By cassielahmann and Rebecca Thering Last updated:
You are so awesome!
Really,I believe in you—you can do it!
From learning Englishto succeeding at your job,you can accomplish whatever you want!
I mean every word of this.
It feels good to be told something positive, right?
People all over the world use positive phrases and they make others feel good, so they’re important to learn in English.
Positivity is also abig part of the culture in theUnited States, soif you want to learnAmerican English, that’s another great reason tolearn these phrases.
Are you ready? Of course you are! Let’s learn 25 positive English phrases for complimenting, encouraging, appreciating, giving feedback and congratulating.
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Why Positive Phrases Are Important in American Culture
Although positive phrases are used in all cultures, they’re especially important forAmerican culture. Here are a few examples of when they’re often used:
- Playing sports. Americanslove sports. The most popular team sports arebaseball, football, basketball, soccerandhockey.Positive phrases are essential when playing sports. Coaches and teammates can helpeach other play better with encouraging words.
- Working. Americans are a hard-working group of people. CNN Moneylists the United Statesas the 7th hardest working country in the world. Being positivehelps to make the hard work easier and more pleasant. Americans are also very optimistic (hopeful), which you can read about inthis articleif you’re interested.
- Teaching. Whether you’re the teacher or the student, learning improves with positivity. If teacherscan help their studentsfeel motivated and upbeat, they will learn better. (The same is true for learning English on your own, by the way—it helps to be positive!)
- Building relationships.If you tellyour friends, family, coworkers and bosses positive things, they will appreciate your words. They will also then think positive thoughts about you. Can you imagine a world where everyone was saying and thinking positive things about everyone else?It would be a very happy place.
A compliment is something nice you say tosomeone else about them. You could compliment someone’s appearance (clothing, smile, eyes, etc.), their work (writing, art, etc.) or even qualities you admire. It makes you feel good to give one, and also feels good to receive compliments.
1. Your skirt is sopretty.
If you like what someone is wearing, tell them! Whether it’s their skirt, hat, shirt, shoes, jacket, earrings or nail polish, your compliment will be appreciated. Synonyms for “pretty” include “handsome,” “chic,” “beautiful,” “lovely” and “cute.”
Your hat is so cute. Where did you get it?
2. You look great today.
Everyone feels better when they know they look good. This phrase can be used to tell someone that generally, they look especially good today.
You can replace“great” with words like“good,” “beautiful,” “cute,” “handsome” or “amazing.”
You look really cute today!
3. You’re a fantastic cook.
This structure can be used to compliment any type of person:
You’re a(n) + [adjective] + [type of person].
Instead of “cook,” you could use nouns such as “teacher,” “friend,” “writer,” “singer,” “painter,” “musician,” “listener,” “babysitter,” etc.
And you can use any synonym of “fantastic,” such as “superb,” “talented” or “excellent.”
If your adjective begins with a vowel, don’t forget to use “an” instead of “a,” like this:
You’re an amazingmother!
4. I like your new haircut.
When you notice something different about someone, it’s nice to say something. Whether it’s a new haircut, car, shoes or cell phone case, a compliment makes the personfeel like they made a good choice.
I really like your new belt.
5. You have the best style.
Yes, here’s yet another complimentabout appearance!And don’t worry, you don’t have tomeanthat someone is actually“the best” to use it.
This phrase can be used to compliment a few thingsother than “style,” such as “ideas,” “laugh,” “smile,” “technique,” “art supplies,” “books,” “dog,” etc.
You could also use other superlatives in place of “the best” to make a wide range of compliments, such as “the coolest,” “the most creative,” “the brightest,” “the prettiest,” etc.
You have the best voice. I love hearing you sing!
Sometimes you can help someone a lot by telling them positivewords. You can use kind, caring words to make someone feel amazingand motivated to accomplish (do) something. Below are five phrases for encouraging others.
6. You can do it!
This phrase helps make someone feel confident and determined. It tells themthat they’re able to do something. The phrase “We can do it!” was used in a famous American wartime poster in 1943.
PresidentObama’s 2008 campaign slogan(phrase), “Yes we can!”means almost the same as “We can do it.”
To encourage yourself, say “I” instead of “you” or “we”: I can do it! There’s evena children’s book called “‘I Can Do It’ Day.”
This phrase is often used when someone has doubts about their abilities. For example:
A:This engineering exam is going to be really hard.
B: You can do it, Chad!
7. Don’t give up!
Sometimes, instead of telling someone what to do, it’shelpful to tell themwhat not to do. Because of this, many encouraging phrases begin with the word “don’t,” such as “Don’t stop!” or “Don’t lose hope!” (The famous song by Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing,” is another example of this.)
To “give up” is a phrasal verb that means to lose hope and stop trying. Let’s saya friend tells you a riddle or a puzzle that you try to figure out. After 15 minutes of wrong guesses, you might say “I give up.” Your friend would then tell you the correct answer.
But if you’re working towards something important, it’s nice to hear someone remind you “Don’t give up!”
A: I can’t remember the next line!Ah, I don’t know if I can memorize this poem by the end of the week.
B: Don’t give up!
8. You’re almost there!
This is a great motivating phrase to help someone finish a task or goal.If someone isso close to finishing, why not just finish?
In this phrase, “there” usually does not meanan actual place (though it can). Instead, it often means the state of being finished or done.
A: I’ve beenwriting this paper for two months. All I have left is the conclusion, but I don’t want to work on it!
B: You’re almost there!
9. You’ve made it this far.
This phrase also points out how much progress someone has already made. They’re not still at the beginning; they’ve come “this far,” or this distance.
The verb “to make” is usually used when you’re creating something. However, the phrase “to make it” informallymeans to accomplish, finish or achieve something.
It’s also often usedto describesuccess in becoming famous. In that case, “She made it” could mean “She’s famous now.”
But “You’ve made it this far” means that you’ve accomplished this much already.
A: Do you think I’ll eversell 100 copies of my e-book?
B: Of course you will—you’ve made it this far!You only have 60 more to sell.
10. Keep it up!
One meaning of the phrasal verb “to keep up” isto stay at the same level or pace as something. For example, if you can keep up with yourclass assignments, it means you can stay on schedule and finish all of your assignmentson time.
But thephrase “keep it up” has its own separate meaning: to continue doing well. So it’s used when someone has already been doing a good job with something, and you want them to keep working hard.
This piano piece sounds excellent; you must have practiced a lot. Keep it up!
When you appreciate something, you think about howimportant it is to you. To appreciate someone means that you value them. The phrases below can be used to let someone know that you appreciate (are grateful for) them.
11. Thanks for your help.
Saying thank you for anything makes people feel appreciated, needed and loved. You can use either of the following structures:
Thanks (so much) for + [a thing].
Thanks (so much) for + [-ing verb].
For example, “Thanks for coming!” or “Thanks so much for babysitting for us next week” are both actions expressed with -ing verbs. In the example below we’re thanking someone for a thing: a card.
Thanks for thelovely birthdaycardyou sent in the mail. It really made my birthday special!
12. I couldn’t have done it without you.
This phraselets someone know theyare irreplaceable.
Similarly, you could say “What would I do without you?” The question isn’t really meant to be answered. It simply expresses that the person is very helpful.
Thanks for helping me plan this wedding. I couldn’t have done it without you!
13. I’m so proud of you.
Feeling pride about someone else is one of the happiestfeelingshumans can feel. Sowhen you’re really pleased with what someone else has done, tell them you’re proud of them.
Your art portfolio is fantastic—you’ve worked reallyhard! I’m so proud of you.
14. You’re so awesome.
This phrase is very simple, yeteffective. “Awesome” can be replaced with “incredible,” “genius,” “helpful,” “sweet” or any other appropriate adjective.
You’re so talented. You play the piano reallywell!
15. I appreciate your support.
“I appreciate you” tells someone that you value them. If someone provides you with support, it means theyhelp you or agree with you.
“Support” can be substituted with “help,” “time,” “effort” or any other relevant noun.
I appreciate your positive attitude.
ForGiving Positive Feedback
When you judge someone’sperformance or creation, it’s important to give positive feedback along with any criticisms (things to improve). This means to point out both something they did well and something they can do better.
In American, the “criticism sandwich” is one way to do this. To make this type of sandwich, you begin with a positive, then a negative, and end with another positive. The two positives are like the two outer slices of bread, which is why it’s called a “sandwich.”
Here are five phrases for giving positive feedback.
16. You did a good job on the project.
You can use this phrase (or variations) to let someone know they’ve done well on a certain task. Here are two possible structures:
Like many other phrases in this list, you can replace “good” with any appropriate synonym.
You can also replace “project” with something more specific. In fact, the more specific you can be, the better the feedback. If you remove “on,” you can use an -ing verb to describe an action. Here’s what the two structures look like:
You did a good job + on + [thing].
You did a good job + [-ing verb] + [details].
An example of the second structure is “You did a good job playing the song at the right tempo (speed).”
You did a greatjob on your website. I really like the design!
17. Great work on the presentation.
This is pretty similar to theprevious phrase, but a bit more casual.Again, you can replace “great” with other positive adjectives, and “the presentation” with other types of creations.
Excellent work on the interview questions!
18. I like the way you give instructions.
“I like the way you…” is used to compliment an action, so it must be followed by a verb.
I like the way you made the headings bold and blue. That style really helps the headings stand out.
19. You are improving a lot.
This tells someonethat they are getting better. If you want to follow this phrase with a criticism, be specific about what they can do to continue improving.
You are improving a lot. Keep on practicing English 15 minutes each day!
20. I can tellyou worked really hard on this.
When someone puts a lot of time and effort into something, they will love to be recognized for it. This phrase communicates that you know they’ve spent a lot of time carefully working on something.
I can tell you worked really hard on the monthly newsletter.
Finally, to congratulate is totell someone you’re happy for their good news. You usually congratulate others during a celebration, such as a birthday, a wedding or for the birth of a child.
21. Happy anniversary!
An anniversary celebrates the day a couple were married. For example, if two people celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, it means the couple has been married for 50 years.
You can also use “Happy” for several other holidays and occasions, such as “Happy New Year,” “Happy retirement” and the all time favorite, “Happy birthday!”
Happy 30th anniversary!
This is a word that can be used to congratulate anyone in a variety of situations. You couldsay it when your friend gets a new job, when your boss buys a new house, when a friend has a baby or when your cousin gets engaged (to be married).
Congratulations on the new job!
23. I’m so happy for you!
This phrase can be used when someone shares good news with you. “Happy” can be replaced with similar words, such as “excited,” or “thrilled.”
I can’t believe he proposed (asked you to marry him)! I’m so happy for you!
24. Good job!
You can say this short phrase to anyone about pretty much anything. Whenyour friend passeshis test: “Good job!” Whenyour neighbor redecoratesher living room: “Good job!”
This cake looks amazing. Good job!
25. Good luck with your new job.
Finally, youcan wish someone good luck to show you hope somethinggoes well.It’s most common to say “good luck” before an exam, an interview or a big performance, for example.
Good luck with your presentation on Friday! You’re going to be great.
Hopefully you’re feeling positive about using some of these positive phrases. What are you waiting for? Get out there and be positive—in English.
People will really appreciate your kind words. You’re going to do a wonderful job! Good luck!
There you go! Keep up the good work. Keep it up. Good job. I'm so proud of you!What can I say instead of you can do it? ›
- Keep going!
- Don't give up!
- You got this!
- Keep pushing!
- Believe in yourself!
- Keep striving!
- Keep working hard!
- Keep moving forward!
- Thanks for your help. Saying thank you for anything makes people feel appreciated, needed and loved. ...
- I couldn't have done it without you. ...
- I'm so proud of you. ...
- You're so awesome. ...
- I appreciate your support.
- “You're never far from my thoughts.”
- “Know how often I think of you? ...
- “You're on my mind and in my heart.”
- “Keeping you close in my thoughts.”
- “Lifting you up in prayer and hoping you have a better day today.”
- “I can't wait to catch up with you soon.”
“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.” “Those who say it can't be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.” “Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” “If it doesn't make the world better, don't do it.”What is the 100 ways to say great? ›
Different ways to say Great, Other Ways to Say GREAT in english; Surprising Terrific Thumbs up Thrilling Tiptop Top-notch Transcendent Tremendous Unbelievable Uncommon Unique Marvelous Masterful Mind-blowing Mind-boggling Miraculous Admirable Amazing Exquisite Flawless Four-star Glorious Monumental Notable Noteworthy ...Which is an example of a positive expression? ›
On Cloud Nine. This is an English expression that you'll hear often in the United States when people want to express a sense of total happiness. Example: When I graduated from college, I was on cloud nine!What is a good phrase? ›
- You can only feel the beauty. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. ...
- Be Persistent. ...
- What's your priority? ...
- Never blame other people for your problems. ...
- Don't settle for less. ...
- We're happy because we laugh. ...
- Learn to say 'No' ...
- Be a Creator, not Consumer.
- I can get this job and do it well.
- Today is a wonderful day, when everything moves smoothly and harmoniously.
- I always try to be optimistic and hope for the best.
- I expect to get good grades.
- I am doing my best to improve my habits and myself.
- I expect everything to turn out well.
optimist (n.), optimistic (adj.)
An optimist is a hopeful person who expects good things from the future.
Some common synonyms of encourage are embolden, hearten, and inspirit. While all these words mean "to fill with courage or strength of purpose," encourage suggests the raising of one's confidence especially by an external agency. the teacher's praise encouraged the students to greater efforts.What are some uplifting and positive inspirational words? ›
- “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” — ...
- “Opportunities don't happen, you create them.” — ...
- “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.” — ...
- “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —
So to best support a friend or family member, you could say I'll support you no matter what, or I'll support you either way. I'll support you, no matter what you decide. Phrase number eight isn't my favorite one on the list, but it's close. I've got your back.What are the 12 powerful words examples? ›
- Trace - list in steps.
- Analyze - Break apart.
- Infer - Read between the lines.
- Evaluate - Judge.
- Formulate - Create.
- Describe - Tell all about it.
- Support - Back up with details.
- Explain - Tell how.
What are the twelve powerful words? Trace, Analyze, Infer, Evaluate, Formulate, Describe, Support, Explain, Summarize, Compare, Contrast, Predict. Why use the twelve powerful words? These are the words that always give students more trouble than others on standardized tests.What are short positive words? ›
- It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. ...
- Nothing lasts forever. ...
- There are only two ways to live your life. ...
- Take chances, make mistakes. ...
- Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections.
- “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” — ...
- “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” — ...
- “Don't settle for average. ...
- “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” — ...
- “Don't bunt.
Synonyms: exceptional, favorable, excellent, righteous, altruistic, superb.
- hooray. interjection. mainly spoken a word that you shout to show that you are excited and happy about something.
- aah. interjection. ...
- excellent. adjective. ...
- lovely. adjective. ...
- happily. adverb. ...
- good for/on someone. phrase. ...
- hallelujah. interjection. ...
- good. adjective.
Being happy even when you have little. Having a good time even when you are losing. Being happy for someone else's success. Having a positive future vision, no matter how bad your current circumstances.Why positive words are powerful? ›
Positive words inspire people to give their best and feel confident, instead of negative. This leads to improved performance due to greater involvement of the cerebral cortex.What are 20 phrases examples? ›
- Back of My Hand. English Meaning: To have complete knowledge about something. ...
- Take It Easy. English Meaning: To relax. ...
- All of A Sudden. ...
- Herculean Task. ...
- The Time Is Ripe. ...
- Double Minded. ...
- A Piece Of Cake. ...
- Hand to Mouth.
- Give someone a hand – Help. ...
- Sharp – Exactly at a particular time. ...
- Take it easy – Relax or Slow down and similar meaning. ...
- Up to the minute – Most recent news/information. ...
- About to – Intending to. ...
- According to – As indicated. ...
- As a matter of fact – In reality. ...
- As long as – Provided that.
- “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” -Robert Frost.
- “Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough to let go.” – Anonymous.
- “A happy family is but an earlier heaven” – George Bernard Shaw.
Again, look at this list of common subordinating words. Used at the beginning of a sentence, these words signal to you that a sentence opener follows: After, Although, As, Because, Before, If, Since, Unless, Until, When, While.What is a word for positive mindset? ›
synonyms for positive thinking
On this page you'll find 10 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to positive thinking, such as: bright outlook, bullishness, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, great expectations, and hopefulness.
encourage somebody We were greatly encouraged by the positive response of the public. She encouraged many young writers and artists. encourage somebody in something My parents have always encouraged me in my choice of career.What are two words for encouraging? ›
- Speaking. Our spoken words can bring healing and encouragement. ...
- Writing. Write an encouraging note to someone, or send a postcard or message on social media. ...
- Helping. Helpers use ordinary skills to encourage others. ...
- Giving. ...
- Presence. ...
- Touching. ...
- Hospitality. ...
- Ask them. Explain exactly what you need, by when, and why. ...
- Involve them. Ask them what it will take for them to get involved. ...
- Trust them. Give them the autonomy to decide how the work will be done, within certain parameters. ...
- Inspire them. ...
- Appreciate them. ...
- Reward them. ...
- Challenge them. ...
- Celebrate them.
Positive messages include messages where the audience is expected to react in a neutral to positive manner. Positive messages tend to consist of routine or good news. These messages might be items such as congratulations, confirmations, directions, simple credit requests, or credit approvals.What is a supportive thing to say? ›
Show them you sympathise by saying: "It sounds like you're dealing with a lot at the moment" "I'm really sorry to hear that you're feeling like this right now" "I'm really glad you're sharing this with me"How do you show support in a sentence? ›
They wanted to show their support for European solidarity. That means quality time together and with him showing support and affection for you. Pilots and ground crew had proudly donned the bands to show support for wounded comrades.What is a good example of a phrase? ›
A phrase is a group of words that works together in a sentence but does not contain a subject or a verb. Often phrases are used for descriptions of people, things, or events. Examples: Filled with joy, the girl jumped up and down.What are the 5 phrases in English? ›
- Noun phrase.
- Adjective phrase.
- Adverb phrase.
- Verb phrase.
- Prepositional phrase.
A phrase is a small group of words that communicates a concept but isn't a full sentence. You use phrases in your writing and your speech every day. There are lots of different kinds of phrases, some of which play a technical role in your writing and others that play a more illustrative role.
- Good morning. Sometimes, all you need to start the day right is a good coffee and someone greeting you smiling. ...
- Good afternoon. ...
- My name is Mondly. ...
- I'm pleased to meet you. ...
- How are you? ...
- Fine, thanks. ...
- I'd like a beer. ...
- I'm sorry.
Based on its function in a sentence, the phrases are divided into various types: 1) Noun Phrase, 2) Verb Phrase, 3) Adject Phrase, 4) Adverb Phrase, 5) Gerund Phrase, 6) Infinitive Phrase, 7, Prepositional Phrase, and 8) Absolute Phrase.What are the 20 idioms with meaning? ›
- “Break a leg” – to wish someone good luck.
- “Cost an arm and a leg” – to be very expensive.
- “Bite the bullet” – to face a difficult situation bravely.
- “Beat around the bush” – to avoid getting to the point in a conversation.
There are three types of verbal phrases: participial phrases, gerund phrases, and infinitive phrases.What are 5 positive sentences? ›
- They are going to plant a tree.
- Bill will join swimming classes this summer.
- My sister brought home a very cute puppy.
- The work is due today.
- Ankush laughed loudly at the joke.
- I have a plan.
- Raju went to Kolkata yesterday.
- Gourav tried hard to climb the wall.