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  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    My heart goes out to you?

    Hi, everyone.
    Can I say "My heart goes out to you." to my friend, who lost his wife twenty years ago, to comfort him? I remember this expression is often used to console someone who has just lost their family member. If "My heart goes out to you." is inappropriate for this situation, what is usually used then? Can I say "Please restrain your grief." to conclude my letter?
    Thanks.
    Richard

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: My heart goes out to you?

    Hello Ohmy,

    If he still seems quite upset about his wife, you can say "my heart goes out to you". Some might find it a little effusive, though.

    If the distress is abated, you can simply say "I'm very sorry to hear about your wife".

    (I would not recommend "please restrain your grief", except where you intend a rebuke.)

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #3
    thod00 is offline Member
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    Re: My heart goes out to you?

    "My heart goes out to you" seems too strong when talking about something that happened 20 years ago. If you should cry over something that old, then it would simply be embarrassing for the other person. If condolence is required then a simple "I'm sorry" would be enough.

    Likewise "Please restrain your grief" is an order, and not polite or sympathetic.

  4. #4
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Re: My heart goes out to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Ohmy,

    If he still seems quite upset about his wife, you can say "my heart goes out to you". Some might find it a little effusive, though.

    If the distress is abated, you can simply say "I'm very sorry to hear about your wife".

    (I would not recommend "please restrain your grief", except where you intend a rebuke.)

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    Thanks a lot for your help, MrPedantic. This forum is where I never fail to learn from others. Thanks for your explanation.

  5. #5
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Re: My heart goes out to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    "My heart goes out to you" seems too strong when talking about something that happened 20 years ago. If you should cry over something that old, then it would simply be embarrassing for the other person. If condolence is required then a simple "I'm sorry" would be enough.

    Likewise "Please restrain your grief" is an order, and not polite or sympathetic.
    Thanks for your help, thod00. "Please restrain your grief" is what I get from my Chinese-English dictionary. I know I can not rely on Chinese-English dictionaries when I'm trying to express my ideas properly as those dictionaries often offer literal translations and the compilers themselves may have never come across what the native speakers use for these ideas,either.
    Thanks for giving me a helping hand again.
    Richard

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