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Have you ever needed to say sorry for a mistake or accident that you made? Maybe it feels too formal to declare, “I would like to apologize for any inconvenience my actions may have caused,” but you still want to express your sorrow or remorse.
A common question that English speakers ask is if they should write or say “my apologies” or “my apology.” While both choices are correct, there are some grammatical differences between them.
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“Apology” is a noun that means an expression of regret or remorse. When you say “my apology,” you are referring to an apology you made or intend to make.
Examples of Sentences with Apology
- “The teacher accepted my apology for not listening.”
- “I hope you can accept my apology.”
- “I would like a formal apology from the company.”
- “I wrote an apology letter to my father.”
- “You owe me an apology.”
- “After realizing I had made a mistake, I gave my boss a sincere apology.”
- “They made an apology for the offensive language that was used.”
“Apologies” is a plural noun that refers to more than one apology.
You also say “my apologies” as an idiom or phrase when you are sorry about something you did. “My apologies” is an idiomatic way to say “I’m sorry.”
Examples of Sentences with Apologies
- “I’ve received many apologies from the politician.”
- “The athlete offered his apologies for using drugs.”
- “I made a mistake, and I offer my apologies.”
- “My apologies for not following the rules and procedures correctly.”
- “Please accept my humble apologies.”
- My deepest apologies for forgetting your birthday.
- “Tony keeps giving apologies but continues his poor behavior.”
- “I am sorry for being late. My apologies.”
- “My apologies for the mix-up.”
- Please accept my apologies for canceling the meeting at the last minute.
- “I would like to offer you my apologies for not being able to attend your party.”
When to Use My Apologies or My Apology
Knowing when to use “apology” versus “apologies” can be tricky, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.
- If you are referring to one apology that you made or intended to make, use “apology.”
- If you are referring to more than one apology or using the word as an idiom, use “apologies.”
Sometimes you can use either “apology” or “apologies,” and the meaning is the same.
- “The athlete offered an apology” or “the athlete offered his apologies.”
- “She made her apology and left the venue” or “she made her apologies and left the venue.”
Quiz: Apology or Apologies
Instructions: Fill in the blank with the correct words, including either “apology” or “apologies.”
- I made _______ to my brother for not calling him on his birthday.
- The athlete issued _______ to the fans for his poor performance.
- We would like to offer _______ for the mix-up with your order.
- I am sorry for being late. _______.
- Please accept _______ for my mistake.
- The company made _______ to the customer for the error in their billing statement.
- I made _______ to my boss for coming in late to work.
- _______ for the inconvenience, but the store is closed.
- “I made an apology to my brother for not calling him on his birthday,” or: “I made my apologies to my brother for not calling him on his birthday.”
- “The athlete issued an apology to the fans for his poor performance” or: “The athlete issued his apologies to the fans for his poor performance.”
- “We would like to offer our apologies for the mix-up with your order” or: “We would like to offer an apology for the mix-up with your order.”
- “I am sorry for being late. My apologies.”
- “Please accept my apology for my mistake” or: “Please accept my apologies for my mistake.”
- “The company made an apology to the customer for the error in their billing statement,” or: “The company made its apologies to the customer for the error in their billing statement.”
- “I made an apology to my boss for coming in late to work,” or: “I made my apologies to my boss for coming in late to work.”
- “My apologies for the inconvenience, but the store is closed.”
I prefer to use “my apologies” only when speaking to someone directly and “my apology” for something I intend to make or have already made. However, as you can see, “my apologies” and “my apology” are quite interchangeable.
Apologise Vs. Apologize
If you are writing in British English, the spelling is apologise. In American English, the spelling is apologize.
Whether you spell it apologise or apologize, the pronunciation is the same.
What if You Are Not Sorry For What You Have Done?
If you want to be clear that you are not sorry for something, you can use the idiom “make no apologies” or “make no apology.”
- “I made no apology for my actions.”
- I will make no apologies for what I have done.
- “The politician made no apologies for his offensive comments.”
How to Respond to “My Apologies”
When someone offers you their apologies, there are a few ways that you can respond.
If you accept the apology, you can say “thank you,” “that’s okay,” or “it’s no problem.”
If you do not accept the apology, you might say, “that’s not good enough,” or “I don’t accept your apology.”
I hope this clears up any confusion about whether to use “my apology” or “my apologies.” While similar, they are used in different sentences. “My apology” is something I intend to make or have already made, while “apologies” is the plural noun or phrase.
If you still have questions about when to use them, let me know in the comments!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.