Empathy Vs Sympathy Grammarly

Many people are confused about the difference between empathy and sympathy. They are both important in our lives, but they do have different meanings.

Empathy is the ability to share and understand another person’s feelings and emotions. Sympathy is the feeling of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.


The nouns sympathy and empathy are similar in the sense that they both have the root word pathos, which means “feelings” or “emotion.” Sympathy can also be used to describe the feeling of understanding someone else’s experience.

While the two words share this same root, they differ in that sympathy focuses on feelings of compassion and sorrow for another person’s suffering. Empathy, on the other hand, focuses more on feeling that the other person is experiencing something as it feels like your own.

Both of these emotions are important, and it can be hard to know which one is the right term for a particular situation. However, there are a few simple tips to help you determine which one you should use.


Sympathy is a feeling of caring and concern for the suffering of others. It is an emotion based on a basic human need for support and understanding.

This feeling is influenced by many factors, including individual mood states, previous experiences, social connections, novelty, salience, and spatial proximity. In addition, people who have similar life experiences are more likely to experience sympathy for others.

Empathy is a feeling of understanding and identification with the feelings of another person, without having to experience them yourself. It is an ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to imagine their perspective.

Unlike sympathy, empathy has no limit to how close a connection you can have with someone. You can empathize with a person who lives in a third world country, for example.


When dealing with students in the classroom, teachers often use empathy to understand their students’ feelings and help them develop relationships with one another. This can be useful in many situations, including when a student has done something wrong or during discussions about controversial topics.

Sympathy is the feeling that you have for someone who is suffering or has experienced a negative situation. This is different to empathy, which is imagining that you are that person and experiencing that situation.

Both empathy and sympathy are related to the Greek word pathos, which translates to “compassion or pity.” But they are different in several ways. For example, sympathy involves feeling a sense of sorrow or loss for someone who is suffering or has suffered.


Few pairs of English words get confused more often in speech and writing than sympathy and empathy. They have similar definitions, sound similar when spoken and are used structurally and stylistically in the same way.

Sympathy means a feeling of pity or sorrow for someone else’s situation or difficulty. It is a very general form of compassion, and can be considered to be a lower, less specific level of care than true empathy.

Empathy on the other hand is more specific and involves personally putting yourself in another person’s shoes. It also implies knowing what they are going through and being able to understand them.

Both empathy and sympathy are System 1 emotions. They can help people make decisions because they provide a mental understanding of other people’s emotions and feelings.