When we succeed at or achieve one of our goals, we have the right to feel proud.
To say “I am proud of (…)” is a good thing. For example: I am proud of my child. I am proud of graduating high school. I am proud of what I invented. (Notice how the preposition “of” can be followed by a noun, a gerund or a noun clause.)
However, sometimes people are too proud.
When someone is too proud of him/herself, we accuse them of bragging. When we brag or boast, we go on and on about our successes. We make those around us feel unimportant or small in comparison. For example: My child got into a better university than yours did. My GPA was higher than yours. My invention made me a millionaire.
We might say that this kind of person has a big head or a swollen ego. In fact, we might joke that his head is so big that we worry it won’t fit through the door! We scold him for being a conceited person.
Take a look at the following positive and negative conversations:
A: What are you smiling about?
B: I’m just so relieved the test is done.
A: You must have done well.
B: I did OK. I’m satisfied with my grade.
A: Let me see… What are you talking about!? You got a perfect score. You should be proud!
B: I am proud, I guess. I just don’t want to sound conceited.
A: Don’t worry. Take credit for what you did. That’s a big accomplishment!
A: How’d you do on the last quiz?
B: I got an 88%.
A: I got a 98%. In fact, the teacher said it was the highest score in the class. That’s the second time I’ve gotten over 95%.
B: Stop bragging! We all know you don’t have a life. All you ever do is study.
A: Say what you like. Some day you’ll be working for me!
B: You’re so conceited. I’d never work for you in a million years.
A: You’re just a sore loser.
B: And you have a big head.
Take a look at the following pictures. Practice following “proud of” with a noun structure. Some sample answers follow.
They are proud of winning a trophy. They are proud of what they did.