Empathy vs Sympathy

Feb 17th 2019

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.



The word Father

Feb 16th 2019

father day

Happy Fathers Day!

The first Fathers Day first was celebrated in 1910 in Spokane, Washington. Today, this day is celebrated all over the world, usually on the 3rd Sunday of June. We know about the origin of Fathers Day (it was created as a response to Mother’s Day just over 100 years ago) but what about the origin of the word “Father?”

The English word father can be traced to a the following languages:

From Middle English: fader
From Old English: fæder
From Proto-Germanic: fadēr

The word “father” also has connections to the following ancient languages:
Latin: Pater, Ancient Greek: πατήρ (patēr), and Sanskrit: पितृ (pitṛ).

What about the word “dad?”

The first known record of the word “dad” was around the year 1500. Scholars suggest that the origin of the word “dad” actually comes from the first noises that kids make. “Dad” or “Dada” also sounds similar in many different languages and consists of two similar sounding consonants.

In Welsh: Tad
Irish: Daid
Chechen: Da
Czech, Latin and Greek: Tata
Lithuanian: Tete
Sanskrit: Tatah
Turkmen: Däde

No matter how you greet your father on Fathers Day, Ginger wishes you both a good one!

Enjoy our Fathers Day discount on Ginger Software!

What’s Your Style?

Feb 14th 2019

English is the most complex and vocabulary-rich language in the world. As of January 2012, there over 1 million words in use and a new word is added to the English language every 98 minutes! English incorporates many words and grammatical rules from other languages which makes it even more complicated.

How do we use language? Naturally, with so many influences and new additions, there tend to be disagreements on how language is used. Below are three disagreements over style.

Is it email or e-mail?

Back in 2011, this question was in the news due to two giants in the writing business: the Associated Press and the New York Times. To hyphenate or not to hyphenate? The AP Stylebook removed the hyphen since they thought it was only needed to explain that email meant “electronic mail” in the early days of the internet where new concepts needed clarification.

The New York Times decided to stick with the hyphen in e-mail while acknowledging that there is no longer the need to write the “message” after the word e-mail as in “e-mail message.”

Starting a sentence with and or but

Grammatically speaking, it is acceptable to start a sentence with “and” or “but.” The problem with starting your sentence with one of these conjunctions is that your writing will often come off as informal.

Instead, you can replace “and” with “in addition” and replace “but” with “however” to sound more professional.  

Hanged or Hung?

Until recently, both “hanged” and “hung” were used as the past participle of hang.

Today, however, “hanged” usually only refers to someone who has been executed by hanging: “His neighbor was hanged.”

Objects are “hung”: “Nostalgic posters were hung around the restaurant.”


Do you have other examples of style differences in English?


Writing Tips and Citation Facts

Feb 6th 2019


Guest post written by Dominic Lester on September 6, 2017 

Writing an article might look like an Achilles heel, but indeed, it is not. It only requires a set of guidance and some tips to follow. Some writer keeps a focus on composing such an article, which is fully loaded with complex information. However, an over-complicated article lacks readability. Hence, the concept of a successful article is that it should contain a well-researched piece of information, but should also contain such terminologies or concept, which is easy-to-comprehend. Your article should be well organized and well formatted.
In this blog, I have summarized some major tips to guide you write a compelling and useful article. Read on and treat yourself with fruitful information.

Stick to Your Topic
When beginning with the article you should focus on the subject of your topic. Do not add irrelevant information in your content. Try to stick to the topic. Do research and jot down the major points. It is best to consult most reliable sources for extracting information.

Create a Draft
To end up composing a well-organized article the secret is to create a draft of your work. In that draft, organize your material using bullets, paragraphs, and pointers.

Your article should have four fundamental sections:
• Introduction
• Main body
• Conclusion
• Citation
Moreover, each part should be written according to their requirements.

Add Relevant Pictures or Videos
Like the most famous saying goes, “A picture worth a thousand words’ the power of adding a simple image is countless. Similarly, you can add compelling videos in it too. Incorporate short and informative videos. If your work discusses certain procedures, then demonstrate them using a video or in a pictorial form. However, remember not to add a cooking video in the middle of a technological article. Be relevant!

Use Writing Fonts
Never get afraid of using different fonts. What people mostly do is they first scan the content. They read major headings. Their eyes skim to catch key elements of the content. Therefore, to feed their curiosity, you can organize your work using various font styles. Use fonts like bold and italic to emphasize particular ideas or to stress a point. If you are about to explain a complicated term or aspect of your information, you can write it using bold fonts to capture attention instantly. Similarly, using italic fonts, you can differentiate between quotation, names of sources and the rest of the text.

Well, subheadings, taglines, and bullets serve to be an important part of the formatting. You must format your article correctly and professionally to make sure that it delivers the right information in the right way. Incorporate sub headings in it. Subheadings actually rock. Break down your content add interactive headings and taglines. In each subheading, you can go as long as 6-7 lines or as short as 3-4 lines. If you want your readers to continue moving forward with your writings, you need to put in some extra efforts in organizing your work.

Do Not Add False Content
Say no to the use of filler content. Be precise and genuine. Do not fool your audience. A single information is available on multiple platforms, so one cannot just simply add irrelevant information and plan to succeed. You will fall flat if you do so. Hence, be real and authentic. Pick information from such sources, which are reliable. Be sure about every single word or phrase you write. Do not blindly trust resources. Check for yourself and do extensive research on areas, which are unclear.

Add Readability
Readers nowadays act like a moth to a flame. They want the content to be scannable and readable. Therefore, you should focus on some key elements to save yourself from fluttering on the ground with broken wings and ending up in the cat’s tummy. Write according to the plot you created. The first thing to remember is listing down important features. Organize your information dividing it into categories. Every area should talk about the particular aspect of information. Some of the aspects should have detailed explanation while the other should be written precisely. Present your article in a way that it compels a reader to go through the entire content. One should enjoy reading it rather than passing the time skimming it frivolously.

Do Citation, Add Authenticity
Authenticity matters to most readers. Therefore, you should add the citation at the end of your article. Citation is the process of adding references to the material present in your content. It adds credibility to a document.

Why Cite?
By doing the citation, you gave an opportunity to your reader to consult the main source for having detailed information and you make your document trustable.
The citation will highlight the level of research you did on your subject. Moreover, it will make you able to justify your ideas and quoted concepts.

When to Cite?
The citation is mostly used when a writer uses quotations, incorporate ideas that were put forward by some other authors, decides to paraphrase a piece of content, or directly refer to somebody’s work.

The most important part of writing an article is revising its content to eliminate any mistake. To make your document error-free you can seek help from an advanced grammar tool- Ginger software. Go through the content twice and scrutinize every single mistake.

Wrapping Up
When you find yourself bogged up with technical and tedious looking article, you should blend these tips to format your work according to the requirement of modern search engines. Add a friendly reminder while drawing towards the end. In the conclusion, do not forget to add important parts of your research. Give them a summary, while providing them with a helpful advice or suggestion. Be interactive and friendly. For citing your sources, you can use an Oxford citation generator for more authentic results. Moreover, keep in mind these basic six formulas to mark your presence on every modern browser and to be able to receive maximum traffic. See how your little piece of brilliance will do wonders with the formatting tips mentioned above.

Dominic Lester is a Master’s degree holder in the University of the Westminster. He is a professional blogger and article writer who loves to write on different niches, especially the English as a language. He also provides his writing services to the academic writing companies which give essay help to those students who struggle with writing their own assignments.

Grammar Expectations vs Reality

Jan 31st 2019


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.