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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody and welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha and today, we're gonna talk about 10 ways to apologize. So, let's go!
1. I'm sorry!
The first word is I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry is one of the easiest apologies. I'm sorry is short. You can use it in many different situations. You can use it at work, you can use it at home, you can use it with your friends. If you make a mistake, anytime you make a mistake, you can say, "I'm sorry!" It's the easiest way to communicate your apology.
In a sentence…
"I forgot to send the file! I'm sorry!"
2. Sorry about that.
The next word or the next phrase is sorry about that. We use sorry about that for a specific mistake. I make a mistake, I want to apologize for that mistake, I can say, "Sorry about that." That thing, that specific thing I did, my mistake, I want to say I'm sorry about that.
So for example, if I step on my friends foot, "Ah, sorry about that." If I forget to feed my cat, "Sorry about that." If I don't take out my trash, I could say to my roommate, "Sorry about that."
In a different sentence…
"Sorry about that mistake. I'll fix it right away."
3. I'm sorry to hear…
The next expression is I'm sorry to hear blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry to hear is important in this sentence, to hear. Because, in this expression, you did not make a mistake. There's no mistake on your part. There's no problem there, but you heard bad news from someone. You heard, for example, someone's family member died or they lost their job or there's some kind of bad news you heard about. In that case, you can say, I'm sorry to hear about or I'm sorry to hear that blah, blah, blah.
"I'm sorry to hear you lost your job."
"I'm sorry to hear your mother died."
And "I'm sorry to hear you forgot your lunch today."
I don't know.
If you hear any bad news, you can use this expression which communicates that you did not make a mistake, but you feel bad for the other person. This is a nice one to do that.
So in a sentence…
"I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well."
4. I apologize.
Next word is… or next phrase is a very simple phrase, I apologize, I apologize. I apologize and I'm sorry are very similar, but I apologize sounds more formal than I'm sorry. I apologize is good at work or at a formal situation or if you need to talk to customers or you need to talk to… I don't know. Anytime you need to be more serious, you should use I apologize. That's when it's a good idea to use this. So let's see, you make a mistake at work, "Oh, I apologize." Or if you make a mistake with your schedule, "Oh, I apologize for the mistake." You can use I apologize for blah, blah, blah, like something specific that you feel bad about, something specific you would like to apologize for.
"I apologize for the bad food."
"I apologize for my mother's behavior."
Sorry mom.
In a different sentence…
"I apologize for the error."
5. I'm terribly sorry about…
The next expression is I'm terribly sorry about… I'm terribly sorry about blah, blah, blah. So you hear terribly in this sentence, I'm terribly sorry. So, terribly is like very like I'm very sorry about blah, blah, blah. But, terribly sorry sounds more formal. You can say I'm very sorry about na, na, na, na, but if you say I'm terribly sorry, it sounds more formal again. So this is, maybe, for a more serious mistake.
"I'm terribly sorry about the mistake."
"I'm terribly sorry you lost all that money in a bad business deal I advised you on."
"I'm terribly sorry about tracking mud into your house on my dirty shoes."
"I'm terribly sorry that I lost your dog."
"I'm terribly sorry that I can't teach each of you individually, but thank you for your messages."
In a different sentence…
"I'm terribly sorry about the delay."
6. Oops.
The next expression is oops, oops, O-O-P-S. It's kind of a cute word, like oops is kind of cute, like children will use oops, but adults can also use oops. Oops is for very small mistakes, very small, not serious mistakes. So like, for example, if I drop something and it doesn't break or if I make a small mistake that doesn't cause any problems or maybe I forget some small detail, oops is used for very small mistakes, like I forgot to buy eggs at the supermarket, "Oops." Or I didn't email the latest schedule to my co-worker, but it's not urgent, I could say, "Ah, oops. I forgot." So small mistakes, we use oops for.
In a sentence...
"I deleted the wrong file. Oops."
7. Deepest apologies for…
The next one is deepest apologies for blah, blah, blah. Deepest apologies for is like a very serious, very, very serious situation. So, deepest apologies for would be for a very, very serious problem in a business situation. So like…
"Deepest apologies for our misunderstanding."
"Deepest apologies for the delay with your order."
"Deepest apologies for the mistake."
Something like that, in a client-customer relationship or something serious and in a very kind of formal… more formal relationship with somebody, we would use deepest apologies for (something).
So in a sentence…
"Deepest apologies for the oversight."
8. My condolences.
The next word is my condolences. My condolences is a special kind of apology. We use my condolences usually when someone; a family member, friend or maybe close co-worker, I don't know, someone has died, someone has passed away, we say my condolences in those cases. You can use my condolences in other situations if someone has lost something like a pet maybe, but it's usually just used for if people pass away or if people die.
So in a sentence, you could say…
"My condolences. I'm sure your mother was a great person."
9. I'm sorry for your loss.
So the next word is I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for your loss is used typically when people die, when people pass away. I'm sorry for your loss, your loss here means the loss of this person in your life. So, it's used, yeah when people die, maybe when pets die, but it's nah, I would not use it for when pets die, only when people die, someone who is close to you, someone who is close to the listener. I'm sorry for your loss, like my condolences, these can both be used actually when someone passes away. I'm sorry for your loss is sort of a set phrase. My condolences is also a set phrase. In my mind, my condolences could be used in more situations though. Yes we can use both of them when someone dies, when someone passes away, but in my mind, you can say my condolences for another serious problem, like if someone loses a job or maybe, I don't know, gets a divorce, for example, or some other serious issue happens in their lives, you could say my condolences for something serious. However, we can't say I'm sorry for your loss in any other situation. We only use I'm sorry for your loss in situations where death has occurred. My condolences can be used for death, but generally, we can use it in some other situations as well.
So in a sentence…
"I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure your uncle was a great guy."
10. Apologies.
Next is apologies, apologies. We use the plural form, apologies, here so meaning my apologies or in other words my sorry feelings. So, apologies is a very short, very quick way to say I'm sorry for something. You can use this in emails. Actually, I use this in email, so I make a mistake or I, like last week, I made a mistake with my schedule or I was… ah, no, I was a little bit delayed returning a file to someone, I said "Apologies." It was a small problem. So, I used the expression apologies to express my sorry feelings.
In a sentence…
"I got my schedule mixed up. Apologies."
Okay, so that's the end. Those are 10 ways to apologize in English. I hope those are useful for you. If you want to give them a try or if you have any questions, please leave us a comment below. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words and we'll see you again soon. Bye!