The Right Words to Use When You’re Running Late or Something Went Wrong

Being late or having something go wrong can be awkward and embarrassing. It is important to know the right words to use in these situations in order to remain polite and courteous. Whether you are running late for an appointment, or something has taken longer than expected, the right words can help to diffuse the situation and maintain a positive relationship.

In this blog post, we will provide guidance on the best words to use when something goes wrong or you are running late.


Running Late – Say I’m sorry

Apologizing for being late or for a mistake is an important part of showing respect and responsibility. A sincere apology can go a long way in diffusing any anger or disappointment. When apologizing, try to be as honest and clear as possible. You may want to include specific details about the situation and an expression of regret.

To apologize, try saying:

• “I apologize for the delay/mistake.”
• “I’m sorry I was late/made the mistake.”
• “Please accept my apologies for the delay/mistake.”
• “I apologize for any inconvenience I caused.”
• “I am so sorry for being late/making the mistake.”

It is also important to make sure you are not making excuses. Own up to your mistakes and take responsibility for them. Letting someone know that you understand why they may be frustrated and why it is important to be punctual or careful can help demonstrate that you are taking the situation seriously.

The soft phrases you need to learn. Learn Laugh LIbraryGive a brief explanation

When apologizing for being late or when something has taken too long, it’s important to give a brief explanation. This is not to excuse your actions, but rather to provide a context to the situation. It’s important to remain honest and not make excuses, as this will only serve to minimize the impact of your apology.

Instead, explain what caused the delay, such as an unexpected traffic jam or being unexpectedly held up at work. Be sure to also give an estimated time of arrival if applicable. Doing so can help reassure the other person that you are trying your best to get there.

Running Late – Offer to make up for it

One of the best ways to show your appreciation for someone’s patience when you are late or something goes wrong is to offer to make up for it. This gesture can go a long way in repairing any broken trust and mending relationships.

When offering to make up for it, be sure to keep it specific and sincere. Think of an appropriate action that you can do to make up for it and make sure that you follow through with it.

For example, if you were late for a meeting, you could offer to buy your friend coffee or lunch as a way of making up for it. If you ordered something in a restaurant and it took too long, you could offer to pay for their meal as a way of apologizing.

This small gesture shows that you understand the inconvenience that was caused and that you care enough to do something about it. It will also help to ease any frustration and make the other person feel appreciated and respected.

Make Progress With Your English Today Easily & Correctly A1 to C2


Running Late – Thank them for their patienceLinking Words. Written with a large pencil to the right.

One of the most important things to do when you’ve been late or something has gone wrong is to thank the other person for their patience. Being polite and expressing gratitude is essential in a situation like this.

Here are some phrases that you can use to thank someone for their patience:

• “I really appreciate your understanding.”
• “Thank you for your patience and kindness.”
• “I am so grateful for your patience.”
• “I am sorry for making you wait and I appreciate your understanding.”
• “Thank you for being patient with me.”
• “I am sorry for the delay and thank you for your understanding.”

It is important to be sincere and genuine when expressing your gratitude.

Remember to take full responsibility for the situation and make sure that the other person knows that you are truly sorry for the inconvenience.

Doing this will show them that you are aware of how your actions have impacted them and that you value their patience.

The phrases you can use when late in a list.

1. “I apologize for the delay.”
2. “I’m sorry I’m running late.”
3. “I apologize for not being on time.”
4. “My apologies for the inconvenience.”
5. “I regret that something happened to cause a delay.”
6. “Unfortunately, I got held up and had to reschedule.”
7. “I hope you’ll forgive me for being late.”
8. “Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
9. “I would like to make it up to you for being late.”
10. “I understand your frustration with the delay.”


1 thoughts on “The Right Words to Use When You’re Running Late or Something Went Wrong

  1. Pingback: Effective words to sound professional in English: Business Talk

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