Czenglish

Apologise vs. excuse

15. 10. 2018

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: I must apologise myself from tonight’s event.
RIGHT: I must excuse myself from tonight’s event.

We are often unable to make events and meetings – so it’s important to know how to tell your friends/colleagues/boss that you won’t be there. Many students do this incorrectly. They say, “I must apologise myself”. But in English, you can’t apologise yourself. It doesn’t work. You apologise for something you’ve done. For example, you might say, “I must apologise for coming late to the meeting.”

To say that you are unable to attend something, you have to “excuse yourself”. So, for example, you might say, “I’m sorry, I must excuse myself from the company party.”

Here’s how the two phrases can work together correctly.

A: I’m sorry Mr Novak, I must excuse myself from tomorrow’s board meeting. I have a dentist appointment.
B: That’s not good, especially after this morning. You were late again, weren’t you?
A: Yes, I’m so sorry. I really want to apologise for that. My car wouldn’t start.

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