1. wordcrazy New Member

    usa english
    Is it a proper use of the word to say that I am being apologetic, if, for example, someone I know has been in a car accident, and I express concern and empathy by saying that "I am sorry that the other car hit you?"
  2. Basenjigirl Senior Member

    English, USA
    You can only be apologetic for something that you have done, for something that you are responsible for. You can't be apologetic for something for which you're not responsible or played no role in.

    For example, you get your hair cut and it is a disaster. The hair stylist is extremely apologetic, knows that you are upset and offers to give you a refund. But your best friend feels sorry for you and is sympathetic because she had a similar experience in the past and remembers what it felt like to have a terrible haircut.

    In the example that you give about the car accident, you can describe yourself as being sympathetic but not apologetic. Unless, of course, you were the driver of the other car!
  3. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    Surely you are apologetic only about things you personally have done or are responsible for, such as when your dog bites the postman/mailman.
    In your example you are being sympathetic not apologetic (unless, of course, you were driving the other car or had tinkered with your friend's brakes).

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