12 Other Ways to Say “What a Shame”

So, you want to figure out how to say “what a shame” professionally. Well, you’re in luck!

This article has explored another way of saying “what a shame.” We’ve gathered synonyms for different tones and written situations that might help you mix things up.

Other Ways to Say “What a Shame”

  • It’s very unfortunate
  • That’s too bad
  • What a disaster!
  • Sucks to be you!
  • Oof
  • Oh, that sucks
  • That’s so sad
  • Aww
  • Oh, dear!
  • Too bad!
  • You have the worst luck
  • It’s a pity


  • “What a shame” is not rude, though it definitely works better informally than it does formally.
  • You should say “it’s very unfortunate” if you want a more professional alternative.
  • “That’s too bad” is great informally, allowing you to sound more casual.

Don’t stop reading yet! There’s plenty more to say about the most useful synonyms. We’ve explained how the best ones work and all you need to know about them.

We have also explained whether “what a shame” is rude. So, if you want to learn more about the phrase, you can skip to the final section to find out.

It’s Very Unfortunate (Formal)

“It’s very unfortunate” is a great formal alternative to “what a shame.” You can use it in professional situations when someone has told you of some bad news.

Generally, this phrase works best in emails when you have to inform an employee of a mistake. You can start an email with “it’s very unfortunate” to let an employee know that you need to share something bad with them, which will often affect them or their performance.

You can also use it in business situations when an employee has shared bad news about their life. It shows that you care about them and want to support them however you can.

We recommend using “it’s very unfortunate” over “what a shame” in every professional situation. It’s much more effective, allowing you to sound more polite.

Here are some examples to show you how it works:

Dear Scott,

It’s very unfortunate that I’ve had to send you this email. I hope we can work out a better solution for this.

Kind regards,

It’s very unfortunate that you’ve been through such a tough time. Is there anything I can do to help?

That’s Too Bad (Informal)

“That’s too bad” is an excellent informal synonym for “what a shame.” You can use it when you’ve heard some bad news. It shows that you disagree with or regret the information that’s been shared.

Generally, you would write “that’s too bad” when messaging a friend who can’t come to an event. It shows that you are sorry they can’t make it.

However, “that’s too bad” is a conversational phrase. It does not work well in professional settings, meaning you cannot include it in emails.

It is a great synonym for “what a shame.” You should use both in different written situations to mix up your language. Though, it’s best to keep both of them away from formal settings. Stick to a more suitable synonym when you need to sound professional.

You may benefit from referring to the following examples:

Oh, that’s too bad! I was looking forward to seeing her at the party. I guess there will always be another time.

That’s too bad! Let me know if I can do anything to help them. They’re my favorite person.

Is It Rude to Say “What a Shame”?

“What a shame” is not rude. However, it is informal. You should avoid it in most formal situations because it does not come across as very concerned or caring.

So, it’s best to say “what a shame” conversationally. It’s common to use it as an exclamation when something bad has happened.

You can also use these variations:

  • Oh, what a shame
  • It’s a shame
  • That’s a shame

“What,” “it’s,” and “that’s” are all correct. They are interchangeable in most spoken situations. However, there are subtle differences that appear in written cases.

“What a shame” sounds less caring or worried about a situation. It shows something bad has happened without you worrying too much.

“It’s a shame” shows that something regrettable has happened. However, it also accepts that you have no control over the situation.

“That’s a shame” generally works best after someone shares bad news with you. It shows that you regret hearing the news and feel bad for whoever gave it to you.

So, feel free to bookmark this page to keep the synonyms fresh at hand! You can always do with a spare synonym or two to help mix up your writing.