How to say Sorry in English [Making excuses]


Each of us at least once in our lives had to, as they say, "get off". Unfortunately, those who know English have to do it in two languages. And here you need to follow one important rule: try to use neutral expressions or "softening" vocabulary. For example: instead of saying "I can't go to this expensive restaurant", it's better to say "I can't afford to eat in this expensive restaurant". We invite you to familiarize yourself with the groups of explanations that are most characteristic of everyday situations.


I wish I could, but I had to finish my homework.

Sorry, I can’t afford the prices in a fancy restaurant like this.

I missed the bus.

You probably noticed that in one of the examples there is the word sorry - one of the most common means for an apology. In connection with this adjective, you need to make a reservation: after sorry, you can use 2 prepositions - about and for - depending on the meaning.

Sorry for - used when you are ashamed of what you did.

He wasn’t sorry for hitting the other boy.

Sorry about - saddened by something. In Russian, we often translate this expression "I'm sorry that ..."

I’m sorry about your losing your job.

Be honest with excuses!

I couldn’t be bothered.

I didn’t feel like it.

I wasn’t in the mood.

I got bored.

I wasn’t sure what to do.

I couldn’t find the right address.

If you blame an outsider...

I thought you were going to do it.

You said that you’d do it.

I had to take my grandma to hospital.

Samuel told me that we didn’t need to do it.

If technology is to blame

Sorry, I couldn’t make it. The traffic was so heavy.

The bus broke down.

The printer ran out of ink.

The computer crashed.

The internet wasn’t working.

I couldn’t get a connection.

If the weather let us down

It was too cold.

It was too hot.

The weather was bad, and it caused road chaos.

If time problems

I didn’t have the time.

I was too busy.

I had too much on.

I ran out of time.

I wish I could, but I’m going out of town and it’s already too late.

If health let us down

Please serve yourself. I’m on a diet and I’m not supposed to eat hot dogs.

I really want to help you out there but my doctor told me not to do any physical work.

You know I can’t help you I’m on medication.

I need to get some rest.

I woke up feeling really bad.

How to justify a friend

He’s tired.

She isn’t usually like that.

She’s just going through a bad patch.

He’s usually quite nice.

They had too much to do.

Notice a good start for an apology:
I wish I could, but…

Can you take me to the station tomorrow? – I wish I could, but I am seeing the dentist tomorrow.

And finally, we offer 10 ways to apologize in English

  1. Sorry.
  2. I'm (so / very / terribly) sorry.
  3. Ever so sorry.
  4. How stupid / careless / thoughtless of me.
  5. Pardon (me).
  6. That's my fault.
  7. Please excuse my (ignorance).
  8. Please don't be mad at me.
  9. Please accept our (sincerest) apologies.