Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Yesterday we asked the question, “should you apologize?” and we asked you if you are apologizing and saying sorry too much.

Today we want to give you some practical, alternative phrases for saying “I’m sorry” if you decide that you are in the right place and situation to offer an apology.

Why should you learn different ways to say the same thing?

It makes you a more flexible and natural English speaker and it will get you a higher score on exams such as the IELTS or the TOEFL.

You’ll see a comparison of 3 typical ways to apologize and 3 creative, new ways to apologize.


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Situation 1: You are late

  • “I’m sorry I’m late.”
  • “I got held up.”
  •  “I didn’t realize it was already so late.”


Situation 2: You make a mistake

  • “Sorry I messed up.” or “Sorry I made a mistake.”
  • “There was an error.” (this is useful if the mistake wasn’t yours)


Situation 3: You make someone upset

  • “Sorry you’re upset. It’s my fault”
  • “I see you’re upset.”
  • “I understand you’re upset.”
  • “What can I do?”
  • “How can I make it right?”


What other ways do you use to say sorry?

Let us know in the comments!

Let’s talk!


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