There are times when we make mistakes, no matter how trivial they might be, or when we do something that makes us apologize to someone. In English, to say sorry can mean to apologize for a mistake we have done, but it can mean to show our sympathy to someone. This article is trying to give some examples of situations when people usually show their regret over their mistakes and the expressions they usually say.
We apologize especially in the following situations:
1. When we hurt someone’s feelings or when we create a misunderstanding.
2. When we are late for a meeting, class, appointment, etc.
3. When we want to interrupt a conversation.
4. When we take some one’s property by mistakes.
5. When we do something impolite.
6. When we damage another person’s property.
7. When we tell a secret accidentally.
8. When we call someone early in the morning or late at night.
9. When we dial a wrong number on the phone.
10. When we invade someone’s personal space by bumping or hitting him or her accidentally.
The above situations make us express our apologies, which can be said in various ways ranging from very formal to casual ones. For examples:
1. Forgive me. I’m terribly sorry about …
2. Please accept my apology for…
3. Please excuse (my dog/cat/etc.)
4. I would like to apologize for…
5. I apologize for…
6. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…
7. Oh no! Did I do that? I’m sorry.
8. Oh! Sorry!
9. Sorry about that.
When we apologize, we expect a response from the person we apologize to, for example by saying the following expressions:
1. That’s quite all right.
2. I understand completely.
3. You really don’t have anything to apologize for.
4. You don’t need to apologize.
5. I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.
6. Oh that’s all right. It can happen to anyone.
7. It’s not your fault.
8. Oh, well, that’s life.
9. Don’t worry about it.
10. It’s OK.
11. That’s OK.
12. No problem.
13. Forget it.
(Resource: Speaking Naturally by Bruce Tillit and Mary Newton Bruder)