We've all heard the phrase "my apologies" at one point or another, and unless you're a grammar whiz, it's likely that you assumed this was perfectly acceptable. After all, we don't often think about the intricacies of English when speaking or writing casually in everyday life. But if you're here for a more formal occasion - like an essay for school - then understanding the difference between “my apologies” and “my apology” is essential.
Apologies are sentences or phrases used to show regret for something that you have done wrong. Grammatically speaking, “my apologies” is the correct phrase to use when apologizing. It will often be followed by the word for and a short explanation of the mistake that was made.
Apologies can be offered almost anywhere, from family gatherings and business meetings to moments alone with friends or partners. Even if the wrong isn't 100% your fault, “my apologies” is still an appropriate response and can often go very far in mending relationships.
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Apologise vs Apologize
You may have seen this verb spelled two different ways. Indeed, there is a slight difference between “to apologize” and “to apologise”. To define apologize is a verb meaning to express remorse or regret for an action or event. Apologise is the British spelling of this word and has the exact same meaning, while Americans and Canadians prefer to use “apologize”.
Being aware of both spellings can be beneficial to students. It’s important to have an understanding of language regardless of the country you are in. Therefore, if you are ever unsure, simply look up both spellings so that you know exactly which one is appropriate to use!
My Apologies or My Apology
So which one is correct? Well, “my apologies” is an idiomatic expression and it cannot be used in place of “my apology”. “My apology” always has a literal meaning since it isn't an idiom. Therefore, make sure not to use “my apologies” in an academic essay or a similar text.
To sum up, both my apology and my apologies are acceptable, but they are used in sentences in different ways.
- “My apologies” is a polite approach to express regret and it has the same meaning as “I’m sorry”.
- “My apology” is when you are referring to a literal past or future apology.