"Desafortunadamente" is an 8 syllable word, that seems like a huge effort. Is it used often, like English "unfortunately"?
If not, in what situations would this word be used?
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It is not that much of an effort. I don't think anyone shies away of using it due to its syllable count, since any synonyms are as much as lengthy as
lamentablemente, etc. Shortest synonym I can think of is
Take into account that you are using an adverb, so it will have the
-mente suffix (there goes two syllables). And it will likely start with the prefix
des (same as in English unfortunatelly and similar), although you could say "lamentablemente" which carries the same meaning but is not the opposition of an word, like afortunadamente / desafortunadamente.
Denota negación o inversión del significado de la palabra simple a la que va antepuesto. Desconfiar, deshacer.
Desafortunadamente is a word of "common use", meaning that its use is neither archaic, pedantic, pretentious, obscure or the like. I ignore if it is more or less used than any of the aforementioned synonyms but let me tell you, shall that be the case it will be due to personal preference and not due to being a 8 syllable word.
Por lo regular, se usa para decir de una forma educada una mala noticia.
Aprecio tu oferta. Desafortunadamente, no estoy interesado.
Hago de su conocimiento que recibí su solicitud. Desafortunadamente, usted no cumple con los requisitos mínimos que necesito.
Nota: Si es una plática informal, podrías usar frases coloquiales como "ya valió" o "ya valiste".
"Desafortunadamente" is used quite frequently, especially in legal and financial business. It's usually the word of choice to use when you have to deny something to the customer.
Hemos recibido su solicitud de préstamo, desafortunadamente tenemos que informarle que ha sido rechazada...
Like with "unfortunately" in English, this is a means to avoid admitting personal responsibility on the decision.
Although it's a long word, it's not uncommon to use it.