It was almost two years ago where I first met Bob (nickname). Bob was my new classmate. He looked very sad and I tried to ask him what had happened. He told me that someone in his family passed away.
so, I said "I am very sorry to hear that". He is a good man, becasue he often goes to the cemetery to clean the headstone. on the other hand, it often made me helpless and nervous when I met him, because my English is weak. I was afraid of asking him where he had just been, because he would definitely tell me he had just went back from the cemetery.
I want to comfort him, but What could I say to him when he told me he had just been back from the cemetery?

I would probably not say, "oh, Bob, you are a good man.", this would make him think I as an ironic speaker.

Can you help me?

  • 2
    Bob seems to be a conscientious person.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 17:22
  • 1
    Did a trip to the cemetery come up in conversation? If not, or if he seemed sad but you don't know why, I would just ask something like "How have you been?" or "What have you been up to?". If he mentions it, then you can have any conversation you are comfortable with. Otherwise I would not bring it up since it is a personal matter.
    – user3169
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 19:20
  • 2
    Maybe - 'you must love the person very much?' As a question
    – geordie
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 19:52
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    I think that "admirable" or "devoted" or "faithful" would also be good words to use. If Bob is very religious, "pious" would be OK. However, I think that if Bob knows your English is weak, he will interpret "good" in the way that you intend it.
    – Wim Lewis
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 0:51

2 Answers 2


There is nothing wrong with saying You are a good man.

After he's told you he's been to the cemetery, you could open up the conversation by saying I see you've gone there often. You must really miss whomever. What were they like? Sometimes it is good to get the bereaved to recount the good memories.

What's most important is he will feel what your intention is when you talk with him. Be of good heart and good intentions.

I realize this is a sensitive subject, it's just a suggestion, please no flaming...




1.feeling or showing deep and solemn respect.

Bob shows reverence for the dead.

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