I’m Sorry, I Can’t Make It In – 10 Ways to Politely Tell Someone You’re Sick in English

When you’re feeling under the weather, it can be tricky to find the right way to express your sickness to someone else. You don’t want to seem overly dramatic or be too casual about it.

In this blog post, we will discuss 10 ways to politely tell someone you’re sick in English, so you can let them know that you won’t be able to make it in and need to rest.

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1) I’m sorry, I’m not feeling well – How to say not feeling well professionally 

When you’re not feeling well and need to tell someone, it can be difficult to find the right words. But don’t worry – there are plenty of polite and kind ways to express your current condition.

Here are a few examples:

“I’m sorry, I’m not feeling well.”

This is a simple yet effective phrase that conveys your message without giving too much detail. It allows the person you’re speaking with to understand that you are not in the best of health and need to take care of yourself.

“I think I’m coming down with something.”

This phrase is slightly more detailed than the first one and implies that you are feeling sick and may have caught something. It’s important to be honest here and let the person know that you may not be able to attend the event or meeting due to your current state.

“I’m afraid I have a cold/flu/stomach bug.”

If you want to give a bit more information, this phrase can be helpful. By stating what you think you may have, you’re also providing context for why you cannot make it. This can be helpful for others who may have similar symptoms and be able to relate.

These phrases are just a few ways of politely telling someone that you are not feeling well and need to take care of yourself. Remember that your health should always come first, so don’t be afraid to reach out and communicate your current condition.


2) I think I’m coming down with something – I’m not feeling well

If you think that you may be getting sick, it’s best to tell someone as soon as possible. When telling someone that you are coming down with something, it’s important to give some details so that they can understand what is happening.

For example, you could say “I’m afraid I’m coming down with a cold” or “I’m not sure but I think I’m getting the flu.” This way the person can understand why you are not feeling well and will be more understanding. If you need to take some time off, it’s also important to let them know that you plan to rest until you feel better.

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3) I’m afraid I have a cold/flu/stomach bug – How to say professionally 

If you’re feeling under the weather and think you might have a cold, flu, or stomach bug, it’s important to let people know. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you have to suffer through work or an event when you should be resting.

In these cases, it’s best to be honest and upfront with your colleagues or friends. Try saying something like: “I’m afraid I have a cold/flu/stomach bug. I don’t think I can make it in today.” This lets them know that you’re not feeling well and that you will need to stay home and rest.

It’s also important to remember that everyone gets sick from time to time. So even though you may be embarrassed or feel like you are inconveniencing someone, try to remember that it’s okay to take a break sometimes and give yourself the rest you need to get better.

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4) I’m not sure if I can make it in 

When you’re not feeling well, it can be difficult to know if you should make an effort to come into work or stay at home and rest. Saying “I’m not sure if I can make it in” can help give you some breathing room to figure out what’s best for you. If you’re dealing with a mild illness, like a cold or the flu, this phrase can be used to express that you might make it into work, but you need some time to assess the situation.

If your illness is more serious, it’s best to use this phrase as a sign that you won’t be coming into work that day. Either way, it lets your boss or co-workers know that you’re not feeling well, and they should adjust their expectations accordingly.


5) Can we meet another time?

If you’re not feeling well and can’t make it to a meeting or event, you can politely suggest that you meet another time.

This is especially true if you know you won’t be able to make it on time.

You can say something like “I don’t think I can make it on time, can we meet another time?” or “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it. Can we reschedule for another day?”.

It’s always best to be honest and direct when communicating, and by asking if you can meet another time you’ll be showing respect for the other person’s time. Depending on the situation, you may even offer to provide them with an update on your progress later on.


6) I don’t think I can make it on time.

When you don’t think you can make it in on time, it’s important to be honest and let the other person know. It may be embarrassing or uncomfortable, but being honest is always the best approach.

You can say something like, “I’m sorry, I don’t think I can make it on time.” This is a polite and straightforward way to let them know that you are not feeling well and will not be able to make it in on time.

Another way to phrase it is, “Can we meet another time? I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it in on time.”

This is a gentle way of informing the other person of your situation without putting too much pressure on them.

It’s also important to let the other person know what your plans are for the rest of the day. You could say something like, “I’m going to try and rest today so I’ll be back in shape soon.”

Finally, it’s important to apologize for any inconvenience that you may have caused. You can say something like, “I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.” This is a polite way to show that you understand how your illness has impacted them.

No matter how you phrase it, it’s important to let someone know when you’re not feeling well and can’t make it in on time. It’s courteous, respectful, and considerate.


7) I’ll be there as soon as I can.

This is a polite way to let someone know that you are not feeling well, but still plan on attending an event or meeting as soon as possible.

It’s important to give some sort of estimated time when you will arrive, even if it’s just a general timeframe. This will help the other person understand that you aren’t ditching them, but simply need a little bit more time due to your illness.

Try phrases such as “I’ll be there as soon as I can” or “I’m sorry, I’m not feeling great but I’ll do my best to make it by [time].” Be sure to let them know if you think it will be later than you originally planned so that they can plan accordingly.

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8) I hope you don’t mind if I’m a little late – How to say professionally 

It’s not always possible to make it on time, especially when you are feeling sick. In this case, it’s important to be honest and polite so that the other person understands the situation.

When you have to let someone know that you will be a bit late, the best way to phrase it is to say: “I hope you don’t mind if I’m a little late”.

This conveys a sense of respect and politeness that can help prevent any negative reactions or misunderstandings. It’s also important to follow up with an explanation as to why you will be late, such as “I’m not feeling well” or “I think I’m coming down with something”.

That way, they can have a better understanding of your situation and perhaps even provide some helpful advice.

Indeed have a great article with some useful phrases. 


9) Sorry for the short notice, but I won’t be able to make it.

When you need to cancel last minute due to being sick, it can be difficult to find the right words to express your situation. It is important to be polite and show that you understand the inconvenience this may cause.

A polite way to explain that you won’t be able to make it would be “Sorry for the short notice, but I won’t be able to make it”. This statement shows that you regret any trouble caused by your absence and will not be attending. Be sure to follow up with an explanation as to why you can’t make it if possible.

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10) Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we simply can’t make it to an event or meeting due to illness. In these cases, it’s important to express that you won’t be able to attend in a polite way. One such phrase is “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it.”

This phrase clearly conveys the message that you won’t be able to attend the event or meeting, but does so in a polite and respectful way. It leaves the door open for the possibility of rescheduling the event if needed, while still communicating that your health is a priority.

It can be difficult to admit that you are not feeling well enough to attend a meeting or event, but using phrases such as this one allows you to communicate your situation without having to go into detail about your condition. This can be especially helpful if you don’t feel comfortable discussing your health with the other person.

Regardless of the reason, using phrases like this one can help ensure that you are able to effectively communicate your situation without coming off as rude or dismissive.

Do you still need some help expressing ” I’m not feeling well” or how to say “I am not feeling well” professionally in English? 

Contact our teachers on the website chat for some support! 

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