Dear native speakers of British / American English,
I often find myself in the situation when I have to say one of these but then get confused about the choice of word. Is there any difference in meaning or formality between:
- It's a shame you won't be able to join us.
- It's a pity you won't be able to join us.
- It's unfortunate you won't be able to join us.
- It's too bad you won't be able to join us.
The reason why I ask this is because in my native language we tend to avoid words like "shame", "pity", and "unfortunate" in a sentence that should sound sympathetic. I have read related threads but am not very clear with the suggestions.