10 ways to say sorry if you’re late

We have all been late in our lives, whether it be for work, to our best friend’s birthday party, or to pick up our kids from school. Being late is just a part of life, and in some cases, it’s totally unavoidable. For this reason today we are going to look at 10 ways of apologising for being late, in English!

First though, let’s take a look at a few tips to keep in mind when apologising for being late.

Apologise sincerely

Nobody likes being late, and nobody likes waiting for someone else to arrive either. For that reason it is extremely important to be sincere about your apology if and when you are late. Be sure to look the person in the eye and put yourself in their shoes momentarily. They will appreciate you very being sincere and you will come across as a sincere person.

Don’t make excuses

It is better to tell the honest truth as to why you are late, than to make up unbelievable excuses, which may make your employer, friend or partner distrust you even more. If you went out the night before and woke up late, be honest about it and reassure the person that it will not happen again.

Stick to your promise

If you have been late for some reason or another, it is  crucial that you do not let it happen again. By repeatedly being late you may lose your job or lose trust in your friends or partners. Stick to your promise and try as hard as possible not to let it happen again.

Here are 10 creative ways of apologising for being late:

I’m so sorry that I’m late, my alarm didn’t go off.

I’m terribly sorry for being late, but I missed the first train this morning.

My sincerest apology for not making it to the meeting on time.

I deeply apologise for my behaviour yesterday at the party.

I am sorry for keeping you waiting for such a long time.

Please forgive me for being so late, I had a long meeting after work.

I must apologise for arriving late, but I forgot what time the party started.

I apologise wholeheartedly for not being on time.

Please accept my apology for being late, my car wouldn’t start.

I’m really sorry for being late, I lost my car keys this morning.


About Brandon

Brandon has been teaching ESL students for over 12 years and has taught in India, Cambodia, Brazil and Spain. In his free time, he enjoys writing music, playing his guitar and travelling.


  1. I ‘be got some problems with your exercises. Always when I’m writing …didn’t … you say it’s false, but it’s right. But I can’t continue. What should I do???

  2. Am realy happy for this program…

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