Feb 17th 2019

Empathy vs Sympathy

Sympathy_Empathy (002)

Few pairs of English words get confused as often as sympathy and empathy. In speech and writing, the words get muddled up, despite having different meanings. The confusion probably comes as empathy and sympathy have similar definitions, sound similar when spoken, and they are used structurally and stylistically in the same manner. However, they have different meanings and it’s important to understand the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Definition of Sympathy and Empathy

  • Empathy is a noun, meaning the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  • Sympathy is a noun, meaning the feelings of pity or sorrow for someone’s situation. 

What is Sympathy?

Sympathy is tied up with the idea of sorrow and pity. If you have sympathy for someone, you feel sorry for them. Sympathy even suggests that you may be suffering distress yourself as a result of your feelings of pity for another’s misfortune. Often, we use the preposition for after sympathy.


  • I feel sympathy for the poor people of the world.
  • We have no sympathy for you – it’s your own fault.

What is Empathy?

In essence, having empathy means you understand somebody’s situation, usually a problem that they have. Normally, empathy suggests that you understand someone’s issue because you have also had some experience with a similar circumstance, i.e. empathy means you fully understand it. Often, we use the preposition with after empathy.


  • John had some empathy with Mike’s situation; he too had gone bankrupt in the past.
  • Lance finds it difficult to have empathy with poor people, as he has always been rich.

Remember: Empathy does not always need to have a negative connotation.

  • You’re getting married? I have some empathy with that, as I tied the knot just last week!

Empathize vs Sympathize

Empathy and sympathy can both be used as verbs, with the differences being the same as those in the noun form of the words.

  • Empathize is a verb, meaning to understand someone’s situation.
  • Sympathize is a verb, meaning to feel sorry for someone.

However, with both words we would normally use the preposition with.


  • We empathized with the Smiths’ predicament, as we knew how tricky filling out insurance claims could be.
  • Those who sympathize with criminals should be ashamed of themselves.
  • Can I empathize with the substitute teacher? Sure, because I know how hard it is to work with kids that age.
  • Cancer is a terrible disease. We should sympathize with anyone who suffers from it.

Sympathetic vs Empathetic

Sympathy and empathy can also be used as adjectives, with the differences being the same as those in the noun and verb forms.

  • Empathetic is an adjective, meaning showing an ability to understand another’s situation.
  • Sympathetic is an adjective, meaning showing feelings of pity or sorrow for someone’s situation.


  • Jane, who has been deaf since birth, is empathetic toward anyone who had hearing problems.
  • Professor Neal will be sympathetic with anyone who comes to him with a difficult personal problem.

Sympathetic: Other Meanings

Sympathetic has some other meanings, which are sometimes used in art, literature and formal contexts. It is a little bit confusing, because the meaning is much closer to that of empathy and understanding. Don’t worry too much, as this way of using sympathetic is not very common and highly specific.

  • A sympathetic character in a book or movie is one that is liked because their actions are understandable.
    • Othello is a sympathetic character, because we can understand his actions were driven by jealousy and Iago’s manipulation.
  • Sympathetic can mean showing support and agreement.
    • We are sympathetic to the Prime Minister’s position and we will fully support the vote.

Sympathetically vs Empathetically

Sympathy and empathy can also appear in adverb form, with the difference in meanings again being the same as those in the noun forms.

  • Sympathetically is an adverb, meaning in a way that shows sorrow or pity for someone’s misfortunes.
  • Empathetically is an adverb, meaning in a way that shows understanding of someone’s predicaments.


  • The doctor listened sympathetically as the patient described her painful symptoms.
  • Nurses are able to work empathetically with patients while remaining professional and efficient.

Other Words Confused with Empathy and Sympathy

Empathy, sympathy and their variants are words with roots in Ancient Greek. As a consequence, other words can sound very similar yet have completely different meanings. Be careful of these words with similar spellings:

  • Emphasis (noun), Emphatic (adjective), Emphasize (verb), Emphatically (adverb). These are related to putting stress or special importance on something.
  • Symphony (noun). A musical band or composition.
  • Apathy (noun) Apathetic (adjective). Lack of concern or interest.

Examples of Sympathy and Empathy

Here are some more examples of sympathy, empathy and other variants of the words in sentences:

  • To truly have empathy with a man, you must walk a mile in his shoes.
  • The sympathy I feel for sick people increases every day.
  • Can we have empathy with animals? No. We don’t think in the same way.
  • Jean felt a deep sympathy towards the gorillas. Their habitat was being destroyed.
  • We can empathize with your problem, Nick. However, we feel no sympathy for you.
  • I sympathize with your situation at work, but I just can’t help you.
  • Bob and Jan were sympathetic towards the plight of the homeless, so they donated their pay checks to the local shelter.
  • Teachers should always be empathetic towards other teachers.
  • Nathan listened on sympathetically, the descriptions of suffering bringing tears to his eyes.
  • Renee spoke empathetically, letting her audience know she had first-hand experience of the issue.




Jan 31st 2019

Grammar Expectations vs Reality


The English language is one of the most popular studied language.

English is one of the most popular languages in the world. Contemporary communication relies on an effective development an understanding of language. Moreover, it requires extensive knowledge of grammar and vocabulary mastery which is crucial in developing the significant meaning of sentences. The English language reflects significant centuries of growth and development. The political and social events have similarly had substantial effects on English. English is spoken in many countries and used for communication in significant parts of the world. Therefore, the language is one of the vital elements of communication to many communities. It provides a medium through which English speakers can communicate. The vocabulary incorporated used in any speech rely on good English background.

Steps of learning Grammar.

Grammar shapes language in every aspect due to the need of speakers to provide the meaning of words and structure sentences. The teaching of grammar occurs at different levels of learning institutions. Grammar learning improves communication between educators and students. It also creates a commendable pre-written research papers through proper grammar and the correct language use. However, it requires a stepwise process that allows students to master the essential vocabulary and grammar at the elementary level before proceeding to higher learning institutions. Students also have an opportunity to learn English grammar online step by step.
The first step of learning grammar requires a student to differentiate parts of a sentence. Understanding the eight elements of grammar further defines a sentence and grammar. Examples include the nouns, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, conjunctions, preposition, and interjections. The next step is to break down a sentence into structures. The process can be achieved by developing meanings for all word categories and putting them together to make up a sentence. Therefore, a sentence consists of a package of words combined to express a particular thought. Consequently, a subject and a verb must be identified in a group of words to qualify as a complete sentence. For example, the process can further be explained as having someone doing something.

Learning phrases is also a crucial step which requires English users to master units of language and regularly apply them in sentences. However, they function as a single unit when used in a sentence. Most of them work as verb phrases. It enhances and defines different verbs and nouns thus creating an understanding of what the sentence explains through a combination of different words.
Learning about clauses also improves grammar. A clause contains a subject and a verb. The formation of sentences occurs through an independent or dependent clause. Independent clause plays a crucial role in acting as a single part of speech. The next step involves the sentence diagrams which are a primary method of learning grammar. It uses pictures to enhance mastery and understanding of sentence structures. It is one way of identifying whether written and spoken languages provide the required meanings of a sentence. It enables the speakers and listeners to understand different forms of sentences.

Importance of Grammar.

English Grammar plays a vital role in the understanding of different words in English and other languages. It forms a style that makes it possible for people to talk by defining various steps required to create meaningful sentences such as grouping of words. Therefore, grammar offers an opportunity to express diverse opinions. Although associated with errors and accuracy, it provides a chance to develop a precise and accurate understanding of the English language. Understanding the English grammatical patterns is crucial in developing literature discussions that enhance knowledge between students and their teachers. It results in easy learning and understanding of vocabulary and the proper uses in a different set of sentences. Grammar enables the formation of sentence structure creates an accurate interpretation of literature. Thus, it is a crucial skill when students are required to accomplish creative assignment and compositions. Besides, it promotes precise communication methods among English speakers.

Grammar is essential for any form of communication. Therefore, developing a deeper understanding of grammar provides a better opportunity for a person to start learning English grammar. Through the appropriate understanding of grammar, a reader can understand the nature of the English language. Therefore, it enables them to establish different grounds for linguistic prejudices and address different language issues affecting the public thus enhancing the state of the English language. The process also provides an opportunity for the users to apply appropriate words and clauses in the right sentences.

The process on how to use grammar offers the chance to analyze literature with the aim of establishing the significant ideas of the authors. Therefore, it provides an opportunity to express the meaning of words to other people. The step is vital since it enhances social relations where people communicate and creates an understanding especially when faced when conflicts. By understanding how language works, student and readers are often provided with an opportunity to make decisions on the correct usage of words. Furthermore, it provides readers with analysis options required to develop the precise meaning of written work. It also enables the speakers to eliminate grammatical errors in sentences thus providing clear communication. However, grammatical understanding of words varies based on the background used develops the language skills.

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Jan 17th 2019

Simple Ways to Keep a Conversation Going


Keeping a Conversation Going can be a Challenge

Humans spend a significant time of their lives conversing and interacting with each other. It helps us learn and develop to become productive members of Society. However, while basic skills for interaction are of crucial importance every time, there are also instances when there is a need for better speaking skills. This includes keeping a conversation going, as this kind of skill allows us to build trust with one another. This is not easy though especially when talking to someone new. Constraints in time, energy, and even familiarity with one another could prove to be a hindrance to keeping the conversation going for a longer period of time. In the next section of this article, six useful tips to keep a conversation going would be discussed in greater detail.

1. Ask Questions

There’s nothing more effective to keep a conversation going, than to ask a question. In most cases, the interaction between individuals are cut short with the lack of reason to hold a conversation with one another. By asking questions, you’re stimulating the one you’re speaking with to find topics that both of you are interested in. This becomes the reason for conversing with one another. Take note, however, that it is important to be mindful of the person that you are talking to. Some questions might be a sensitive topic to talk about. Some example of this are past memories of a loved one who passed away, boastful remarks, and any other topics that would make the other person uncomfortable.

2. Listen Actively and Intently

Listening actively and intently is another critical aspect to keep a conversation going. Humans possess the innate desire to be heard about their own opinions. In line with this, it only makes sense to keep listening to them diligently and sincerely. This would make the other person feel that he is important and that his opinions matter to you. In turn, this would also stimulate him to become more open and conversant. Aside from this, listening to others actively is also another way to learn more about life. In other words, this would not only ensure a longer conversation but also a beneficial takeaway on your part.

3. Improve Non-verbal Abilities

It is well-known among all of us that non-verbal abilities are critical in the speaking with other people. This allows you to complement what you are saying and possibly reach your audiences in a much deeper manner. However, there are also times when we forget how important this is and take it for granted. Some non-verbal cues such as frowning, crossing your arms, and looking away from the other speaker often are just some of the cues that are guaranteed to cut the conversation short. These make the other person think that you are not open to conversing with them in the first place.

4. Ask Open Ended Questions

Asking questions that are answerable by only ‘yes’ or ‘no’, is one of the ways to kill the conversation. It does not give any room for the speaker to reflect deeply of your question. Moreover, asking close-ended questions is like interviewing them, which is another way to cut the conversation short. Asking open ended questions also shows others that you are interested and putting effort in the conversation. This would prompt them to do the same.

5. Apply your General Knowledge

Most people want to talk with someone who knows about the things that are happening around them. This gives both you and them more topics to talk about, as well as the desire to learn more about the opinions of others. In line with this, it is essential to learn more about the outside world in order to make sure that conversation is interesting. Only after this, can you talk about all kinds of topics under the sun such as politics in Ghana, custom essay writing service, and even levels of poverty in Asia. Conversing in all these topics is made possible, by having an up to date knowledge of the world around you.

6. Teach

As stated previously, knowing about the world around us is one good way of coming up with conversation topics However, in some cases, it would also be best to impart this so-called knowledge to the one you are speaking with. Take note that this must be done through short-comments during the conversation and not like teaching someone in the classroom. This should also not be intended to boast or to demean the other person. Rather, teach them in a way that would not offend them and with the intent of imparting knowledge, or correcting some misconceptions that they might have.


These are just some of the methods that could help in keeping the conversation going. Of course, just like any other skills, doing this would take some time to come naturally. However, this skill should prove to be helpful in developing both your personal life and your career. Thus, if you want to become better at communicating with others, these skills should help you in doing so.

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Jan 10th 2019

8 Must-Follow Tips for Writing a Personal Statement


Guest post written by Stacey Wonder.

A personal statement is your voice and your representation in writing. A convincing application can’t exist without a powerful personal statement, which is the best way to prove you’re a suitable candidate before having a chance to meet with the committee members in person.
It’s not a surprise that many students face troubles when trying to compose a perfect statement without sounding too cliché. What information should you include in your statement? How do you make it look unique and prominent? What is the best way to introduce yourself?

We have prepared a compilation of the best tips on how to create your personal statement.

Tip 1. Choose Your Words And Tone Wisely

A personal statement is a piece of writing that must act as a reflection of your intellect and good manners. That’s why it’s essential to keep it polite, brief and informative.
While trying to impress admission officers, many students use complex sentences and pretentious wording. However, this almost never proves a winning strategy. Simpler is always better in this case. When your personal statement is easy to read and digest, you have better chances of being approved.

Try to avoid using trite phrases. University staff read tons of applications every day, and according to their words, most of the personal statements look the same due to common sentences like:
“I have a passion for studying,” “I am a responsible and patient student,” “I am very excited to become your student,” etc.

Tip 2. Be Honest

A fancy statement is what many applicants go for, trying to make themselves look better than they actually are. Don’t lie in your statement and don’t try to embellish the truth. Be honest and speak about the things which really matter to you and what your qualities really are.
Of course, you shouldn’t talk about every little detail of your life or include lists of your worst habits and features. Nevertheless, telling lies in your personal statement always leads to more lies in the future.

Tip 3. Think Through the Opening

The first few sentences should give a reason to keep reading your personal statement. If the beginning is powerful and catchy enough, it will positively affect your application.
The right sentence will most likely come after a few hours into working on your statement. So don’t try too hard to squeeze something out of your brain. Keep the first paragraph sweet and interesting.

Tip 4. Don’t Race

Not setting aside enough time to write your personal statement is not a way to write it properly. The less time you have, the more nervous you will be while creating it. That’s why giving yourself enough time is the best decision.

Don’t procrastinate and start working on your personal statement ahead of time. Do not rush your writing, but think through and reread every sentence. It’s better for you to have it written long before the application day. This way, you will have an opportunity to reread it before sending it in.
Also, you might come up with a good idea a few days after finishing your statement. So, it will be better for you to leave some time for edits.

Tip 5. Focus on Your Strengths

A personal statement is a form of advertisement. You are selling yourself and are trying to show that you are are a better candidate than others. So, while writing your personal statement, remember to describe your best qualities. Concentrate on the best features you have or your significant accomplishments. Talk about them in your statement and add information about what you want in your life, as well as any goals or aspirations you have. This is a perfect way to show that you have both achievements and perspectives for future fulfillment.

Tip 6. Write Several Variants

Writing a few different variations is a perfect way to reach the best results when creating a personal statement. You can choose between them or compile the best parts into one personal statement. Try not to repeat yourself, but write several unique and diverse pieces.

Tip 7. Ask Someone to Proofread

Handing your statement to someone to read might give you a little anxiety, but you shouldn’t be afraid as a third person can give excellent advice. Ask your friends or family members to revise your statement. If you want a more professional opinion, you can ask your school teacher or freelance writers from platforms like EssayTigers to edit your personal statement.

Tip 8. Keep It Simple

It might appear hard at first, but you can do it. Remember to keep a positive mood and don’t panic. Outline the main ideas and key points. Start with several sentences about yourself. Add the qualities that you are proud of and projects you were involved with. Keep the information relevant and readable.

Don’t leave writing your statement to the last minute and don’t clutter your statement with irrelevant information about yourself. Research what skills the chosen course is looking for and what qualities it demands. Remember, that you need to give a good first impression and a brilliant personal statement is a way to do it.


About author: Stacey Wonder is a freelance blogger, and a content writer. She usually writes on education, self-development, career, writing and other topics. When not busy with her projects, Stacey creates detective stories.

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Dec 20th 2018

How to Overcome the Fear of Speaking in Public


Guest post written by Bob Williams.


Almost 25 percent of people face the need to conquer the fear of demonstrating their verbal pyrotechnics in front of others, be it in a lecture hall, a classroom, or a school lobby. Being able to offer ideas and deliver information in front of an audience is a very important skill. All students should work hard to master their communication skills to be able to achieve their educational and career goals.

While fear is a primal instinct that helps people navigate dangerous situations, it can also stand in the way of many students’ plans to succeed both academically and professionally. When scared, people fail to share their brilliant ideas, prove their statements, present effective solutions to important problems, etc.

There are many reasons why speakers struggle with fear. In this article, we will talk about how greatly our emotional dispositions, acts, and lines of thinking can change the amount of anxiety we face. Below, there are some steps to take to deal with the fear of performing in front of others.

Start With Small Discourses in Front of Your Family

Those who haven’t gained a solid experience in speaking publicly should start by preparing small speeches that are easier to deliver. Find your listeners and practice. Keep in mind that without much practice, you have few chances to become a good speaker, and a big talk should be preceded by a series of rehearsals.

Before performing in front of many, ask your family to pretend to be your auidence. When taking the floor, look into their eyes and try to establish a rapport  with them to calm yourself down. As soon as you increase your confidence, you can try participating in front of a bigger group.

Learn Your Topic Thoroughly

Nothing works better at reducing anxiety of taking the floor in front of a big audience than knowing your topic to a tee. Many students experience a strong feeling of fear if they lack subject knowledge. They are afraid of being confused in front of their teachers and peers.

Therefore, it is of a great importance to get ready for an upcoming event thoroughly; otherwise, there are high chances of getting confused during delivery. If you know what your talk is about, are able to answer any question related to your topic, then you will see your fear quickly disappearing as soon as you start your speech.

Avoid Overlearning

Developing strong speaking skills has nothing to do with memorizing the whole text word-for-word. When students are required to give a presentation, it is better for them to remember its key points backed up by some examples. You can order a Power-Point piece from Pro-Papers, or you can do it on your own and involve some visuals in your presentation, such as charts and images. These elements can be put to good use when you need to recollect the forgotten materials and provide your recipients with additional items to put their focus on.

Relax to Reduce Tension

It has been shown that speakers feel the strongest sense of anxiety the minute before they take the floor. To reduce stress, it is vital to relax. There are many methods, and if you know how to use them, you will be able to influence your breathing and heart rate, as well as relax your body.

Visualization of positive outcomes can help you to reduce your self-doubt and emotional stress in some ways. Bear in mind that keeping a positive outlook is crucial as, without it, it is easy to lose your train of thought.

Decide on Your Time Slot

Prior to your presentations it is usually pretty easy to arrange with your peers the order in which all of you will make speeches. While some students feel less fear when taking the floor first, others may feel less stressed when delivering a speech last. Take this into consideration when planning your performance.

Interact with Your Recipients

Don’t turn to monologue speeches. When taking the floor, try to interact with your recipients. Asking some queries can help you to entertain your recipients and eliminate boredom. Having your audience engaged will give you a chance to pull yourself together if something goes wrong.

Try concentrating on your talk and your recipients rather than the level of your anxiety. The more you worry about your emotional state, the more scared you will become. Thus, if you concentrate on your discourse and your listeners, you are more likely to interact with the latter and get them involved in what is going on the stage.

In conclusion, it makes no sense to avoid situations that scare you. Trying to avoid giving speeches can hamper developing strong speech habits. You will always stand in awe of taking the floor unless you do well at it. Thus, in order to fight your anxiety, don’t stop rehearsing. Use every chance to give a speech and consider it as another step towards boosting your verbal pyrotechnics and fighting your fear.