Letters Of Apology

A letter of apology can be either formal or informal. It can be written when someone has made a mistake, has failed to perform a duty or is not able to fulfil a promise.

The main body contains reasons for the inconvenience caused, In the final paragraph you can express your hope to improve the situation or promise to make up for any problems that have been caused.

Greeting a recipient

Formal Semi-formal/informal
Dear Sir/Dear Madam, Dear friend,
Dear Sir/Madam, -
Dear Mr Brown, -
Dear Ms Brown, -

Opening remarks/reason for writing

Formal Informal
I am writing to apologise for... I hope you will understand when I say that...
I must apologise for... What can I say, except I'm sorry that...
Please accept my sincerest apologies for... I'm sorry for..
How can I apologise enough for. I owe you an apology...
I must apologise profusely… I'm so sorry if I upset you in any way...
Accept this letter as my formal apology for what happened on… I can't describe how sorry I am and how guilty I feel...
I cannot say/express how sorry I am. It’s all my fault.
Please accept my deepest apologies for my mistake in regard to… How careless of me!
It was not my intention to create such an awkward and embarrassing situation for Words will never fully express how sorry I am, but I truly hope that it is a good start….
Please allow me to apologize for what I… -
Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you may have experienced in respect to -

Main Body 

Paragraphs 2-3 reasons to explain the inconvenience caused.

Conclusion. Closing remarks:

Final Paragraph – express understanding/regret or promise to make up for the situation.

Once again, sincerest apologies for...
I hope you believe me when I say how sorry I am...
I hope you will accept my apologies... There is no excuse for ... and I hope you'll forgive me...
I hope my apologies will be/are accepted.. I beg you to forgive me for...
I strongly believe you will accept my sincere apologies… I can't tell you how sorry I am..
I am so / very / extremely / terribly sorry. I hope you can forgive me / Please forgive me.
Again, I am sorry for my actions and I hope that we can put this matter behind us. Please don’t be mad at me.
I ensure that similar incidents and misunderstandings will not occur in the future. -


Let me know of your thoughts and concerns over this matter.

If you have any thoughts in this, please feel free to share.

I hope our relationship is undamaged from my actions.

I look forward to hearing from you and putting this matter behind us.

Sincerely/Faithfully. (yours)

Full name.

Ideas for writing

1. You live in a room in college which you share with another student. You have borrowed your room-mate’s laptop without asking and while working the computer system got infected with virus. Write a letter of apology, in which:

  • say why you needed the laptop
  • explain how you think it got infected
  • offer what to do to improve and resolve the situation

2. You have just spent a weekend at a friend’s house. When you returned home, you discovered you had taken your friend’s wallet containing some credit cards and visiting cards.Write a letter to your friend in which:

  • say when you found your friend’s wallet at your place
  • explain what happened
  • offer how to return the wallet

3. You have been invited to attend an interview for a place studying a course in a college. Unfortunately because of a previous appointment you cannot come at the time they wish.
Write a letter to the admissions tutor and

  • explain your position
  • apologize and offer to come on another day or later the same day
  • ask how long the interview will be and whether there will be any tests during it

4. You had a good meal in a local restaurant with your family and some guests. You accidentally spilled some wine on the immaculately white table cloth. Write a letter to a manager in which:

  • apologize for the incident
  • tell what happened
  • offer how to make amends

5. Your car is hired from a company and while you are driving on holiday, you have a small accident. You will have to write an apology letter to the company to explain it.
In your letter:

  • when and where you hired it
  • describe how the accident happened
  • what kind of action you will take to make up for the situation

6. Your neighbours have recently written to you to complain about the noise from your houselflat.Write a letter to your neighbours. In your letter,

  • explain the reasons for the noise
  • apologize for this inconvenience
  • describe what action you will take to resolve the matter.
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