25 ways to say "sorry" in English
Knowing how to apologize is an important part of being polite. You probably already know "sorry", but there are many other ways to apologize in English.
Apologizing for small mistakes
Simply saying "sorry" is most common with small mistakes, like bumping into someone or saying someone’s name wrong. In these situations, people often say:
Sorry ‘bout that.
There are a few slang phrases that you can also use for slight mistakes:
Oh, my bad.
My fault, bro.
In a very informal text message, a young person might even abbreviate "sorry":
wanna meet up later?
sry, cant. busy.
Apologizing when you make a more serious mistake:
For a more serious mistake, especially in customer service situations, you might say:
I’m so sorry.
Sometimes people say "oh my goodness" or "oh my gosh" before they apologize in these situations:
Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry. I should have watched where I was going.
Apologizing for incorrect information
If you cause a problem with communication, or give incorrect information, you might say:
I had that wrong.
I was wrong on that.
Sometimes you can say two of these phrases together, and you can say "sorry" at the beginning or end:
Sorry, my apologies. I had that wrong.
Making a formal or serious apology
If you make a serious mistake with a friend, loved one, or coworker, you shouldn’t use casual language to apologize. Try a more formal apology, such as:
I’d like to apologize.
I want to apologize.
I owe you an apology.