My friend's dad had a stroke two weeks ago. Today I asked about his recovery and my friend said he is ok for now. I want to say that I'm really glad that my friend's dad is feeling better. Does "I'm really happy to hear that" sound natural to a native speaker's ear? What would you say in that situation? Thanks a lot in advance!

  • My guess is that the more common usage for your context is what you used in your "I want to say that I'm [blah blah]" explanation: "I'm really glad to hear that". In fact, Google NGrams confirms... Oct 22, 2018 at 15:59
  • It’s a perfectly natural phrase in response to most good news. In this case, if my reading of his reply is accurate, I’d caution against it. “He’s doing ok for now” isn’t pure and unmixed good news. If he had said “he’s doing a lot better” or “showing a lot of improvement” or “the doctors say he’ll make a full recovery in 6 months”, it would be more appropriate. But this is all soft, squishy, unclear and subjective territory. So long as you say what’s in your heart, no one can find fault.
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 22, 2018 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


If you are genuinely feeling a wave of elation as you say those words to your friend then yes. However I doubt that is the case and the sentence seems overstated to me.

I imagine that your emotion when you hear of your friend's father is more relief than actual happiness. If you want to ensure your words are understood as being sincere I would be a little more formal, even with a close friend. Therefore I would suggest using "very" instead of "really" and "glad" or "relieved" instead of "happy".

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