Sentence 1: How sad that is!

Sentence 2: How sad is that?

What is the difference between the two sentences? Can I take sentence 2 as the question of sentence 1? And the emotion of sentence 2 is more intense?

Source of sentence 2: “The Strain”, an American TV play.

Thank you in advance!

  • You also might get a better idea if you check the context around the usage of "How sad is that?" in the play. – user3169 Aug 28 '14 at 18:33

"How sad is that?" is much more common wording when you are expressing disapproval or mocking the subject.

My brother eats two tubs of ice cream and calls it dieting. How sad is that?

It is a rhetorical question for which no answer is expected, although the other conversant has an opportunity to express their disapproval as well.

I'd hate to see what he eats when he's not dieting!

"How sad that is." is used less often, and is usually about something that causes grief, like illness, death, hopelessness...

Sentence 1: How sad that is!

is just a confirmation regarding something that is sad.

Sentence 2: How sad is that?

is more of a set phrase that can have various meanings, not necessarity related to sadness.

I could not understand why my credit card was rejected. How sad is that?

This indicates disapproval of some situation, or lack of understanding.

I felt bad for the kittens in the animal shelter. How sad is that?

This is a sad situation.

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