Many ways to say you’re “sorry”

Are there as many ways to say sorry as I love you?

“Sorry” seems to be one of the most overused terms in English.

When we’re bugged by our conscience because of something undesirable we’ve done, we mutter this word.

“Sorry” could either be an adjective or an interjection.

As an adjective, it means to sympathize or feel regretful for an unfortunate event. As an interjection on the other hand, sorry is used as a common way to apologize.

“Did that hurt? Sorry.”

But how do we express that we are “sorry” in different situations? Here are some ways:

Sorry for your loss

This is used to express our condolences to the family of a departed loved one.


Your mother was such an adorable woman. I am so sorry for your loss.

I am sorry for your loss. We will be here for your family.

Sorry to hear that

We say this upon a happening of a bad event. To those who have been affected by natural calamities, tragedies, and tough circumstances, there can be no other way to express our empathy.


I am very sorry to hear that your city was struck by the typhoon.

Person A: My son is in the hospital today.

Person B: I am sorry to hear that. How is he?

I apologise

We give apologies after committing something wrong with full acceptance of our fault.


I want to apologize for not attending the meeting this morning.

My apologies for not responding to your email immediately.

Sorry to keep you waiting/ Sorry for keeping you waiting

People feel sorry for arriving late to a meeting or appointment.


Sorry to keep you waiting. I was stuck in traffic.

Sorry for keeping you waiting. Shall we begin now?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that

We know that it is not so polite to do a certain act but we still do it because we really need to.


Sorry, I don’t mean to disturb you but you have an emergency phone call.

Sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt your sleep but you have to get up for school now.

Though what we caused trouble to someone, we assure the person that we really didn’t want to cause pain.


Mom, I didn’t mean to break the plate. It just slipped off my hand.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings last night but I thought you needed to know the truth.

Excuse me

Yes, it’s part of our list.

We use “excuse me” when we feel sorry for what we are about to do which may cause disturbance to others such as passing in front of people who are talking and coughing in a middle of a conversation.

“Excuse me” can also be used as a polite way of starting a conversation.


Excuse me. Do you have some time to talk?

(Cough!) Excuse me for that.

Excuse me. I just need to go to the restroom.

Pardon me

This term can be used in the same way as “excuse me” when politely interrupting people who are talking.


Pardon me, but can I talk to you for a minute?

In a less formal situation, we say this when we could not understand the other person speaking and we want that message repeated


A: Have you submitted the report already?

B: Pardon me? I could not hear you very well as I am inside the bus.

Pardon me Sir? I did not catch your last sentence.

“Pardon me” as used in this context ends in a question mark.

“Sorry” is a powerful word that can either make or break a situation. So the next time you say it, be the sincerest person you can be.

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