Different Ways To Say ‘I’m Sorry’ In English | Useful English Phrases For Apologising

Lesson summary

Bored of using the phrase 'I'm sorry'? In today's lesson you will learn different ways to say 'I'm sorry.'

Video transcript

Please accept my sincerest apologies.  Huh? Sincerest what? Let’s find out. 

 

What’s up guys? My name is Shane and today we are going to improve your vocabulary so you can start sounding more like a native English speaker.

 

A very common phrase in English is ‘I’m sorry’, and it’s a good phrase but sometimes there are better phrases you can use that are more appropriate for your situation.

 

So today we are talking about 11 phrases you can use instead of I’m sorry. Some are formal, some are informal. So by the end of the video, you will have 11 new phrases you can use in formal situations and informal situations to say I’m sorry. Let’s get started.

 

Phrase #1

The first phrase is: please accept my sincerest apologies.  Please accept my sincerest apologies. 

 

This is a very very formal phrase and you use it in very serious situations.  Sincere means from the heart, it means you really mean it; you are not joking.

 

And apologies just means the act of saying sorry.  So it’s the, the noun of saying sorry.

 

Let’s say you have a job interview next week but you have a family emergency and you can’t make it to the interview. You could call up the interviewer and say please accept my sincerest apologies but I can’t make it to the interview. Could we reschedule another time? So this phrase is for very formal situations when you’re talking about a really serious matter. 

 

Phrase #2

The second phrase is: my apologies.  My apologies. 

 

This is also another formal phrase that we use in more serious situations. 

 

So let’s pretend that you work in a call center and you’re talking to a customer on the phone and he’s very very unhappy with the service he has received. You could say to him, my apologies sir but we are trying to do everything we can to help you. Please be patient. 

 

So this is another good phrase you can use in formal situations: my apologies. 

 

Phrase #3

And the third phrase is: I’d like to apologise.  I’d like to apologise. 

 

This is also another very formal phrase we can use in more serious situations.

 

So let’s pretend you’re at work and you told a lie to your boss. And then your boss finds out you lied to him. You could say to your boss I’d like to apologise for lying.  And after you say you’d like to apologise, you can say your reasons.

 

So you could say something like: I’d like to apologise for lying to you. I shouldn’t have lied to you but I just didn’t have any other choice. So this is another really good phrase to use in formal situations: I’d like to apologise.

Phrase #4

And the fourth phrase is: I apologise for… I apologise for … this is also another formal phrase you can use in more formal and serious situations but we don’t say would like we did with the previous phrase.

 

We just say I apolgoise for … so let’s pretend you lied to boss and he finds out that you lied to him, you could say: I apologise for lying to you. I shouldn’t have done it but … and then you give your reasons.

 

And just remember with this phrase, normally after we say I apologise for, we have a verb with an ing.

 

For example, I apologise for going, for running, for eating, for drinking. Normally we have a verb ing.

 

Phrase #5

And the fifth phrase is I take full responsibility.  I take full responsibility. 

 

This is also another formal phrase that you can use in formal and more serious situations.

 

So let’s pretend you are driving and you hit someone else’s car.  And it’s your fault, you did the wrong thing. You can say I’m sorry, I take full responsibility. This means – you don’t blame anyone, you know it was your fault and you’re not saying it was the fault of the other person. 

 

So this is a really really good phrases to use when you want to say something was your fault and you’re not blaming anyone else.

 

Phrase #6

Now, let’s have a look at some phrases we can use in informal situations. The first phrase is excuse me. Excuse me. I’m sure you’ve heard of this phrase before but it’s a very useful phrase because you can use it in many many different situations.

 

For example, let’s pretend you are shopping and you want to buy some apples but there is somebody standing in front of the apples and you can’t get to the apples and you want that person to move. You could say excuse me. Excuse me. This means – please move. 

 

And if you want to say it in a more polite manner, you can say sir or miss at the end. You could say excuse me sir or excuse me miss. Sir for a man, miss for a woman.

 

You can also use excuse me if you want to interrupt someone while they are doing something.

 

For example, let’s pretend you are at work and you want to speak with your boss but he is busy, he is talking to someone else. You can say excuse me boss, can I speak with you for a moment? 

 

This is a very polite way to interrupt a conversation.

 

And you can also use excuse me for when your body does embarrassing things. I’m not going to give you any examples because you can use your brain and you will know what I mean.

 

Phrase #7

And the next phrase is: sorry, it was my fault. Sorry, it was my fault.

 

Do you remember the phrase we talked about before? I take responsibility. Well, when we say it was my fault, this is a less formal way to say I take responsibility. 

 

Sorry, it was my fault means the same thing as I take responsibility. It means you know it was your fault. You’re not blaming anybody. You know you did the wrong thing. You are responsible and you want to say sorry to someone, you want to apologise. 

 

Phrase #8

The next phrase is oops. Oops. Or some people say whoops. Whoops. 

 

These 2 words are very informal ways to say sorry for very very very very very small things that happen.

 

Let’s pretend you are walking in a shopping center and you almost bump someone. You can say whoops or oops. 

 

Or let’s pretend you are working with your friend and you accidentally knock his pen off the table. You can say whoops or oops.

 

Oops and whoops are really good words to use when something happens but there’s no problem, it’s a really really small thing. But you want to be polite and say something so you can say whoops or oops.

 

Phrase #9

And the next phrase is my bad. My bad. This is also another very informal phrase you can use when something happens but it’s a very small problem.

 

For example, let’s say you are living with your girlfriend or your boyfriend and you leave your socks on the floor and then your girlfriend or your boyfriend is not happy about it and he or she says ‘hey, why did you leave your socks on the floor?’

 

You can say my bad. It’s a very informal way to say sorry. Nothing bad happened. It’s not a serious problem but you just want to say sorry in an informal way.

 

Phrase #10

And the next phrase is my mistake.

 

This is also another informal phrase you can use when you want to apologise but it’s for a very very very small problem.

 

So let’s pretend you are working on a project with your friend at university and you wrote your part of the project and you give it your friend and he looks at it and he says to you: there are 3 grammar mistakes. Why did you leave these grammar mistakes in here? You can oh, my mistake. I’ll fix that right now.

 

This is another good phrase to use when there is a very very minor, a very small problem.

 

Phrase #11

And the last phrase for today is sorry about that. Sorry about that.

 

This is also another informal phrase you can use with things that happen but it’s a very very very small problem. 

 

Let’s pretend you are shopping and you are at the cashier and you are paying for something by credit card and the cashier says can I have your credit card please?  And you give it to her but then she says hey, this isn’t a credit card – this is your driver’s licence.  You can say oh, sorry about that. Here’s my credit card. 

 

So this is another good phrase to use in situations where something happens but it’s a very very very small problem.

 

Okay and they are the 11 phrases for today. Make sure you practice these phrases and remember some are formal and some are informal. If you’re interested in learning different ways to learn common phrases in English, make sure you check out this video somewhere here.  And if you haven’t subscribed already, make sure you hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss any video that can help you understand English like a native speaker. If you have any questions or comments, please comment down below. And if you liked the video, please hit like and share this with your friends who are learning English. And for more English, make sure you are following my Instagram and I will see you in the next video.   Now, let’s have a look at some phrases we can use in some …

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