Professional Ways to Say 'Sorry' in English

In this video we demonstrate different ways to make an apology. Saying ‘sorry’ is incredibly common in the English language. It’s a typical thing for British people to say, even when it’s not their fault! But there are many other ways to express that you feel sorry about something and we show you them and explain the contexts when we typically use them in video for English language learners. We hope you enjoy it!


Hi. What do we say when we feel sad, sympathy, or disappointment because something bad has happened or been done?

We’re sorry. But that’s not the only way. Watch this scene and listen to other ways that we can say sorry.

Are you sure Gabi 

knew about this meeting? Yes,.I sent her an invitation and she confirmed she was coming.

Well, she’s already 4 minutes late. it looks like she’s here. Hi, Gabi.

Hi, Jay. Hi, Tom. Please excuse me for being late. It’s been one of those days.

Are you working from home today, Gabi?

Yes, I am. They are refurbishing the office. My apologies for the informal setting.

Don’t worry, Gabi. Now, let’s get down to business. The first point on the agenda is the conference in Buenos Aires next month. Have we confirmed the keynote speakers yet?

I beg your pardon, Jay. Yes. The keynote speakers are booked and the fees have been agreed.

Excellent. And Tom, have you sent Gabi our catering requirements?

Forgive me, Jay. I was just about o send them to her.

Don’t worry, Tom. I’ve got them already. And I’ve been in touch with the venue. They agreed to most of our requests but they deeply regret not being able to source all the ingredients for the vegan option. So they propose an alternative instead.

Okay, we’ll take a look at that. And what about the welcome packs? Have we agreed on the contents and arranged the …

[shouting angrily in Spanish language]

Gabi? Gabi?


You’re not on mute.

No? I’m truly sorry that you had to hear that. I’d like to offer my sincerest apologies. 

Who were you talking to? Maybe it’s to them that you owe an apology.

I don’t think that that’s necessary. It’s just my dogs. They misbehave unless I shout at them. But look. It worked!

Good dogs. Gabi has them well-trained.

Yes, she does. Did you catch all the different ways to say sorry? Here they are again.

When we apologize, we can change the level of formality. Which one sounds the most formal?

Now, some of these expressions can be used to do more than just say sorry.

It’s true. What can you say if you haven’t heard or understood something clearly?

I beg your pardon, Tom, but have you asked our viewers to subscribe?

Not yet, Jay. But I like the way you apologized politely for interrupting me.

I can also say, I beg your pardon to introduce information that might seem rude or unpleasant. 

Could I also say forgive me in that context?

Forgive me for interrupting. Forgive me for introducing unpleasant information. Yeah, you can, Tom.

And how should I respond? Do I say yes? I forgive you or no, I don’t forgive you.

No, that sounds a bit too heavy. Forgive me. Is often said when the bad thing is relatively minor or beyond the control of the speaker.

So a positive response would be ‘That’s all right’, ‘That’s okay.’ ‘Don’t worry about it.’

And a negative response?

Oh dear. That’s a pity. What a shame. 

And there’s one more phrase from our office meeting skit that communicates sadness caused by circumstances beyond one’s control.

Which one?

Did you notice the adverb deeply accompanies the verb regret?

 Yes. The words regret, sorry, and apologize all collocate with deeply, They make the apology sound more emphatic and heartfelt.

So now, you know, different ways to apologize or show that you haven’t heard or understood something clearly, and how to politely interrupt someone.

Forgive me, Tom, but did you ask them to share this video with a friend?

No, I didn’t. Share it with a friend. Please. And hit the notification b…

I beg your pardon, Jay.

What’s that, Tom?

We need to give special thanks to Gabi, an English teacher and educator and  consultant from Argentina, and tell everyone where they can find her.

Of course. Follow Gabi on Instagram at Gabi underscore language for life.

And follow me on Instagram and TikTok for short English videos at Study 4 English.



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