Apologizing in the English speaking world is very important, especially in business or professional situations. If somebody isn't happy with you or even angry with you, an apology may be able to save the situation.
In this online exercise we will look firstly at how to apologize in English in an email or in a letter, then when to apologize in an email or letter and finally, the other vocabulary it is necessary to write in an email or letter of apology. The focus here is on formal business and professional English. In English, 'apologize' can also be spelt 'apologise' (outside of America).
Read the following letter of apology from a supplier to a commercial customer regarding problems with a delivery of components. Focus on the words/phrases in BOLD and think about their meaning.
Dear Mr Smith,
Further to your email of the 17th December 2009 regarding your order (ref no. 34ED12QP). First of all, please allow me to apologise for Peter Taylor not responding to your email. I can confirm that Peter has been on sick leave for the whole of this week. And although this explains the issue, it does not justify it. It transpires that there was a miscommunication in his department and the person who should have been taking care of this issue, did not. I have already taken all the necessary measures to ensure that this does not happen again in the future. Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention.
With regards to the issue of your order, I have taken personal charge of it. Let me apologise for the late delivery. Regarding the damaged components, I can confirm the following:
It is normal policy here that we do not accept liability for problems with components if we are not notified within 7 working days of delivery. And due to the fact that you did not notify us until after 15 working days of the delivery, the Customer Service Department followed procedure. But as we view you as a valuable customer, and we have worked together for over five year, rest assured that I will sort out this issue as a matter of urgency. I have already spoken to the Production Director here and he will confirm tomorrow when we can send the replacement components to you. I will update you by the end of tomorrow at the latest. Could you please confirm if this is adequate?
I do hope that this situation has not damaged your confidence in working with us.
Once again, please accept our apologises for any inconvenience caused.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me on mobile 07995 348236
Mrs Sally Boswell
Rugger Sales Director
To improve your email/letter writing, we recommend the following books:
Below is a definition/description of each of the words/phrases in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.
When the answer is correct, an Additional Information Icon "" will appear next to the answer. Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation.
Now that you understand the vocabulary, practice them by writing your own email of apology in English with the new words/phrases.