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1 Vote

They can't come. It is a pity.

They can't come. It is a shame.

I think "shame" is used when something is embarrassing. Is that it?

Thank you.

  • Posted Dec 3, 2010
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7 Answers

2 Vote

I'd say in this particular context that "shame" and "pity" are interchangeable.

I would feel comfortable saying either of these sentences (to mean that it's too bad that they can't come:

They can't come. It is a pity.

They can't come. It is a shame.

Shame can also mean embarrassment, but in another context. "He is full of shame for his actions." Pity can also mean something different. "She is handicapped and I pity her."

1 Vote

They're both about equal as far as I am concerned.

Examples of my own usage:

It is a pity when a person dies very young.

It is a shame that the world cannot be at peace.

It is a pity that you could not attend my dinner party.

It is a shame that good friends are so hard to find.


They're both usually just used to express disappointment, or to feign disappointment on someone else.

Por ejemplo:

"It's a shame I was unable to attend your lovely banquet." (I'm so very glad I found an excuse not to go!)

0 Vote

Hi Nila. For me they are both exactly the same. Let's wait for more opinions.

0 Vote

En ese caso se utiliza como "es una lástima" o ""que pena", en el sentido de tristeza , así como también en el caso en el que alguien te da una mala noticia como que alguien de su familia murió o algo así también dices It is a shame, es una lástima

0 Vote

i think you have to do something bad to be ashamed of yourself you can be embarrassed by simply speaking in front of others which is not a bad thing

  • Jizzy, please use proper capitalization and punctuation in your posts. Thanks! - --Mariana-- Dec 3, 2010 flag
0 Vote

In this context, shame and pity are used almost idiomatically. I don't think native speakers even think about how the words' meaning contribute to the overall sentiment. Shame and pity are simply synonymous with "bad" in this usage: It's bad that you can't come.

0 Vote

i think its most probably pity. because being shamed of this is not suitable enough i guess

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