20 Difficult English Phrases you need to know

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2022-02-04・ 13782

Speak English With Vanessa channel


Aw, man! That's a bummer! Learn what to say in difficult situations in English. Download the free PDF worksheet for this lesson here: http://www.speakenglishwithvanessa.com/free Download my free e-book: "5 Steps To Becoming A Confident English Speaker" http://www.speakenglishwithvanessa.com/free-ebook --------------------------------------------------------------------- English book recommendations: https://www.amazon.com/shop/speakenglishwithvanessa Subscribe and follow on social media! I'd love to meet you! YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=theteachervanessa Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/englishwithvanessa/ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/speakenglishwithvanessa Send us a postcard from your country: Speak English With Vanessa 825 C Merrimon Ave PMB # 278 Asheville, NC 28804 USA --------------------------------------------------------------------- Speak English With Vanessa helps English learners to speak American English fluently, naturally, and confidently. To become a fluent English speaker and have English conversations with a native English speaker, go to http://www.speakenglishwithvanessa.com

Instruction

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Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa  
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from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. Have  you had a bad day? Let's talk about it.  
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Has someone ever asked you, "How are you doing?"  And you've had a really bad day and you just  
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don't know what to say? Or maybe  even worse, someone is telling you  
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about their bad day and you don't  know what to say. You just say,  
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"Okay, sorry." Let me help you. In today's  lesson, you're going to learn the top daily life  
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expressions to talk about difficult situations,  so the next time you accidentally spill coffee  
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on your shirt, or someone tells you that their  dog died, you will know exactly what to say. 
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And for today's lesson, like always, I have  created a free PDF worksheet that you can download  
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right now with the link in the description.  It includes all of today's expressions,  
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all of the situations and nuances when you should  use them that we'll talk about today, and you can  
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answer Vanessa's challenge question at the bottom  of the PDF worksheet. You can click on the link in  
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the description to download that worksheet today. All right, let's get started with the first  
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category, which is some minor inconveniences  or difficulties, nothing too serious. How  
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disappointing. Ugh. This loaf of bread has  already gone stale? How disappointing. My date  
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doesn't look anything like his profile picture?  How disappointing. It's unfortunate. That's  
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unfortunate. This is especially used when there's  some element of luck involved or maybe being  
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unlucky. Let's say you bite into a cookie. Ugh.  I thought these were chocolate chip cookies, but  
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they have raisins. Ugh. That's unfortunate. It's  just bad luck. It's not ideal. That's not ideal.  
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You could say there was a lot of traffic, so I  took a shortcut and then I lost. It wasn't ideal.  
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Well, yeah, that's true. It's not the best  situation. Ideal means amazing, the best.  
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So you might say, eh, that's not ideal. Or what about this situation? I wanted to  
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spend the weekend relaxing and then my mom asked  me if I would help her to clean out her garage.  
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It's not ideal, but I'll help her. This wasn't my  idea of a perfect weekend, but you know what? I'll  
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do it. It's not ideal, but I'll do it. Now, just  a little note. This can be used sarcastically.  
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Let's imagine a situation. Let's say  you're driving and you accidentally  
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hit your neighbor's trash can and it dents the  front of your car and cracks your windshield.  
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Okay. It's not ideal, but it's kind of worse  than that, right? Like this is a big deal.  
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You have to get it fixed. It's probably going to  be really expensive. And it was all your fault.  
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And it was kind of a dumb thing too, right?  So when you're telling someone what happened,  
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they might say, that's not ideal. This is very sarcastic, because of course  
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it's not ideal. This is so obvious, right? That's  not ideal. Notice the tone of my voice, the look  
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on my face. I'm saying it in a sarcastic way. I'm  saying, "Yeah, that was a bad thing that happened.  
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But I'm going to say it a little sarcastically."  Yeah. That's not ideal. You shouldn't have done  
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that. That was kind of dumb. So it can be used  sarcastically, too. So just pay attention to  
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someone's tone of voice. It's discouraging. That's  discouraging. My date said he would call me,  
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but it's been two weeks. It's discouraging. This  is the 10th date that hasn't called me back.  
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It's discouraging. This is especially true if  you are hoping for something good and then, ugh,  
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it's so discouraging. Or if you bought  some lottery tickets and you were hoping  
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that you would win and you hear them call the  winning lottery numbers and they're not yours,  
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you could say, ugh, that's so discouraging. I  buy lottery tickets every day and I still haven't  
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won. Hmm. Maybe it's a sign that you shouldn't  buy lottery tickets. Well, personal choice. 
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The next set of three words is very casual.  Don't use this in the workplace, but  
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in other situations, it's fine. You could say,  nuts. Crap. Dang it. Has this ever happened  
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to you? You thought you were putting sugar in  your food. Maybe it's your tea or your coffee,  
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or even a cake that you're making. And then  you look and say, "Ah, crap, it's salt."  
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You don't want to substitute salt for  sugar. Ugh. So you can use these for  
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minor inconveniences. Ah, nuts. This is  very polite, more polite. Then we have  
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crap. That's what I say the most. And then  there's dang it, which is a euphemism.  
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This means a slightly kinder or softer  word instead of saying a bad word, which is  
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damn it. So if you put salt in your tea instead  of sugar, you can say, dang it. And it's  
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okay to say that with children or maybe with your  family. If you don't want your kids to repeat it,  
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well, maybe don't say it around them, but it  is certainly much nicer than the swear word. 
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Another casual expression is, oh man. This  is especially when you're disappointed.  
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You might say, "Oh man, I ordered a burger  and fries and they gave me a salad instead.  
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Oh man." Let's say it's the beginning of  winter. This has happened to me many times.  
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I open up my drawer of sweaters and I pick up  my favorite sweater. Oh, man, there's a little  
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hole in it. How did that happen? I didn't touch  it all winter. Oh man, this is disappointing. 
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The next one is also casual. That sucks. This is  also kind of a little bit rude, I would say. When  
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I was a kid, my parents told me that's not a nice  word. Don't say it. But as an adult, people use  
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it pretty flippantly. That means casually and  comfortably all the time. So I would say avoid  
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it at work, but with friends or with family,  it's okay. If you're a kid, it's not really  
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that great. But if you're an adult, it's fine. Let's imagine that you're watching your favorite  
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football team in the championship and they lose.  You say, "Ah, my favorite team lost. That sucks."  
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You're disappointed. You could also use this to  potentially comfort someone. So if your friend  
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is hoping to get a promotion, you could say,  "Ah, I'm sorry, you didn't get the promotion you  
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wanted. That sucks. I hope you get it next time."  So it seems like it could be used for really  
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shallow situations. Your team losing.  Maybe that's very serious for you.  
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Or for more serious situations, too, to express  care and empathy. Oh man, that sucks. I'm sorry. 
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It's a bummer. That's a bummer. I use this  one a lot. Let's say you want to go to the  
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beach and it's raining. Ugh. That's a bummer. You  booked this trip. You were so excited and now it's  
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going to rain all week. Sorry. That's a bummer.  The next one is a fun one. Oh, come on, seriously?  
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You can use this when you are annoyed and  frustrated. Let's imagine. You might say,  
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"Ugh, come on. Seriously? I break down in the  middle of nowhere and then it starts to rain  
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and I'm late for my job interview? Ugh, come  on. Seriously?" You are questioning the motives  
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of the universe. Ugh. Come on, seriously? I would recommend not saying this to other  
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people and only saying this to you yourself,  because if you said this to someone else, let's  
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imagine that your coworker spills coffee on her  white shirt and it's messy all day. You wouldn't  
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want to say to her, "Oh, come on, seriously?"  Because you would be telling her, "You are  
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such a clumsy person. Why do you do that?" It's  quite negative. You're telling the other person,  
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"You're a bad person." That's not so nice. But you  can say it to yourself. Oh, come on. Seriously?  
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Why did this happen to me? Come on, seriously. Another fun one is, you've got to be kidding me.  
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You got to be kidding me. They fired  you because your classes were too  
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fun? You've got to be kidding me. This  might or might not have happened to me.  
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You've got to be kidding me. Or what about this  situation? She broke up with you because she said  
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her cat didn't like you? You've got to be kidding  me. Can you see in all of these situations,  
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you are shocked. You are outraged. You've got to  be kidding me. This is a phrase that you can say  
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to someone else, if you want to share their shock.  So if your friend says, "Yeah, he broke up with  
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me because he said his cat didn't like me." You  can reply. "You've got to be kidding me. That's  
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the most shallow reason to break up with someone.  What was he thinking? You got to be kidding me." 
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Before we go to our seriously difficult  situation expressions, let's talk about  
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one final melodramatic phrase. Why, God?  Why? So this one, you can sense the drama.  
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Let's imagine that you, like I mentioned  before, accidentally put salt into your  
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tea instead of sugar, but you also have  woken up late. You have a job interview.  
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You're just feeling generally pretty bad. You  woke up on the wrong side of the bed and then  
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you put salt into your tea. You might say, "Why  God, why? Why is everything going wrong today?"  
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You're kind of appealing to the universe. Why,  why is everything against me today? So make sure  
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you use this one for not so serious situations,  but just when you want to be overly dramatic. 
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And now let's go on to some phrases you can use  for seriously difficult situations, whether it's  
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to talk about yourself or to comfort someone else  and to talk about what they're going through.  
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It's too bad. That's too bad. You lost your  job? That's too bad. That doesn't mean you did  
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something wrong. It just means in general, I am  sympathizing with your hard time. That's too bad. 
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Now just a little note, this can be used a  sarcastic tone of voice. So let's take a look  
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at this situation. Let's say you're talking about  a couple and you hear that they have broken up.  
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You might say, "Oh, they broke up. That's  too bad." Okay. Well you can see by my face,  
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I'm not exactly devastated about this news.  Possibly I predicted that they would break up,  
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or possibly I am interested in one of those people  who is now newly single. So you might say, "Oh,  
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that's too bad that they broke up." So your words  and your tone of voice are very different. So this  
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is something you need to watch out for in English,  is when someone's tone doesn't match their words.  
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Oh, that's too bad. Oh, I got a big  smile on my face. So I'm not really sad.  
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I'm just saying the thing that's socially  appropriate, but really that's not how I feel. 
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It's a shame. That's a shame. She wanted  to be a professional figure skater and then  
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she broke her leg. Ugh, that's a shame. It's  just something that's disappointing and sad.  
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Possibly life changing or just a big roadblock.  You might say, he wanted to be a lawyer and then  
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he didn't pass the bar exam and he just gave up.  He decided not to take it again. That's a shame.  
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It's a pity. That's a pity. It's a pity you  have to move away for your new job. I was  
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really loving being your neighbor. You can't  have cats in your apartment? Ugh. That's such  
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a pity. I know how much you love your cats. So here in this situation, it's pretty serious,  
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right? Well, either someone's moving away,  they can't keep their pet or in the previous  
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expression, it's a shame, it's quite serious as  well. So these two, make sure you don't use in  
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lighthearted situations. It's a shame or it's  a pity or for serious things. It's awful.  
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That's awful. Ugh. He asked for a divorce on your  anniversary? That's awful. I'm so sorry. It's very  
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strong, very serious and pretty big thing, huh?  You could also say, I spilled coffee on my shirt.  
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I was late on the way to work and I got fired.  That's awful. Yes. This is really, truly awful. 
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The final three expressions are for extremely  serious situations. You can say, it's devastating.  
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That's devastating. To be devastated means you  can kind of imagine you're completely just on  
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the floor. You can't move for weeks. Everything in  your life is terrible, or there's something that's  
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so bad that you can't function normally. It's  devastating. So if someone that you love dies,  
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it's devastating. Maybe if someone tells you about  some really tragic thing that happened to them.  
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"Yeah, my grandma died and she  was just totally fine. And she,  
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all of a sudden," and they tell you the story, you  could say, "Oh, that's devastating. I'm so sorry." 
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So you're using this word in the accurate  situation, where there is something that is  
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completely difficult for someone else and you are  acknowledging that, and that might make them feel  
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validated or heard. And it can be good to use  this word only in very serious situations. Ugh.  
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It's devastating. I can't believe that this  happened. If someone tells you something tragic,  
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let's imagine that same situation that someone's  grandma dies. What can you say? The most common  
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thing to say is, "I'm so sorry to hear that."  I'm so sorry to hear that. Is there anything I  
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can help you with? Hey, can I bring you some  food tomorrow? I'm so sorry to hear that. 
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But you could also add on to this. I'm so sorry to  hear that your grandma died. I'm so sorry to hear  
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that you have to move to another state and you  really don't want to. I'm so sorry to hear that,  
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plus the thing. This is great to write in a card,  too, because often in these devastating or tragic  
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situations, we write a letter or write a card to  someone and give it to them. Those are the special  
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moments when something physical really touches and  means a lot. So this is a good expression you can  
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write. I'm sorry to hear that your grandmother  passed away. I'd like to stop by tomorrow and  
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bring you some food. This is great. So kind. Our final expression for talking about difficult  
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situations is, "I can't imagine." Now, this is  short for a fuller expression. I can't imagine  
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what it must feel like to have your grandmother  die. Of course you don't understand because it's  
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not your grandmother. You haven't been in that  situation. But to say that full expression is  
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less common. It's more common to just say,  "Oh, I can't imagine. It must be really tough  
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for you right now. I'd like to help bring you  some food tomorrow." Or, "Can I walk your dog  
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for you?" I can't imagine. Let me help you. Oh  man, this lesson this kind of a bummer, right? 
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Well, I hope that I can help you in these  difficult times because you know what?  
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Sometimes things that are shame or even things  that are devastating, they happen in daily life,  
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and we need to be able to express them and  talk about them. And we need to be able to  
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empathize with other people who have difficult  things happening to them. So I have a question  
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for you. Let me know in the comments, if I told  you that I failed a test and then broke my arm,  
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what would you say to me? Which one  of these expressions would you use  
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to empathize with my difficult situation? Well, don't forget to download today's for  
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PDF with all of these bummer expressions,  but quite useful and necessary. Make sure  
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you download the free PDF worksheet so that you  can accurately use these in daily life, and you  
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can see all of the sample sentences and answer  Vanessa's challenge question at the bottom of the  
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worksheet. There's a link in the description. You  can click that to download the worksheet today. 
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Well, thank you so much for learning English  with me, and I will see you again next Friday  
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for a new lesson that's less sad here on  my YouTube channel. Bye. The next step is  
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to download the free PDF worksheet for this  lesson. With this free PDF, you will master  
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today's lesson and never forget what you have  learned. You can be a confident English speaker.  
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Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel  for a free English lesson every Friday. Bye.
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