How to Make and Accept an Apology in English

Last Updated on January 29, 2023

Whether you’re the one who did something wrong or the one who was wronged, learning to gracefully make or accept an apology can go a long way in maintaining relationships and rebuilding trust.

Life is full of situations where we need to apologize for our actions. We might have hurt someone’s feelings, said something unkind, or not met an expectation. By making an apology, we can express our regret and attempt to make things right with the person we have wronged. Here are some key phrases and expressions that will help you apologize like a native speaker.

Formal Ways to Make and Accept an Apology

When making a formal apology, expressing your regret and taking responsibility for your actions are key. Here are some phrases to use:

Making an Apology

  1. I apologize deeply
  2. I’m terribly sorry for
  3. I sincerely apologize for my mistake
  4. Please accept my apologies for…
  5. I take full responsibility for what I’ve done
  6. I regret my actions and I will do my best to make up for them

Accepting an Apology

  1. Never mind. I quite understand
  2. It’s okay, I understand it was an accident
  3. I appreciate your sincerity
  4. You’re forgiven. It’s ok.
  5. That’s alright, I forgive you
  6. I accept your apology

Informal Ways to Make and Accept an Apology

Making an apology in an informal setting is often more casual and relaxed. Here are some phrases you can use:

Making an Apology

  1. I’m really sorry about that
  2. It’s all my fault, I shouldn’t have…
  3. That was completely my bad
  4. I feel really embarrassed about what I did
  5. My mistake, sorry about that
  6. I’m terribly sorry for
  7. It was really thoughtless of me

Accepting an Apology

  1. No worries, it happens to everyone
  2. It’s ok, don’t worry about it
  3. That’s alright, let’s forget about it
  4. It’s all good, I forgive you
  5. No hard feelings
  6. That’s okay, I understand
  7. Forget about it, no big deal
  8. Let’s just move on from here
  9. It was all a misunderstanding

Idiomatic Ways to Make and Accept an Apology

In addition to the formal and informal expressions, there are some idiomatic phrases that native speakers use when making or accepting an apology. These phrases spice up your apology and make it sound more natural. Here are some examples:

Making an Apology

  1. I’m sorry I dropped the ball
  2. My bad, I completely messed up
  3. That was a bonehead move on my part
  4. My bad judgement got the better of me
  5. I really put my foot in it this time
  6. That was totally uncool of me
  7. I acted like a total jerk
  8. I’m sorry I flew off the handle

Accepting an Apology

  1. Water under the bridge
  2. It’s all chilled, don’t worry about it
  3. That’s ancient history now
  4. It’s all good in the hood
  5. No skin off my back
  6. It’s all good, no harm done
  7. No worries, what’s done is done

It all comes down to how sincere you sound when you make an apology. As long as your apology is genuine and heartfelt, it will be accepted and forgiven.

Different Ways to Make an Apology

List of different expressions to make and accept an apology in English. Learn these common phrases to improve your English speaking.

  1. Excuse me for
  2. I apologize for…
  3. I beg your pardon. /Pardon. /Sorry.
  4. I do apologize for
  5. I must apologize for…
  6. I shouldn’t have said that. Don’t be mad at me.
  7. I shouldn’t have…
  8. I was wrong. Can you forgive me?
  9. I’d like to apologise for (not)…
  10. I’m (really/ terribly/ so) sorry for …I won’t do it again
  11. I’m afraid …
  12. I’d like to apologize for…
  13. I’m ashamed of…
  14. I’m so sorry for…
  15. I’m terribly sorry for…
  16. It’s all my fault.
  17. My apologies for…
  18. Pardon me for being so rude.
  19. Pardon me for this…
  20. Please accept my apology for …
  21. Please excuse my…
  22. Please forgive me for…
  23. Please, forgive me for my…

Different Ways to Accepting an Apology

  1. Don’t worry, you’re forgiven.
  2. No need to apologize, it’s OK.
  3. That’s all right.
  4. Never mind.
  5. Don’t apologize.
  6. It doesn’t matter.
  7. Don’t worry about it.
  8. Don’t mention it.
  9. That’s OK.
  10. I quite understand.
  11. You couldn’t help it.
  12. Forget about it.
  13. No harm done.
  14. No worries.
  15. It’s fine.
  16. Please don’t let it happen again.
  17. You should be, but I forgive you.
  18. No problem.
  19. That’s quite all right.
  20. Think nothing of it.
  21. It’s not important.
  22. That’s all right.
  23. It’s all fine.
  24. I understand.

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