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Funerals:
Expressing Condolences

II. Listening Exercises
Listen to the conversation again by pressing the Play Audio button and read along with the conversation. Review the Key Vocabulary and the sample sentences.

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Heather: Hi, Tim. [Hi] I'm really sorry to hear about your dad. My sincerest condolences go out to you and your family. He was such a great man.

Tim: Thanks. As you know, he had been sick for some time before he passed away, so we were somewhat prepared.

Heather: So, how's your mom taking it?

Tim: Oh, it's been really hard on her. I don't think you get over something like that.

Heather: Yeah, I'm sure. My heart really goes out to her. [Thanks.] Uh, so how's your mom going to be able to manage things alone?

Tim: Well, financially, mom will be able to live a secure life from now on. I mean, Dad had life insurance and substantial investments in property and stocks, so returns on those should take care of her. [That's good to hear.] But our main concern at this moment is her emotional state. [Yeah.] She's really down, so a call now and again should brighten her day.

Heather: So, what are the funeral arrangements? The obituary in the paper didn't mention much about the funeral.

Tim: Well, some of the family members will get together on Tuesday morning for a private memorial service, but there will be a viewing in the afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00, followed by the funeral service. One of my uncles will be giving the eulogy.

Heather: I wish there was something I could do you. *

Tim: Well, actually, there is. [Oh?]. You know, Dad really admired you a lot, and before he died, he asked if you'd sing a musical number at the funeral.

Heather: Really? I'd be honored.

Tim: It would really mean a lot to the family.

Heather: Sure. Then, see you on Tuesday.

Tim: Okay, see you then.


* The form "was" is often used in conversational speech for unreal conditionals. "Were" is the formal form.

Key Vocabulary [Top]

  • condolences (noun): expressions of sympathy with another's sadness
    - We're sorry to hear about your brother. Please give our condolences to his wife and children.

  • pass away (verb): die
    - My father passed away suddenly three months ago.

  • hard (adjective): difficult
    - Greg went through some very hard times after his wife died in a car accident.

  • get over (verb): recover from
    - It took Sarah over a year to get over the loss of her baby.

  • down (adjective): low in spirits
    - I'm feeling so down now that I can hardly concentrate on my work.

  • funeral (noun): a ceremony where a person is buried or cremated
    - My boss took the day off to attend the funeral of a close friend.

  • viewing (noun): a period before the funeral when family and friends view the dead body and sometimes share memories about the person
    - Only the immediate family is invited to attend the viewing.

  • eulogy (noun): a speech of praise given at a funeral for someone who has recently died
    - The minister offered the eulogy on behalf of the family.

Vocabulary Activities [Top]

Now, do these exercises to review the vocabulary. Then, return back to the Post-Listening Exercise to use the vocabulary in real conversations.


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