10 Most Common Phrases to Say “Sorry” in English

10 Most Common Phrases to Say “Sorry” in English

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. When it happens we need a phrase to tell the other person how really sorry we are and stop them getting really angry.

10 Most Common Phrases to Say “Sorry” in English



This is a general short apology. We use this when we bump into people on the street. At other times, it sounds too weak.

I’m (so / very / terribly) sorry.

In this phrase, we use ‘so’, ‘very’ and ‘terribly’ to make the meaning stronger. ‘Terribly’ is the strongest. If we use one of the words in brackets, it is stressed.

Ever so sorry.

This one is quite formal but it’s a stronger apology than just ‘sorry’.

How stupid / careless / thoughtless of me.

We use this phrase to criticize ourselves and the mistake that we have just made.

Pardon (me)

That’s my fault.

Sorry. It was all my fault.

We use these phrases to take all the responsibility for what happened. The last one is a little stronger.

Please excuse my (ignorance)

We use this one to apologize for our lack of knowledge or ability. We can replace the word in brackets with other nouns, e.g. carelessness, forgetfulness.

Please don’t be mad at me.

This phrase is asking the other person not to get angry. The tone is quite informal.

Please accept our (sincerest) apologies.

This final one is often used in formal letters. The word ‘sincerest’ makes the apology very strong and very formal.

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Author: Sophia
Category: English, Speaking, Speaking Lessons, Vocabulary
Date: April 15, 2016