Sorry for the inconvenience!

Discussion in 'English Only' started by zetfavor, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. zetfavor Member

    Ukrainian, Russian
    Hello everyone,

    Guys, could you steer me in the right direction as to using this apology phrase:

    Sorry for the inconvenience!
    Sorry for the inconveniences!
    Sorry for inconvenience!

    Which one is correct and which one is not? And why?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Wobby Senior Member

    English [England]
    "Sorry for the inconvenience!" is the correct phrase in conversation. You would probably add 'I am' in front of the phrase if you were to make it slightly more formal.

    The last one is wrong, because you have omitted the definite article (the). This gives the impression that you are sorry for all the inconveniences of the world, which is probably a bit too much for you to take on! ;)

    The second one is incorrect, as you have only caused one inconvenience. This could only be correct if you kept on disturbing someone repetitively all day! :D
  3. out2lnch Senior Member

    Ottawa, Canada
    You can also use "sorry for any inconvenience". It is probably most appropriate when you're not sure if there has been an inconvenience or what it might be.
  4. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    However, if it is clear that there has been an inconvenience, use of this form is a little insulting. For example, you have boarded an airplane which is then delayed on the runway for four hours. Clearly, any sensible person would find this to be is an inconvenience. It would therefore be offensive for the flight attendant to say "We are sorry for any inconvenience that you may be experiencing", as it suggests that normal people could find this not to be an inconvenience, and if you are unhappy, it is really your own doing. Since it is quite clear that all the passengers have indeed been inconvenienced, it is much better to say "We are sorry for the inconvenience."
  5. zetfavor Member

    Ukrainian, Russian
    GreenWhiteBlue, Wobby, out2lnch many thanks to you all. Your vivid explanations made it clear to me. Appreciate it!
  6. mikichan Senior Member

    Would the staff at a check-in counter say "We are sorry for the inconvenience." for a flight that has been delayed due to snow to a customer who came to the counter to ask for a later flight? Or, is this something the staff would say only if the delay was their fault?
  7. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Hello, mikichan. It doesn't matter whether the airline or the weather caused the inconvenience. It's still fine to say "We are sorry for the inconvenience" to passengers whose schedules have been interrupted.
  8. mikichan Senior Member

    Hello, owlman5! Thank you so much!
  9. mikichan Senior Member

    Is the phrase "Sorry for the inconvenience." only used while the problem is not solved, or can it be used after the problem is solved?

    e.g.: A customer finds a mistake on her bill. She complains about it, and the staff gives her a new bill. When she pays the bill, and leaves the store, can the staff say "Sorry for the inconvenience."?

    If not, if the staff kept her waiting for 10 minutes while printing out a new bill, would it be appropriate for the staff to say "Sorry for the inconvenience."?

    Thank you.
  10. Yes, it can be used after the problem has been solved.
  11. mikichan Senior Member

    Thank you!
  12. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India - Malayalam

    "Sorry for the inconvenience, BUT could you tell me where the nearest pharmacy is" Is the use of BUT here correct? Or, can it be avoided. That is, can I say,: Sorry for the inconvenience, could you tell me where the nearest pharmacy is".

    Thank you.
  13. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't use it in your sentence, gc. "Sorry to trouble you" or just "excuse me" are the ones I might use.

    However, I could say: "Sorry for the inconvenience, Mrs P, but can I ask you to park your car a bit further down the road today? We're expecting the removal van any minute".
  14. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India - Malayalam
    Thank you very much.

    Sorry for the inconvenience Mr Velisarius,:) BUT should I say, “Sorry to trouble you, BUT could you tell me where the nearest pharmacy is” or without BUT?

    Thank you
  15. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    You can use "but" in your new sentence as well, and you will sound a little more polite if you do:thumbsup:.
    If you don't use "but", you will need to use a semi-colon or a dash instead of the comma.
  16. goldencypress

    goldencypress Senior Member

    India - Malayalam
    Thank you again, velisarius. But how do I use a semicolon or a dash when speaking?:)
  17. Barque Senior Member

    The same way you were planning to use the comma that you put in.:)

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