Express Sympathy 

One of my students asked a question to me today about what to say if a friend or colleague’s relative has passed away. 

Useful Language

I’d recommend the following in spoken English:

I’m so sorry. If there’s anything I can do, please let me know. 

If you are writing, something like this is appropriate:

My deepest sympathy for your loss. If there is anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to ask. 

Other tips

  • Don’t mention death. 
  • It isn’t common to ask the cause of death; if someone wants to tell you,  they will.
  • Don’t talk about your experience; listen to your bereaved friend. 

I hope this helps anybody who needs it.