I would like to know what "good for you" mean at most of time. After my own research, I knwe that it could mean "congratulations" and alternatively "would like an award" when speaking sacracsticlly. I was told the exact meaning is largely depend on the context using this language.

However, I am still wondering in what cases for native speakers use "Good for you" most? In positive meaning or negative meaning?

Thank you very much!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Drew, jimm101, Nathaniel, Hellion, user140086 Feb 22 '16 at 7:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Like many things it can be said with sincerity, and sarcastically. Either is perfectly possible. – WS2 Feb 13 '16 at 23:57
  • Aside. I propose the sense in which the above is used can be partly identified buy the actors involved. You can be sure, for example, if it's teacher to student, it's praise. Buddy to buddy, it's a cut. Man to dog, it's praise... and so on. While I agree it can be used anytime, either way, I propose the actors will help you choose. "Good for you" can be patronizing and condescending in the most vicious way. Again - all my experience. – user116032 Feb 14 '16 at 1:36

Its meaning is positive and is generally used to show approval and congratulation. As any other expression it can also be used with a sarcastic or negative connotation:

Good for/on you:

  • (Australian English) used to show ​approval for someone's ​success or good ​luck: You ​passed ​your ​exam - good for you!.

(Cambridge Dictionaries)

Good on” a person:

  • Expression of congratulations or approval. The precise U.S. equivalent is Good for, as in Good for you!, Good for him!, Good for us!, etc. It’s an Australianism and (in the manner to No worries and kerfuffle) appears to have been taken up first by the Brits and then by the Yanks. The ur-form is Good on ya, mate!


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