We all make mistakes and one of the best ways to deal with a mistake is to say sorry and to tell people it was your fault. When learning English it is important to understand some of the different ways we can say sorry and how we can let people know we made a mistake. This can be very important in the work place where a mistake can be very serious.
While saying “sorry” is good, if you want to say something stronger then adding “I’m so” at the start will work very well. This is a very polite thing to say and very common in all situations. It is a way of saying you are more than sorry you are “so” sorry. This phrase is very common if you knock over someone’s drink in a bar or walk into someone at the shops.
Example “I am so sorry I forgot to send the e mail you asked me to send”
This is a very useful term that simply tells people that you made a mistake and that it was not anyone else. If two people walk into each other but one person was not looking where they were walking that person may say “Sorry, that was my fault” or “Sorry; my fault” which is a shorter version. There is a more casual and more American version of this term that is simply “my bad”. The word bad is used in the place of fault but means the same thing. In the work place “fault” is the correct word to use.
Just saying sorry is good but it is also quite common to use “that” if the mistake was more than a few minutes ago.
Example – “Sorry about that, I meant to send the e mail but I forgot”
If the mistake is part of something that is still going on then “sorry about this” is very useful. Perhaps you have asked for help in a shop queue and lots of people are waiting behind you. You could simply say “sorry about this” to them and it would be a very polite way of understanding they are waiting for you.
The word apologise is used to describe any term that tells someone you are sorry. Sometimes it can show more emotion if you tell someone you apologise. You could say “I’m sorry” but if the mistake is quite serious saying “I apologise” can be more effective.
Saying sorry is a very important part of the English language and culture. British people are very well known to be well mannered and people that say sorry a lot. Understanding how to use different types of apology can help make a situation a lot better and make people feel better.
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