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Please imagine a soccer team loses and one of the players who feels guilty in that loss is deeply sad because of this happening. The team trainer notices that and wants to ask one of the player's closest teammates to go to him and cool him down. The friend goes and sits next to him and starts to talk. I was wondering if someone could let me know which one of the following bold statements of the self-made sentences below would sound natural in this scenario:

  • Hey, come on man. Everything is OK. My words are not consolation, but all people make mistakes and you should not feel this guilty.

  • Hey, come on man. Everything is OK. I don’t mean to console you, but all people make mistakes and you should not feel this guilty.

For me, they both work, but I doubt if they are the ways a native speaker would say it.

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Opinions on how to console someone aside, this is how I would phrase it:

Hey, man, come on, don't sweat the game. I know there's nothing I can say to make you feel better, but this isn't worth getting yourself down for.

What do you think? Is this what you were looking for?

For a more faithful reproduction of what you had said above (and if you really want to force the word console into your wording):

Hey, come on man. Everything is OK. I'm not trying to console you, but everyone makes mistakes so you do not need to feel guilty about yours.

Please note that based on your scenario, I'm using informal, spoken English. Formal, written English should not end with "for" at the end of a sentence.

Also note that I changed the phrase "this guilty" to "guilty." Adding "this" implies you want the listener to feel somewhat guilty, but I assume that as the listener's friend, we are trying to absolve him of all his guilt and so we absolve all of it by not specifying "this guilt" nor the implied "that guilt," etc.


On another note, I would check out this piece in the Huffington Post about consoling others over loss.

As both Ronan Keating and Alison Krauss once said, "You say it best when you say nothing at all."

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    "We all make mistakes" and "it's not the end of the world" are also very common in similar situations. – Mari-Lou A Dec 20 '16 at 7:58
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, definitely. – Teacher KSHuang Dec 20 '16 at 8:04
  • Yes guys, but what I was looking for was exactly defining if the bold statmenets of mine would work or I have to rephrase them in a manner they could make a better sense to a native speaker and a better sounding and natural sentences. So I found out that telling "My words are not consolation, but..." and "I don’t mean to console you, but..." are not normal English while "I'm not trying to console you, but..." is a natural way to state the same thing @KenMo. Thank you one and all. :) – A-friend Dec 20 '16 at 8:19
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    @A-friend :). Glad I had decided to include the second version with the word, "console" :). – Teacher KSHuang Dec 20 '16 at 8:30
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Out of those two, I prefer the first one. The second one sounds like the friend doesn't actually want to console the sad player.

However, the first one sounds very formal. Some phrases the friend may use are:

  • It's not as bad as it looks
  • We'll get 'em next time
  • Don't beat yourself up over this
  • There's always next week (assuming there is a game next week)
  • Everyone makes mistakes (assuming the sad friend made a mistake that made the other team win)

So, to improve your sentence:

Hey, c'mon man. Everything is okay. I know me saying "everything is okay" doesn't really help, but you don't need to feel guilty at all about that play. Everyone makes mistakes.

So even though he is consoling his friend, we never really use the word "console" when consoling people. However, you can use "consolation." As in, "If it's any consolation, I think you did great out there."

As a side note, we "cool down" angry people, not sad people. We can "comfort" sad people.

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