Sorry about vs. sorry for

WRONG: I am really sorry for the situation in Syria.
RIGHT:  I am really sorry about the situation in Syria.

This week’s Czenglish error is connected with the word ‘sorry’, and how collocating it with different prepositions gives different meanings.

If you say, sorry ‘for’ something, it means that you are apologising for something that you did wrong. For example, „I’m sorry for coming late to the lesson,“ or „I’m sorry for being rude yesterday.“ You did something and you are sorry for it.

Sorry ‘about’ means that you are upset or affected by a particular situation. You have done nothing wrong but you are sad about the result. For example, you might say, „I am sorry about the terrible situation in Syria“, or „I am sorry about what happened with your boyfriend.“