All is in the title, what are the ways to express someone's condolences when somebody died.
I know お気の毒に but is there something else?
What can/should you say to friends? To collegues? To bosses? etc.


1 Answer 1


There are some fixed expressions such as:

  • ご愁傷さまです
  • お悔やみ申し上げます

Both are formal, and can be used regardless of the relationship; you can say this to friends/colleagues/bosses. "ご愁傷さま" is sometimes used when nobody dies (e.g. ironically when somebody is disappointed) while "お悔やみ申し上げます" is almost always limited to the context of condolences, but both are perfectly fine. Additionally:

  • ({at least originally} In Buddhism) ご冥福をお祈り[します/申し上げます]

お悔やみ(おくやみ) or 弔辞 is the translation for condolence, so if you need something more than fixed expressions, you can search with these words --- many people don't know what to say to somebody experiencing a great loss, and seek for guidance. Additionally, it is common to send a telegram of condolence ("弔電") for funerals (when one can't attend), and expressions for these might also be worth reading.


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