I'm sorry about / for the delay

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by cranberry 2, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. cranberry 2 Member

    Hi everybody,

    I can't understand the difference between sorry for and sorry about. Are they interchangeable if they are followed by a noun?

    For example I know we usually say "I'm sorry for the delay" but can we say "I'm sorry about the delay"?

    If not, can you explain to me why?

    Thank you for your answers.
  2. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    They are both fine, and pretty much interchangeable, I would say.
    If the thing you're sorry about is not actually your own fault, you can say sorry about or sorry for.
    If you feel you personally are at fault in some way, you'd probably say "sorry for".

    I'm sorry about the delay (there's not much I can do about it, the circumstances are beyond my control)
    I'm sorry for the delay (if I/we had managed our time better, or organized ourselves better, the delay might not have happened)
  3. cranberry 2 Member

    Thanks a lot for your answer! :)
  4. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)

    I see no distinction between the two--I don't believe I would appreciate the fine nuance Enquiring Mind presented--but maybe that's a difference between American and British English.

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