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Email Writing:

Apologising
Phrases
mybusinessenglish.com

Key Words

Apologise

Regret
Sorry (Adj)
(V)

informal
(V)

apologies (plural noun)


formal

Key Words

Apologise

Regret

oops!

Sorry (Adj)
(V)

informal
(V)

apologies (plural noun)


formal

oops!

Sorry about/for sth (something)


.
.
.
y
r
r
o
s
y
r
e
v
I m
Make stronger with very.

Sorry about/for sth


Sorry for + V+ing

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

Sorry about/for sth


Sorry for + V+ing

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.


Im sorry about/for the delay. Sorry about/for + noun

Sorry about/for sth


Sorry for + V+ing

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.


Im sorry about/for the delay. Sorry about/for + noun
I am sorry (that) I missed our meeting last Thursday.
Sorry + (that) clause (Subj + Verb)

informal writing is more like speaking


Phrasal verbs - get back to you (contact you)

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.

informal

neutral

Informal - Neutral

informal writing is more like speaking


Phrasal verbs - get back to you (contact you)
contractions - Im

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.


Im sorry about/for the delay.

informal

neutral

Informal - Neutral

informal writing is more like speaking


Phrasal verbs - get back to you (contact you)
contractions - Im

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.


Im sorry about/for the delay.
I'm sorry I missed our meeting last Thursday.

informal

neutral

Informal - Neutral

informal writing is more like speaking


Phrasal verbs - get back to you (contact you)
contractions - Im

Im sorry for taking so long to get back to you.


Im sorry about/for the delay.
I'm sorry I missed our meeting last Thursday.
I am very sorry that I missed our meeting last

informal

Thursday. This example is more neutral to semi-formal.


There are no contractions or phrasal verbs
and the optional that is written.

Informal - Neutral

neutral

I/we apologise for + sth


apologize (US spelling)

Make stronger with sincerely.

I/we apologise for + sth


apologize (US spelling)
.
.
.
e
s
i
g
o
l
o
p
a
y
l
e
r
e
c
n
i
s
e
W
Make stronger with sincerely.

I/we apologise for + sth


I apologise for the delay in replying to your email.
I apologise for + noun/V+ing

Neutral - Formal

I/we apologise for + sth


I apologise for the delay in replying to your email.
I apologise for + noun/V+ing

Neutral - Formal

I/we apologise for + sth


I apologise for the delay in replying to your email.
I apologise for + noun/V+ing

I apologise for missing the meeting.

Neutral - Formal

I/we apologise for + sth


I apologise for the delay in replying to your email.
I apologise for + noun/V+ing

I apologise for missing the meeting.


We sincerely apologise for the poor standard of
service you received.

Neutral - Formal

Please accept my/our apologies for...


Using the plural noun apologies.

Please accept my/our apologies for...


Using the plural noun apologies.

Make stronger with sincere/sincerest.

Please accept my/our apologies for...


Using the plural noun apologies.

.
.
.
s
e
i
g
o
l
o
p
a
e
r
e
c
n
i
s
y
m
t
p
e
c
c
a
e
s
a
Ple
Make stronger with sincere/sincerest.

Please accept my/our apologies for...


Using the plural noun apologies.

.
.
.
s
e
i
g
o
l
o
p
a
e
r
e
c
n
i
s
y
m
t
p
e
c
c
a
e
s
a
Ple
.
.
.
s
e
i
g
o
l
o
p
a
t
s
e
r
e
c
n
i
s
y
m
t
p
e
c
c
a
e
Pleas
Make stronger with sincere/sincerest.

Please accept my/our apologies for...


apologies for + noun

Neutral - Formal

Please accept my/our apologies for...


apologies for + noun

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience


caused.

inconvenience caused is a common phrase

Neutral - Formal

Please accept my/our apologies for...


apologies for + noun

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience


caused.

inconvenience caused is a common phrase

Neutral - Formal

Please accept my/our apologies for...


apologies for + noun

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience


caused.

inconvenience caused is a common phrase

Please accept my apologies for the delay in shipping


your order.

Neutral - Formal

I/We regret...
t
e
r
g
e
r
y
l
e
r
e
I sinc

Make stronger with sincerely/deeply/very much

I/We regret...
t
e
r
g
e
r
y
l
e
r
e
I sinc
t
e
r
g
e
r
y
l
p
e
I de

Make stronger with sincerely/deeply/very much

I/We regret...
t
e
r
g
e
r
y
l
e
r
e
I sinc
t
e
r
g
e
r
y
l
p
e
I de
t
e
r
g
e
r
h
c
u
m
y
r
e
v
I
Make stronger with sincerely/deeply/very much

We regret the inconvenience caused by our


computer error.

Formal

We regret the inconvenience caused by our


computer error.

We very much regret the error / the


misunderstanding / the delay...

Formal

We regret the inconvenience caused by our


computer error.

We very much regret the error / the


misunderstanding / the delay...

+ noun

We regret that the price information sent to you was


incorrect.

Here we means the company.

+ that + clause (S + V)

Formal

Summary

I am sorry for/about/(that)...

o
f
n
I

l
a
r
t
u
e
N
l
a
m
r

Summary

l
a
r
t
u
e
N
l
a
m
r

l
a
m
r
o
F
l
a
I/we
apologise
for...
r
t

Neu
Please accept my/our apologies for...
I am sorry for/about/(that)...

o
f
n
I

Summary

l
a
r
t
u
e
N
l
a
m
r

l
a
m
r
o
F
l
a
I/we
apologise
for...
r
t

Neu
Please accept my/our apologies for...
I/We regret ...
I am sorry for/about/(that)...

l
a
m
r
o
F

o
f
n
I

Summary

l
a
r
t
u
e
N
l
a
m
r

l
a
m
r
o
F
l
a
I/we
apologise
for...
r
t

Neu
Please accept my/our apologies for...
I/We regret ...
sincere
I am sorry for/about/(that)...

l
a
m
r
o
F

o
f
n
I

delay
error/mistake

any inconvenience caused


the inconvenience
misunderstanding
oversight

mybusinessenglish.com
Further Viewing:
How to Write a Formal Business Email
How to Write an Informal Business Email
The Grammar of Business English Emails
Formal and Informal Business Request Emails
Email Writing: Referring to Attachments

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