Stop saying I'M SORRY: More ways to apologize in English

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Have you ever made a mistake and regretted it? Want to learn other ways to say “I’m sorry” in English – for all kinds of situations? In this lesson, I will teach you formal and informal ways to apologize. I will also discuss ways to speak about mistakes, regrets, and forgiveness. You will learn common phrases and expressions, like “It’s my fault”, “I didn’t mean to”, “I shouldn’t have”, “How can I make it up to you?”, and more. We will also look at North American cultural practices when it comes to apologizing. Learning a language is about more than just learning vocabulary; you need to understand culture, too. In this video, you get both!

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TRANSCRIPT

and ways we talk about regrets. Okay? So this video is really about when you've done something wrong and you have to say: "I'm sorry", and how to say: "I'm sorry", you know, to make the other person feel better. Okay, so let's get started.

The first thing I wanted to talk about is reasons. What are some reasons why we say: "I'm sorry"? What are some reasons why we apologize? (Which is another word for "I'm sorry"). There are many reasons. I've come up with a very short list. The number of reasons for why we say: "I'm sorry" is enormous; it's very large. So, this is a small list, but I thought about: We often say: "I'm sorry" when we're late, so we've told our friend: "I'm going to be there at 1pm", and then we show up at 1:30. So, we say: "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm late."

Sometimes we might accidentally break something. Maybe we break somebody's lamp, or maybe we spill something - we drop wine on their carpet, so we'd say: "I'm sorry". Sometimes, you know, maybe somebody's saying something bad about someone else, and that person finds out that, you know, the person has said something bad-we call that "gossip"-and so you might apologize if you've said something bad about somebody. You might say: "I'm sorry" if you said something rude or impolite. Maybe if you were not nice to somebody; you did something that was bad or that was wrong, or you made a mistake.

Maybe you had tuna for lunch with a whole bunch of onions, and now your breath smells, and so when you come back to work, you might say: "Oh, I'm sorry. I had tuna for lunch." Okay? This is... I hear this one quite a lot. So maybe you ate something that has a very strong smell, and you're saying: "I'm sorry" for that.

Sometimes we also say sorry to be polite. So, sometimes we didn't make a mistake; somebody else made a mistake; and to be polite, we still say: "I'm sorry". I know it's a little bit strange, but for example, if you go to a restaurant and you order chicken, and the waiter comes and he brings you beef, then you might say: "I'm sorry. This isn't what I ordered." Okay? So, there are many reasons why we say: "I'm sorry". So now let's look at some of the ways we say: "I'm sorry".

Okay, so the word "apology", "apology" means the same thing as "sorry". Okay? When you give an apology, it means you're saying you're sorry. So, let's look at some ways to say sorry. Well, we have: "Sorry", which is pretty informal; if you made a mistake with your friends or just in general conversation, we often just say: "Oh, sorry". We might say: "I'm sorry for" and give the reason why we're sorry. "I'm sorry for breaking your iPad.", "I'm sorry for not calling you.", "I'm sorry for being late.", "I'm sorry for forgetting your birthday." Okay? "I'm sorry for not being there."

What you'll notice is when we use the word "for" after "I'm sorry"-this means we're giving a reason-we usually have a verb and "ing" with it, so it's the verb in the "ing" form. Okay? So: "I'm sorry for breaking", so you'll notice "break" and then "ing". "I'm sorry for forgetting" - you'll notice "ing".

And if we want to say something that we didn't do that we're sorry for, we just add the word "not". "I'm sorry for not calling.", "I'm sorry for not answering the phone.", "I'm sorry for not telling you about, you know, my problem." Okay? So, we can... if we want to talk about something we didn't do that we're sorry for, we use the word "not".

So: "I'm sorry for" is something we use a lot, but if we wanted to be more formal... imagine you're at work and you make a mistake, and you're talking to your boss-okay?-you might want to use more formal English for when you're talking at work. You might say: "I apologize", which is similar to the word "apology". "Apologize", okay? So, it's four syllables: "apologize". "I apologize". You can say that.

And if you want, just like "sorry", you can also add the word "for" and give a reason. "I apologize for breaking it.", "I apologize for missing the meeting.", "I apologize for being late every day." So, if you're going to apologize to your boss or, you know, you're in a formal situation, you can use the words "apologize". And then, again, it follows the same rule as "sorry for", where you just have the verb with "ing". […]
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