answer to 'sorry'

nurdug51

Senior Member
Germany,German
Let's say sb has pushed you by mistake and they say 'sorry'.
What do I answer?

Would 'no problem' be okay?
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Let's say sb somebody has pushed you by mistake and they say 'sorry'.
    What do I answer?

    Would 'no problem' be okay?
    It would be acceptable in very casual, informal circumstances. I would not say it to Angela Merkel at a cabinet meeting, for example.

    Please note that "sb" is not an abbreviation used by, or indeed commonly understood by, native English speakers. The use of this form seems largely confined to foreign-language dictionaries; real English speakers would instead spell out the word "somebody".
     

    Prairiefire

    Senior Member
    US (Midwest) - English
    GreenWhiteBlue, thank you!

    I was trying to figure out what word could possibly be mistyped as 'sb.'
     

    Jules.LT

    Member
    French - France
    Other situation: you pass someone in a tight corridor, they say "I'm sorry".
    My immediate reflex is literally translating what I would say in French: "c'est moi" -> "That's me", meaning "Don't worry about it, I'm the one who's sorry".
    Would you have a way to express that in English?
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I think the dialogue might go more like this:

    Alfonse: Excuse me.
    Gaston: No, excuse me!

    or perhaps, for something more obviously a trespass (such as stepping on the other person's foot)

    Alfonse: I beg your pardon!
    Gaston: No, I beg your pardon!
     

    Jules.LT

    Member
    French - France
    Thanks for your swift answers.

    I'm thinking that "my bad" would fit well too, as an answer to sorry when you're actually the one at fault. Maybe only for the more casual contexts.

    As for my situation, there was no real offense involved, only people being polite about who'll move away to let the other pass. So I'm inclined to go for the "No, I'm sorry" solution.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I'm thinking that "my bad" would fit well too, as an answer to sorry when you're actually the one at fault. Maybe only for the more casual contexts.
    DEFINITELY only for the more casual contexts. "My bad" is not something used universally, but is instead recent slang that is frequently used humorously. To use this in a formal situation would make one look ridiculous.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm thinking that "my bad" would fit well too, as an answer to sorry when you're actually the one at fault. Maybe only for the more casual contexts.
    I've never heard anyone say 'my bad' in BE, but then I'm not at what some people call the cusp of modern speech. If someone said this to me, I'd think I'd misheard them.

    Where I come from (Manchester) polite people used to say things like

    It's all right
    That's all right
    Not at all
    Don't worry
    Don't think about it - if the other person is very insistent.

    Often a smile and a slight shake of the head are enough.
     
    Last edited:

    Miss Matty Jenkyns

    Member
    English English
    TT, as I left Manchester over four decades ago, it is heart warming to know that Mancunians are as polite as I remember them. Another phrase that is sometimes used (albeit, I suppose more appropriatley as a response to thanks) would be "Don't mention it!"
     
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