Everybody makes mistakes—it is humane. Accordingly, there’s one magic word in English to make up for your mistake, intentional or not: sorry. However, this word may not fully represent how deeply you want to apologize to someone for your mistakes.
Unfortunately, not everyone can say sorry appropriately in English, as there are numerous phrases to convey their message. No worries, we have compiled several options on how to apologize in English on various occasions.
Apologizing 101: Step by Step in Making an Apology
These days, people rarely have the skill to make a heartfelt apology. If you want to know to make your apology sound more sincere, you have to follow these steps:
- Admit and address your mistake.
- Say the apology phrase.
- Elaborate on the reason why the mistake happened.
- Ensure that you will make it up as soon as possible.
7 Alternatives Phrases on How Do You Say Sorry in English
For certain occasions, there are better alternatives to saying sorry in English besides “I want to apologize” or “I apologize for my mistake”. Different occasions might require different phrases to apologize.
Find out when you say sorry with more options to make a proper apology in this article. Check these out!
1. When You’ve Hurt Someone’s Feeling
In life, there are moments when your words or actions might leave a bitter taste in someone’s heart—it is inevitable. Though you cannot control how other people perceive your words or actions, there are always opportunities to apologize.
Here is a prime example of such an occasion:
- I should’ve watched my words for you. Sorry, I am such a fool. Please enlighten me on how I can mend it.
2. When You’re in a Formal Setting
In a formal setting, the way you address an apology should be less personal and more professional. Here’s the list of how to apologize politely in English:
- Sorry for the late reply as I missed checking this email. I will send the feedback for the document as soon as possible.
- Due to the double meeting schedule this morning, I deeply apologize I couldn’t attend this division meeting. I will keep up with the important points later on.
- I missed double-checking the devices for today’s meeting agenda. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. I will make it up to you by sending out the full copy of today’s presentation deck right away.
3. When You’re in Super Informal Settings
In terms of informal settings, you can use shorter options to apologize. Here’s what to say:
- I sent the package to the wrong address, my bad!
- How careless of me to bring this bird home!
- Oops, sorry!
4. When You Make Minor Mistakes
Minor conveniences happen all the time. Luckily, there is always room to make it up. Here’s the list of things to say for minor mistakes:
- It was my fault that we didn’t get to the class on time.
- Sorry, it was an accident for breaking up your flower vase!
5. When You’re Ashamed of Your Words/Actions
Feeling ashamed of how you say certain things or do certain actions? Here’s how to apologize for it:
- I truly regret my irresponsible comments.
- I sincerely apologize for behaving that way.
6. When You Want to Express Sympathy
Saying sorry is not always targeted for a mistake—you can use it to show sympathy for other people. Here’s what you can say:
- I’m sorry for your loss. It must have been terrible.
- Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss.
7. When You Give Incorrect Information
When you’re giving incorrect information to someone, you have to make it up by saying sorry and elaborating on the correct ones to them. Here’s what to say:
- Sorry, I had that wrong.
- I was wrong about that.
There are numerous ways of saying sorry on different occasions. Interested in learning how to apologize in English as well as other speaking skills? Apply for the English Conversation program at Fun English Course right now. We offer great opportunities to improve your English skills in a fun way. Contact us here!