Site Feedback

"It's a pity", "too bad" or both?


It's me again, asking some specific questions nobody except me really cares about. But I want to ask it or I will forget it.
Do they still say "it's a pity" in the UK or the USA? Please tell me where you've heard it (what country, what city) if you can. Or is it more modern way to say "too bad" instead of "it's a pity"?

Would you understand it, if somebody said "it's a pity" to you? Does is sound strange or old fashioned? Or both? :)



As someone in America, "its a pity" would sound pretty fake, and "british like" (if they british do say that, that is). 

Too bad may seem a bit harsh but it really just depends on your tone of voice. 

I usually just say "awww" or "ohh, im sorry" (although its weird, we say sorry).


Nothing wrong with saying 'A pity!'  That's a pity!  It's such a pity that ... What a pity!


It's usually somewhat exclamatory, hence all the exclamation marks above!!! (ha!)


In Chinese there is exactly the same phrase zhen kexi (so can pity) 真可喜


Pity and shame are synonyms here - wherever I wrote 'pity' you may substitute 'shame'


I wouldn't use too bad, sounds a little bit careless.  Maybe add 'just'  - That's just toooo bad - and it can even sound a little ironic.  mmmm maybe that's the difference - use pity/shame when you care, too bad when you don't.


In fact if I said 'too bad' I'd probably add a shrug at the same time (too bad, so what), but with pity, the body language would be a sigh.

"That's a pity" or "It's a pitty" sounds fine. A lot of Americans would act like you were speaking too proper though. I hate that. My mom always uses a mixture of British and American words and phrases, so I'm used to it. 

It's a pity and that's a pity are both fine.  It doesn't sound odd or old at all.

As an American who has lived in Britain, in both places both those phrases sound completely normal. :)


Thank you!

Add a comment