I Am Sorry vs. I Apologize

I Am Sorry vs. I Apologize

At first glance, you may think there is little difference in meaning between these two phrases-I am sorry vs I apologize. However, which one you choose may depend on how heartfelt your remorse is. Let's take a closer look.

I am sorry is a phrase that is used to express regret or remorse for actions. I am sorry is also used when you wish to express sympathy for someone who has experienced a loss or hardship.

1. I am sorry to hear about your grandmother's passing-she was a good lady.

2. I am sorry that I hurt your feelings when I said I wouldn't come to your party.

3. I am sorry that I broke your window with my baseball.

4. I cannot tell you how sorry I am that your daughter is sick.

I apologize is a way to formally admit that you did something wrong, whether you feel "sorry" about it or not. So while you might formally admit that what you did was wrong, you might not actually feel remorse for your actions. Notice how different these sentences sound.

1. I apologize for hurting your feelings when I said I wouldn't come to your party.

2. I apologize for breaking your window with my baseball.

Here are some additional examples with I apologize:

3. I apologize for leaving you off of the original guest list.

4. If you think I was being rude, I apologize.

As you can see, these phrases do mean very similar things, and they are often used interchangeably. Yet, there is a different connotation to the phrases. I am sorry connotes a feeling of remorse, while I apologize does not.

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