  6. Barbara G from Cleveland, OhioOctober 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM


  7. English Canadian. Born and raised in Alberta but moved to Ottawa in 2000. I say "gradge".

  8. I am a British English speaker and have lived in Canada since 1968 and I say Grat Yuh.

  9. I am a British English speaker, have lived in Canada since 1968 and I say Grat Yuh

  10. English Canadian. Ontario. Gratch.

  11. Canadian English speaker from Toronto and I say Gradge .

  12. English speaker from the UK: I say "Grat yu"

  13. American English <18 congratYUlate and CongratYulations. However I didn't always pronounce it this way, only when I grew interested in linguistics


About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.