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  1. #1
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default entering a wrong room

    What would you say if you knocked on the door and entered a wrong room?
    "Excuse me, . . ."

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    'Oops. Very sorry. Wrong room'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    "I'm sorry. Wrong room".

    We wouldn't start by saying "Excuse me" in this case. You use "Excuse me" if you need to pass someone in a crowded train or if someone is blocking the aisle in the supermarket. If you need to start a brief conversation, for example, if you wanted to ask for directions, you would start by saying "Excuse me, could you tell me ...."

    But if you accidentally bump into someone, or for the situation such as entering the wrong room by mistake where you just need a brief word of apology, then the expression is "I'm sorry", or "So sorry".

  4. #4
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    "Excuse me" seems perfectly logical. I would absolutely say it if I opened the wrong door or bumped into someone.


    The phrase is also used as an apology; it's not just a request for passage.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    This appears to be a British/American difference. My answer would be the same as those of Rover and Vivienne.

    Welcome to the forum, Vivienne.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 19-Nov-2012 at 09:00.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    That's good to know. Another regional difference.

    If you stepped on my foot or accidentally jostled me in a crowded space, you could said either "Oh, I'm sorry!" or "Oh, excuse me!" or "Oh, pardon me!" equally.

    In fact, "excuse me!" might come first and if I see that you've spilled your coffee or dropped someting or suffered more than just incidental contact, it would be followed by "I'm so sorry!"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    My generation of speakers of BrE tend to say 'Excuse me' before we disturb somebody, and '(I'm) sorry' after we have disturbed them. I use 'Pardon me' on those rare occasions when I emit a noise that I did not intend to.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    I was also shocked to find out that your generation of BrE speakers don't acknowledge "thank you" with much either.

    Differences everywhere!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    Side question:
    If you didn't hear what someone said, do you use "excuse me?" for that?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  10. #10
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: entering a wrong room

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I was also shocked to find out that your generation of BrE speakers don't acknowledge "thank you" with much either.
    When I was at school (at about the same time as Noah), A 'thank you' for something small required only a smile of acknowledgement in response. 'You're welcome' was regarded as a barbarous Americanism.

    Most of us now acknowledge with a 'You're welcome', because it seems to be expected. In my case, I started using it because I got used to using the equivalent in many cultures in which I worked. I try to remember not to say 'goodbye' when I leave a lift (elevator) when I go back to England; it does cause looks of surprise when I say it.

    I now find the absence of a British equivalent of 'Bon appetit' strange when I begin a meal in England.

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