I'm surprised this question hasn't been asked already so in case I just missed it in my searches please point me to it.
Is there a general way to express "being sorry" not when apologizing of course, but rather when you want to convey sympathy towards someone's unfortunate circumstances.
I am sure that in certain specific situations there would be standard sentences for this, e.g., "I'm sorry for your loss".
However, I'm interested in more general situations. How to answer "Oh, I'm sorry about that" when someone tell's you about something unfortunate they are/have been going through?
A: I lost my wallet with all my documents in it.
B: Oh, I'm sorry about that...
A: I didn't get the scholarship and I won't be able to go study abroad.
B: Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that...
A: I got fired.
B: Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that...
I tried on purpose to think of situations with different degrees of severity. Also suppose that A and B are quite close, but I think regardless of A and B's relationship in English one would say something on the line of "I'm sorry" (the difference stands in how much A means it).
One thing I could think of in Japanese would be
However, this to me sounds more like an objective acknowledgment that something is bad/unfortunate rather than a subjective expression of one own's sympathetic feelings. Something like in English maybe would be "Ah, that's too bad/that sucks...".
So is there something in Japanese closer to the English "being sorry" in this kind of situations? Or very simply people just wouldn't use anything like that?