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A lesson for when a loved one passes away


Suggested Difficulty (Elementary etc): Intermediate / Upper Intermediate
Video or Audio: ____
Lesson Idea: Hi @Constance_Fang and Team,

Have you done a lesson on how to respond when someone tells you that someone close has died? Recently someone told me their father died and I didn’t know the right response. I knew 对不起 and 不好意思 weren’t right. I asked a Chinese friend what to say, and she told me 节哀顺变 is the thing to say. But then a a couple of days after that, a neighbour sadly told me her beloved dog had recently died, and I didn’t know if 节哀顺变 was suitable for that situation! Help!

Question from user Peter Samet on FB


节哀顺变 is not the best choice when a neighbor lost her dog.

I would like to suggest “别太难过” or “很遗憾”. If you want to be more sincere, you could try ‘你一定很难过,但还是要多保重,别太伤心’.

In fact, this is a very good question. The only word we use is 节哀顺变, however, there are still some other ways to show our care. The most common one is '保重‘.

Hope you find this useful!


Thank you so much for this feedback! It’s definitely very useful (although I hope I won’t need to use it too often!) 非常感谢!