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How To


- Making a complaint


- Saying sorry


- Accepting an apology


- Pointing out the positive


- Making a complaint (informal)


- Expressing annoyance

Some people hanging by their coats from hooks

Saying sorry

There's an old saying in English: ‘Manners maketh man'. It means that having good manners, or being polite to other people, will make you a successful and admirable person.

Well, in this programme we look at one important way of being polite – how to say sorry for something you've done wrong. As you'll hear, there are different ways of saying sorry in everyday situations, but the patterns are easy to learn and easy to use!

After you've listened to the programme, why not get some more practice in the listen and repeat activity below?

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Language for saying sorry
To emphasise how you feel
I'm really sorry...
I'm really sorry, Pete, I didn't mean to lose your book.
I'm so sorry...
I'm so sorry I forgot your birthday, Oliver!
To say why you're sorry
Sorry about...
Sorry about the mess. I'll clear up later.
Sorry for...
Sorry for taking your DVD.
To say sorry without using the words 'I'm sorry'!
I'd like to apologise for...
I'd like to apologise for the way I spoke to you earlier.

Vocabulary around saying sorry

to apologise
to say sorry, to ask for forgiveness, to express regret

an exclamation
a word, phrase or sentence that is shouted out suddenly, often through surprise or anger

to hurt someone's feelings
to make someone feel upset or unhappy

a misunderstanding
this can mean 'a small disagreement'

unhappiness, distress, worry or danger

a hard time
a difficult time

to be out of order (informal)
to be impolite or rude


Listen and repeat activity

Listen to the audio and repeat some of the words and expressions we use to say sorry in everyday situations.

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