”可哀そう” is a little tricky in English for many of my students. Most students make the mistake of just saying “poor”. For example, thinking “可哀相”, they might say “Bryce is poor.” However, this actually means “ブライスは貧乏です”.
Using “poor” is OK, but we usually only use it like this;
Poor + 主語
- Poor Bryce! He’s so fat!
- Ayaka’s boyfriend is a nerd. Poor girl!!
- Poor old man!! He looks cold and hungry.
Do you see? We usually only use it with someone’s name, or short description.
But there is another way, using the phrase “I feel sorry for 主語.” Please check out these examples.
- I saw a documentary on families in Africa. Their life is difficult. I feel so sorry for them.
- I feel sorry for the Royal Family, because they have no freedom.
- You are so stupid. I feel sorry for you.
This method is a little more flexible when we want to express 可哀相. Please try it out, when you get the chance.