Apologize For Someone Else (Personal) — Letter-Writing Tutorial


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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