Grammar 6 min read

🙇My Apologies or My Apology: Say Sorry the Right Way

Main My Apologies Takeaways:

  • My apology and my apologies are both correct. However, they have different functions.
  • Use my apology (singular) when referring to a specific apology. This might be an apology that you already made or you will make.
  • Use the phrase my apologies (plural) to express that you’re sorry for something that you did. You can use this phrase in place of I’m sorry or I apologize.
  • My apologies follows the same colloquial rule as (my) congratulations and my condolences. These phrases are actually shortened versions of the full phrases “please accept my apologies/congratulations/condolences.”
  • The word apology is a noun with three potential meanings.
The email contains my apology and a link to a story about the meaning of friendship.
My apologies! I didn’t mean to bump into you.

You’ve made an error. Maybe you offended someone, were late, or said something inappropriate. It happens to us all. But, what now? If you want to make up for your mistake, it’s time to apologize. Using the wrong word could derail your entire mea culpa. We’ll walk you through the difference between my apology and my apologies, plus give you a the best ways to use both.

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A boy looking sad while saying
If you want to show remorse for a mistake that you made, you say, “my apologies.” If you’re referring to an apology that you made say, “my apology.”

Is it Correct to say My Apologies?

They’re both correct, but whether to use my apologies (plural) or my apology (singular) depends on what you want to say. On one hand, if you want to say that you’re sorry, it is correct to say my apologies (plural). This is because “my apologies” is short for “please accept my apologies,” and you can use both phrases in place of I’m sorry or I apologize. You can also simply say “apologies,” just like you might just say “sorry.” However, this may be considered less formal, personal, and genuine than the full phrases. On the other hand, if you want to refer to a specific apology that you made, it is correct to say my apology.

My apology is an expression of ownership. You’re referencing an apology you made or are going to make.

In some cases, you may swap out “my” for “her” or “him.” It depends on whom the subject of your sentence is.

Tameka sent her apologies for not being able to attend the wedding.
Please accept our apologies. We had no idea we were blocking your driveway.

Can I use Sincere Apologies?

You can use my sincere/sincerest apologies as an alternative to phrases like I’m sorry, and forgive me. Generally, my apologies and my sincere apologies are more formal than I’m sorry.

Here are examples of how to use my sincere apologies in a sentence:

She offered me her sincere apologies for her outburst last night.
Please accept my sincerest apologies for the way that I treated you.
I extend my sincere apologies for failing to cancel your reservation.
The board deeply regrets this situation, and offers its sincere apologies to all affected.
Two images. First image shows a hand writing on a piece of paper
“My apology” is an expression of ownership while “my apologies” is short for “please accept my apologies.”

How do you use Apology in a Sentence?

Here are examples of how to use apology in a sentence:

You owe me an apology.
Do you accept my apology?
Unfortunately, my apology came too late. I wasn’t forgiven.
She heard my apology and was gracious enough to say we could start with a clean slate.
His apology felt forced, and I didn’t believe it for one second.

The word apology is a noun with three potential meanings:

  1. Indicate a poor-quality example of something.
  2. Refer to an acknowledgment of regret.
  3. Refer to a logical argument or justification.
An apology would go a long way toward smoothing over a difficult situation.
The hospital cafeteria’s meatloaf was an apology for a meal.
That lackluster apology for a car wouldn’t run if you paid it.
The speech was nothing but a poorly disguised apology for greed.

How do you Apologize Professionally?

It’s crucial to start any apology with a genuine expression of remorse. Be sure you’re considering and showing understanding for the other party’s feelings. Admit your error and ask how you can make things better. Finally, end with an assurance that you’re committed to doing better in the future.

How do you say Apologies in Email?

Whether it’s a professional or personal apology, there are several steps to crafting the perfect apology email or letter. First, give a detailed description of the situation. Second, acknowledge the damage, pain, or inconvenience your actions caused. Third, and perhaps most important, you need to take full responsibility. Part of this is recognizing your or the company’s role in the issue. Fourth, clearly state that you regret what happened and that you know that it was hurtful. Fifth, ask for forgiveness. Next, pledge that you won’t make the same mistake again. Finally, offer restitution or compensation whenever possible. In other words, offer a way to make it right.

Best Phrases to Apologize in an Email

  1. Please accept my sincere apologies for…
  2. I would like to apologize on behalf of our company.
  3. I would like to express my deep regrets for…
  4. Please allow me to apologize for…
  5. I apologize for my failure to…
  6. Please accept my apologies.
  7. I apologize. I didn’t realize the impact of…
  8. Please accept our deepest apologies for…
  9. Please allow me to apologize for…
  10. I’m particularly sorry for…
  11. Please accept this as my formal apology for…

Sample Apology Email

Here is an example of a formal, work-friendly apology email:

Dear Danitza,

I’m writing to convey my apologies for the confrontation we had in the break room yesterday. I completely misunderstood that the vanilla creamer in the fridge was something special you brought from home. Suggesting you were a “creamer hoarder” was completely out of line. I can see how you must’ve felt threatened and embarrassed, and there is no excuse for how I reacted.

I apologize completely and am open to a sit-down to discuss the issue further. In the future, I promise to respect the contents of our shared work fridge. I’ll also consider other people’s feelings before jumping to conclusions re: any creamer-related situations.

Best regards,

Sherry.

The most important thing about an apology is that you mean what you’re saying. However, it’s better if you can express it adequately, too. Follow these guidelines, and all your future apologies may get you back in good graces ASAP.

Are you Ready to Make the Perfect Apology? Test Your Skills!

Apology Question #1

What part of speech is “apology”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. “Apology” is a noun that refers to an acknowledgment of regret of failure.

My Apology or My Apologies Question #2

“My apology” and “my apologies” have the same meaning.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is FALSE. “My apology” is an expression of ownership. It references an apology that you made or have yet to make.

My Apologies Question #3

Which of these is a direct substitute for “my apologies”?
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. You can say “I'm sorry” instead of “my apologies.”

My Apology Question #4

Select the grammatically correct sentence.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is B. The speaker is telling someone that they're sorry for not attending a meeting.

My Apology vs. My Apologies Question #5

Select the grammatically correct sentence.
Correct! Oops! That's incorrect.

The answer is A. The speaker is referencing an apology that she made.

My Apology or My Apologies Quiz Result
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Krista Grace Morris

Krista heads up Marketing and Content Creation here at INK. From Linguistics and History to puns and memes, she's interested in the systems we create to share our ideas with each other.

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