False friend: sympathetic

Sympathetic – (adjective) feeling compassionate or sorry for someone’s situation (German: teilnahmsvoll)
Does NOT mean: sympathisch, or likeable
Example: “She felt sympathetic towards him when she heard he lost his job.”
in this sentence, sympathetic means she feels sorry for him, not that she is likeable.

 

 

Practice:

1) His colleague is a very friendly and _______ person.

a. sympathetic
b. likely
c. likable


2) He was an hour late to work because his wife was sick, and he hoped that his boss would be _______ rather than angry about his reason for being late.

            a. sympathetic
            b. likely
            c. likable

      

3) He used to have a negative opinion of his brother, but after getting to know him better, he was able to understand him and felt more ________ towards him.

            a. sympathetic
            b. sensible
            c. likable

 

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Answer: 1)c. likable  2)a. sympathetic  3)a. sympathetic

 

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