Showing Concern

Sometimes other people are sad, upset or have a problem of some kind. There are many things we can say to show concern. Here are ten of them.

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing: 
  1. What's the matter?
  2. Are you alright?
  3. What's getting you down?
  4. What's up (with you)?
  5. Why the long face?
  6. You look a bit down.
  7. Is there anything I can do to help?
  8. Do you need a shoulder to cry on?
  9. You look like you could do with a drink.
  10. Oh you poor thing !
How To Use These Phrases In Your English: 
  1. Phrases 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are asking the other person what their problem is.
  2. Phrases 1, 2, and 3 are more sympathetic while phrases 4 and 5 are less friendly.
  3. Phrase 6 is a simple observation that the other person looks sad. But you expect the other person to explain the problem.
  4. Phrases 7 and 8 are offering help or sympathy.
  5. Phrase 8 is specifically offering to listen while the other person talks about their problem or reason for sadness.
  6. Phrase 9 is an offer of a drink (alcohol or a cup of tea). This is a typical British response to somebody with a major problem or after a disaster of some kind.
  7. Phrase 10 is intended to sound sympathetic. This expression can sound patronising to some people.
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