I'm sorry to keep/have kept you waiting

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Morecoffee

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello teachers.

After a friend has waited for me for a while, should I say "I'm sorry to keep you waiting" or "I'm sorry to have kept you ..."
To me, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting is correct.
Because I've waited on the friend. The waiting was in the past.
Do you feel these two are interchangable?

Thank you so much
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Both are common, but to be precise, one needs to know whether the wait is over when message is delivered.:)

    Since you say it was in the past, "have kept you waiting" is best.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    "To keep you waiting" implies you are going to keep the person waiting, while "to have kept you waiting" means you kept the person waiting and now you are sorry for that. Technically.

    Cross-posted with SD.
     
    Last edited:

    Morecoffee

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you SD, EMP.
    So if I realise I'm going to keep this person waiting, I'd better choose "sorry to keep you waiting."?

    Thank you
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    That's correct. For example, you're on the phone with someone and they have to put you on hold for a long time. Then they come back and say: Sorry to keep you waiting but I have to transfer you to another operator.
     
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