30 phrases to say “sorry” in English

Everyone makes mistake, big and small. Knowing how to apologize in English is very important to show that you are polite. There are many ways to apologize in English both formal and informal. Let’s learn.

Small mistakes

The simplest way to apologize for small mistake is to say “Sorry”. We can use it in both formal and informal situations.

Sorry

Oh! I’m sorry.

Whoops! Sorry.

Sorry about that.

My fault, bro. (slang)

Oh, my bad. (slang)

 

More serious mistakes:

What about serious mistakes? How do you say sorry in the formal situation, especially at the customer service or at work? You might say:

I apologize.

I’m so sorry.

Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I should have slowed down.

Learn more: Can I make an appointment?

 

Incorrect information

Sometimes, you have a communication problem and the information you discuss is not correct, you might say:

My apologies.

It’s my mistake.

I was wrong on that.

I had that wrong.

Learn more: Do you want something to drink?

 

Making a formal or serious apology

We use formal apology to a friend or a colleague at work. In this situation, you should not use casual language. You might say:

I want to apologize.

I want to say sorry

I wanted to tell you I’m sorry.

I’d like to apologize.

I owe you an apology.

You can add “for” after these phrases to explain the reason of your apology.

I’d like to apology for being rude to you. I hope you can forgive me.

I want to say sorry for telling a lie.

I want to apology for what I did yesterday. That was wrong of me.

Learn more: Talking about an accident

 

Formal apology in English writing

In writing, we use the most formal English. Here are some phrases you can use when you write an apology:

I take full responsibility

I sincerely apologize

And it is the same as you speak, you can use “for something” or “for doing something” at the end of the sentence.

for my bad performance this month.

for what I have done wrongly.

for any troubles I have caused

Learn more:  Talking about life

 

Other common ways to say ‘sorry’

Sometimes, you just want to notice other people and you don’t have to say “sorry”. For example, you want to pass someone on a crowded street, you might say:

Excuse me!

Pardon me!

We also use “Excuse me” to call for someone’s attention.

A: Excuse me?
B: Yes.
C: Can you help me to find my glasses?

You also say “Excuse me” when you want to ask someone to repeat something.

Excuse me? Can you repeat that?

Sorry? I cannot hear you well. It’s very noisy here.

Pardon (me)?

Learn more: How to bargain in English

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