EFL/ESL English Speaking Lessons
Expressing an apology in English
What is an apology?
Expressing an apology – An apology (the verb is apologize) is a statement or an expression such as “I’m sorry” that you say when you do something wrong or something that causes a problem. In everyday life, we make a lot of mistakes. Making apologies is what can help us fix these mistakes.
In English, there are many ways you can apologize. It all depends on the situation. There are formal situations when you are talking with someone whom you show respect and deference such as a director, boss, or someone you don’t know. There are informal situations when you are talking with friends or family members …etc. In informal situations, we can use some of these expressions:
Informal apologies in English
- I’m sorry about + verb + (ing)
- I’m so sorry …..
- I really apologize for + noun or verb + (ing)
- Sorry for that
- Please forgive me, I didn’t mean it
Responding to an apology in English in informal situations
- That’s OK
- That’s fine
- It’s no big deal
- No problem
- These things happen
In formal situations, we can use some of these expressions:
Formal apologies in English
- I apologize for + verb + (ing)
- I’m terribly sorry for + verb + (ing)
- I’m terribly sorry for + noun
- I owe you an apology
- My sincere apology about + verb + (ing)
- I’m awfully sorry for + noun
- I deeply regret that
Responding to an apology in English in formal situations
- That’s quite all right
- Please don’t worry about it.
- I accept your apology.
- I promise it won’t happen again
- She said she will be more careful next time
- I will do my best not to repeat it
- He will try as hard as I can to fix this
- Please, be assured that this will never happen again
Examples of making and responding to an apology in English.
- A: why are you late? We almost finished the meeting.
- B: I’m terribly sorry. I had a car accident
- A: why didn’t you bring me my money?
- B: I’m so sorry my friend. I really had to pay the rent. Next Thursday.
- A: My sincere apologies for the mistake I made. Please be assured that this will never happen again.
- B: That’s quite all right.
Check your understanding