The saying "sorry to hear that" typically expresses empathy or sympathy when someone else has experienced something negative. This phrase is commonly used in conversations to show understanding and care for the other person's situation.
"Sorry to hear that" means expressing sympathy or empathy for someone else's unfortunate situation or news.
The phrase "sorry to hear that" shows that you feel sympathy or empathy when someone shares bad news or an unpleasant experience. It's a polite and caring way to respond when someone tells you about a problem or difficulty they're facing. You can use the phrase in a variety of situations, both personal and professional.
Key aspects of the idiom's meaning include:
The origin of “sorry” comes from the Old English word “sarig," which means “full of sorrow” or distress. It is thought to have been derived from the Proto-Germanic word “sargaz,” which also means “full of sorrow.” The word “sarig” was used in Old English to describe a wide range of emotions, including sadness, grief, and regret. It could also be used to describe physical pain or suffering—the earliest examples of the phrase "sorry to hear that" in print come from the 1800s.
"I was very sorry to hear that you were sick; but it rejoiced me to hear that you were recovering."
- The Guardian, Or Youth's Religious Instructor, 1819
Here are some examples of how to use the phrase in sentences:
The phrase frequently appears in films, books, and TV shows to express sympathy or empathy.
Some examples include:
There are other ways to express sympathy or empathy that convey a similar sentiment to "sorry to hear that."
Some of these include:
It means expressing sympathy or empathy for someone else's unfortunate news or situation. It's a way to show that you care about what they're going through.
For example, you could say, "I'm sorry to hear that you didn't get the job. I know you really wanted it."
Yes, this phrase can be used in professional settings to show empathy or sympathy for someone's situation or difficulties.
The phrase itself is neutral, but it's typically used in response to negative news or situations, expressing empathy or sympathy.
For minor setbacks, inconveniences or complaints, "sorry to hear that" can come across as somewhat insincere. It is best reserved for more serious or impactful unfortunate news. For smaller issues, a response like "that's too bad" or "what a bummer" may be more appropriate.
Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to convey "sorry to hear that" through written, electronic communication like text, email, or phone as well as in person. The sentiment behind the phrase is what matters most, not the medium used to express it.
The best way to use this phrase is to genuinely express sympathy or empathy for someone's situation, in a caring and understanding manner.
Yes, the phrase is specifically used to express sympathy or empathy for someone's unfortunate news or situation.
"Sorry to hear that" is a general expression of sympathy or empathy, while "My condolences" is specifically used when expressing sympathy for someone's loss, such as the death of a loved one.
While not required, it is polite to acknowledge the expression of sympathy. A simple response like "Thank you, I appreciate your kindness" is appropriate. You can also provide a brief update on the situation if you feel comfortable doing so.
"Sorry to hear that" is a polite way to express sympathy for their difficult situation or circumstances. It is appropriate to say when someone shares news about a loss, setback, illness, or other unfortunate event.
Key aspects of the phrase:
Remember, using this phrase is a simple yet effective way to show that you care about the feelings and experiences of others. It's a reflection of our shared humanity and the universal experiences of hardship and disappointment.