Normally, one should apologize on one's own behalf; however, if you are in some way responsible for the offender's behavior--as a parent or youth leader, for example--you may write an apology, even though the offender also writes one. Write this letter as soon as possible after the incident.
1. Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the offense.
- On behalf of Doe University, I apologize for the animal carcass that some of our students left in your driveway last night.
- John, I am sorry that the security guard did not recognize you and prevented your entrance when you came to the plant.
- I am very sorry that my daughter caused the death of your cat.
- I would like to apologize for the graffiti my son spray-painted on your garage door. John will offer his own apology in person.
- I apologize that my Cub Scout pack damaged the Indian display in your museum.
- apologize for his behavior
- apologize on behalf of
- believe an apology is in order for
- do not tolerate such behavior in our
- feel a shared responsibility to apologize
- feel there is no excuse for
- feel bad that
- offensive behavior saddened us
- on behalf of the university, I apologize for
- please accept my personal apology for
- rest assured that we do not
- since I am his supervisor, I feel
- sorry he gave you trouble
- sorry that my daughter caused
- want you to know that we are upset that
- would like to add my apology
- would like to apologize for
2. Acknowledge the reader's frustration.
- I know this incident must have caused you great inconvenience, and you are thoroughly justified in being upset.
- I realize you work hard to maintain an extensive collection.
- Thank you for the way you handled the incident at the time. You showed remarkable restraint in quietly asking us to leave.
- I know that it is frustrating to know that you have a right to be somewhere, but security personnel, following the prescribed protocol, hinder your efforts. Again, I apologize.
- I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating. Thank you for your patience.
- I know how your family must feel. Our dog, Rusty, had to be put to sleep a few months ago. It was a grave loss for the entire family. Our kids loved your cat, Missy, and she was a friendly, familiar feature in the neighborhood.
- I can imagine how upset you must have been, so I am grateful for the self-restraint you showed after the incident.
- after all you had done to
- are thoroughly justified in being upset
- can imagine how upset you must have been
- deeply sorry to have caused you
- don't blame you for feeling
- grateful for the self-restraint you showed
- have admirable self-restraint
- it is frustrating to know that
- know how your family must feel
- must have been extremely frustrating to
- must be extremely disappointed in
- must be very angry with
- realize you work hard to
- realize that this incident caused
- showed remarkable restraint
- spent a lot of time
- sure this caused you great inconvenience
- thoroughly justified in being very upset
- understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating
- understand your displeasure with
- very kind in the face of
- were very kind in spite of
- work hard to maintain a first rate
- would try anyone's patience
- wouldn't blame you for
3. Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement, and offer some form of compensation or restitution, if appropriate.
- I realize this small gesture can in no way replace your loss, but please accept these flowers as a token of our regret and the high esteem in which we hold you and your family.
- The board has placed the fraternity responsible for this prank on probation. In order to make amends, they must first pay the bill. If they do not contact you in a few days, please let me know at 555-5555.
- I have told John that he will have to repaint your garage door himself, and we will deduct the costs for paint and supplies from his allowance. This will be a good learning experience for him. Let me assure you that John's vandalism did not come from any ill will toward you or your family.
- I have taken up this matter with John, and he has assured me that he will not repeat his behavior.
- At last night's pack meeting we discussed what happened, and the boys were all very sorry for what they had done. I know that some of the artifacts are unique and irreplaceable, and that keeping up a museum is costly. Please accept our $50 donation of toward the upkeep of the museum. The boys agreed that we should forego our fishing trip next month and contribute the dues.
- In your letter you mentioned that you are a fan of university athletics. Please accept these free tickets to Doe University's home football game next Saturday as compensation for your inconvenience.
- Let's reschedule for next Wednesday. This time I will pick you up myself, and we will come to the plant together.
- although it will not be exactly the same
- as compensation for
- assist in the rebuilding of
- compensate you for the loss of
- feel that I must
- has taken up this matter with
- has put that amount in this envelope
- has agreed to pay the bill
- has contacted his insurance company to
- hope to continue our good relationship
- pay the bill you received from the
- please accept a donation
- please accept this gift
- taken up the matter with
- want to make restitution
- wants to pay for the damages
- wants to make everything right
- will be a worthwhile lesson
- will get an estimate of the cost
- will repair it myself
- will not feel good about it until I have
- will personally take care of
- will speak to you next week to determine
- will work every Saturday morning until
- willing to do whatever is necessary to
- wish to make amends
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