Are you struggling to find the right words to express your apology? Saying “I’m sorry” is not always enough, especially when you want to convey sincerity and empathy. Fortunately, there are many different ways to say “I’m sorry” in English, each with its own nuances and connotations.
Other Ways to Say I’m Sorry
- Excuse me
- Ever so sorry.
- How stupid/careless/thoughtless of me.
- I apologize.
- I had that wrong.
- I hope you can forgive me.
- I owe you an apology.
- I sincerely apologize.
- I take full responsibility.
- I want to apologize.
- I wanted to tell you I’m sorry.
- I was wrong about that.
- I’d like to apologize.
- I’d like to apologize for how I reacted yesterday.
- I’m (so/very/terribly) sorry.
- My apologies.
- My fault, bro (US)
- My mistake.
- Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry. I should have watched where I was going.
- Oh, my bad.
- Pardon (me)
- Please accept our (sincerest) apologies.
- Please don’t be mad at me.
- Please excuse my (ignorance)
- Sorry about that.
- Sorry, my apologies. I had that wrong.
- Sorry. It was all my fault.
- That was wrong of me.
- That’s my fault.
- Whoops! Sorry!
- I beg your pardon
- My bad (US)
- Excuse me for interrupting.
- I was wrong. Can you forgive me?
- Pardon me for being so rude.
How and When to Use Other Ways to Say I’m Sorry
- Excuse me
“Excuse me” is a polite way of asking for forgiveness. If you commit a social crime like interrupting a conversation you may say “excuse me for interrupting” to show your adherence to social expectations. If unaware of the social indiscretion you committed you could apologize by saying “please excuse my ignorance”.
- Beating yourself up
Sometimes people say “I’m sorry” by verbally beating themselves up. Using statements like “how stupid/careless/thoughtless of me” or “oh my goodness! I’m so sorry. I should have watched where I was going” expresses condemnation for your actions.
- I take full responsibility
Being direct and taking responsibility for your actions is a good way to say that you are sorry. Statements like “I wanted to tell you I’m sorry”, “sorry, it was all my fault”, “that was wrong of me”, “sorry about that”, and “that’s my fault” show accountability.
- Admitting mistakes
Sometimes people express mistakes without directly saying “I’m sorry”. They admit their failings by stating “I was wrong about that” or “I had that wrong”. In these instances, they imply that they are sorry.
- I’m (so/very/terribly) sorry
So, very, and terribly are adverbs of degree. They express the intensity of your feelings of regret. Use degree adverbs when committing larger mistakes. Using these adverbs when apologizing for smaller mistakes seems over the top. In these situations, an apology can be read as sarcastic and insincere.
- My apologies
Use my apologies when formally apologizing to co-workers in a business environment. Sometimes individuals utter my apologies when greeted with solicitations that they must decline.
Do not insert “my apologies” or “ever so sorry” into a conversation in a relaxed setting. Using a formal apology in this setting can give off a sarcastic vibe. They come to mean the opposite of the thought you initially wanted to express.
Stating “Sorry, my apologies. I had that wrong.” is another way to formally express regret for a mistake in a business setting. In addition, “I apologize”, “I want to apologize”, “I owe you an apology”, “I sincerely apologize”, “Please accept our (sincerest) apologies”, “I’d like to apologize for how I reacted yesterday”, and” I’d like to apologize” all indicate regret in a formal manner.My fault, bro (US)
Employ any of the above slang expressions when you commit any tiny infraction in a casual setting. You can say “oh, my bad” to take responsibility for missing a shot on the court or for bumping into someone.
- Please don’t be mad at me
Instead of uttering apologies, some people communicate regret by asking for your generosity and forgiveness indirectly. “Please don’t be mad at me” expresses regret for the consequences of an action indirectly.
- Whoops! Sorry!
People often exclaim “Whoops! Sorry” when they want to acknowledge a small faux pas they made in a social setting. You can often hear this expression uttered when someone spills a drink. People utter this expression when apologizing for small infractions that have no long-term consequences.
- I beg your pardon
“I beg your pardon”, “pardon me”, “pardon” or “pardon me for being so rude” are all ways you can ask another person to excuse your behavior or mistake. When used as a verb “pardon” means courtesy, but when used as a noun “pardon” demands forgiveness.
- Forgiveness appeals
Asking for forgiveness is another way that people communicate that they are sorry. “I was wrong. Can you forgive me?” and “I hope you can forgive me” are examples of how asking for forgiveness can equal “I’m sorry”.
Formal Ways to Say “I’m Sorry”
In formal settings, it is important to use the appropriate level of language and tone when apologizing. Here are some ways to apologize formally in different situations:
When apologizing in a professional environment, it is important to maintain a formal tone and use language that is appropriate for the situation. Here are some examples:
- “I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
- “I am sorry for the mistake and will take steps to ensure it does not happen again.”
- “Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your email.”
Using phrases such as “I apologize” and “Please accept my apologies” shows that you take responsibility for your actions and are sincere in your apology.
When apologizing in academic situations, it is important to acknowledge the impact of your actions and show that you understand the gravity of the situation. Here are some examples:
- “I apologize for the plagiarism in my paper and understand the seriousness of this offense.”
- “I am sorry for missing the deadline and the impact it may have on the group project.”
- “Please accept my apologies for my behavior during class. I understand it was disruptive and disrespectful.”
Using phrases such as “I understand” and “I apologize for the impact of my actions” shows that you are taking responsibility for your behavior and are committed to making things right.
Informal Ways to Say “I’m Sorry”
When it comes to informal apologies, there are many ways to express regret and say “I’m sorry” in English. Here are a few examples:
When apologizing to a friend, you can use more casual language and expressions. Here are some examples:
- “My bad.” This is a common phrase used to apologize for a mistake or error.
- “Oops, sorry about that.” This is a light-hearted way to apologize for a small mistake or accident.
- “I messed up, I’m sorry.” This is a more direct way to apologize for a mistake or wrongdoing.
When apologizing to a family member, you may want to use a more heartfelt and sincere approach. Here are some examples:
- “I’m really sorry for what I said/did.” This is a straightforward way to apologize for a specific action or statement.
- “I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m sorry.” This is a way to express regret for causing someone emotional pain.
- “Can we talk about what happened? I want to make things right.” This is a way to show that you are willing to work towards resolving the situation and making amends.
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