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Unique Ways to Say “I’m sorry” (Synonyms)

What is an “I’m sorry” synonym? When we make mistakes, it’s important to know how to apologize correctly. Saying you’re sorry in other ways than simply “I’m sorry” can be impactful to overall forgiveness.

Learn effective and unique ways to say “I’m sorry” in this short guide…

What does “I’m sorry” mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, “I’m sorry” means to have the “feeling of sorrow or regret.” Or “having caused sorrow, pity, or scorn.”

The phrase “I’m sorry” is used for telling someone that you feel ashamed or unhappy about something that you have done to hurt or upset them.

Typically, someone saying “I’m sorry” is expressing regret. Regret is feeling sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened.

"I'm sorry" synonyms

“I’m sorry” synonyms

When looking for another word for “I’m sorry,” try some of these other synonyms:

  • Sorrowful
  • Apologetic
  • Regretful
  • Remorseful
  • Contrite
  • Penitent
  • Pitiful
  • Mournful
  • Sad
  • Dismal
  • Gloomy

These words can get used interchangeably for the “I’m sorry” in their own way. For example, “I feel dismal about what occurred the other night. I need to feel forgiveness for this very action.”

"I'm sorry" synonyms

Examples of “I’m sorry” in a sentence

Here are ways to apologize to someone.

  • I am very sorry for what happened.
  • I’m sorry that this occurred in our lives.
  • If I could change something, I would. I’m sorry this is happening.
  • I’m sorry and I feel a lot of regret.
  • I am sorry for the mistake that happened.
"I'm sorry" synonyms

Unique ways to say “I’m sorry”

Here are unique ways to say “I’m sorry.”

Please forgive me

Saying “please forgive me” is an alternative way of saying “I’m sorry.” And informs the other person, using different words, that regret and sorrows are part of the emotions taking place.

For example, “Please forgive me for this despicable crime that was done.”

My apologies or my apology

“My apologies” is another way to acknowledge that there is regret. For example, if a person is feeling like they have been rude.

They could say go through the act of apologizing by stating, “my apologies.”

It’s another way to express and imply sadness about an action that hurt or impacted someone else.

"I'm sorry" synonyms

Accept my apology

This phrase is used when the feelings of sorrow are high. When there is a need to ask someone to please accept forgiveness. “Accept my apology” is a type of way of saying, “Please forgive me for what I’ve done.”

For example, “Please accept my apology, I would never intend to hurt you.” A person could also say, “Please accept my apologies for the mistake that occurred.”


The word “pardon” is a verb that means to allow as a courtesy. For example, someone could say, “Pardon me for interrupting you.” This is another way to describe a sorrow.

An example situation could be a conversation that is getting interrupted. A person who is looking to gain the attention of the other could say, “Pardon me, I need to interrupt you for a moment.”

Excuse me

Typically used in a social setting. “Excuse me” is a way of asking a person to hear them. For example, “Excuse me, I need to get your attention so I can order my lunch.”

It is a type of entry into a conversation. The speaker is not providing any remorse or melancholy with this saying. Rather, a commit to bear the attention of the other person.

"I'm sorry" synonyms


Often mistaken or perceived as sarcastic, “Oops” can be too light of an apology for some. It is not a sign that the feelings are severe. Rather, used for mild errors or social blunders. For example, if a glass of milk is spilled on the table. Someone could say, “Whoops” or “Oops.”

Mea Culpa

A latin phrase that derives from a Catholic prayer, “Mea Culpa” means to apologize for any wrongdoing. The phrase can be seen in writing (newspapers, blog posts, and other social media posts). It is used to apologize for misinformation and retract statements.

For example, “The witness who gave false information provided a mea culpa for the issue. They feel an equal amount of remorse and regret.”

My fault or my bad

A slang term used to describe expressing penitence. A defeated, lost off hope, or let down emotion. Used to describe the sense of regret. The slang term can get used in social settings. Like when a person is admitting that they are “in the wrong.”

For example, “I know it went bad. It’s on me. It’s my bad. My bad. My fault.”

Typically, the slang term is a person taking account for the error (or taking responsibility for the error).


  1. 72 Synonyms & Antonyms for SORRY – Thesaurus.com
  2. synonyms for say one is sorry – Thesaurus.com
  3. Sorry Synonyms | Collins English Thesaurus
  4. Sorry Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster
  5. The Psychology of Regret
  6. Regret: What Is It and How to Deal With It
  7. REGRET | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
  8. Mea culpa – Wikipedia

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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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