Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Ex-IELTS Examiner Jessica Beck, Director of IELTS Training at All Ears English

Today you’ll learn Band 9 vocabulary for IELTS questions about apologizing.

Firstly, congratulations to 3 Keys student Mette who finally got the 7 she needed on IELTS Writing!

With the 3 Keys essay templates and a great deal of hard work, she is now done with IELTS.

Today’s video is a response to a question from another hardworking 3 Keys student, Maria.

She left a comment on another of our YouTube videos.

Questions about apologizing are popping up on IELTS lately, and she needed more vocabulary related to that topic.

Watch the video now!

When would this come up on IELTS?

You could be asked about this on IELTS Speaking Part 1 or Part 2.

An example Part 2 question could be, “Describe a time someone apologized to you.”

Or, if you’re a General Training student, you could have to apologize in a formal or informal letter.

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High level vocabulary for apologising

When someone apologizes, they do so, usually, because they feel guilty or ashamed.

A higher-level way of saying that is to use the word ‘remorseful’.

  • remorseful: feeling guilty or regretful of a mistake

Also, you could describe the guilty person as feeling ‘guilt-ridden’.

  • guilt-ridden: feeling extremely guilty

Phrases for describing the person apologising

Next, when you are describing the person who is at fault, you could note that ‘nobody’s perfect’.

  • nobody’s perfect: an expression meaning that everyone makes mistakes sometimes

Another phrase for that is to say that someone has made an ‘honest mistake’.

  • honest mistake: this error was totally accidental and understandable

A longer, very impressive phrase to use here is ‘through no fault of their own’.

  • through no fault of their own: the person totally didn’t mean to make this mistake and it’s really not their fault!


You may need to speak or write about apologising on the IELTS exam!

Be prepared with these high level vocabulary words and phrases.

Practice using today’s phrases in your own IELTS Speaking Part 2 answer about a time someone apologized to you!

In our online IELTS course, 3 Keys IELTS, we give you all the strategies and practice you need to score highly on all parts of the IELTS exam.

Check out our online course now, the only one with a guaranteed score increase!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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