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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default sorry to keep/ to have kept you waiting

    Sorry to keep you waiting.
    I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

    Do these sentences have exactly the same meaning and are both used when we come back after keeping someone waiting for a long time? Do you native English speakers say "Sorry to keep you waiting" when you're leaving someone waiting?

    I was hoping native English teachers could help me with this question.
    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sorry to keep/ to have kept you waiting

    While I'm busy, and he's still waiting, I'd say,
    "Sorry to keep you waiting."

    When I'm ready to turn my attention to him, I'd say,
    "I'm sorry I kept you waiting."

    "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting" is perfectly good English, but it's very formal, and I'd not be comfortable saying that.
    In general, I think Canadians and especially Americans are more inclined to use casual, informal, colloquial expressions than British speakers of English.

    I hope this is clear, and I hope I didn't keep you waiting.
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Sorry to keep you waiting.
    I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.

    Do these sentences have exactly the same meaning and are both used when we come back after keeping someone waiting for a long time? Do you native English speakers say "Sorry to keep you waiting" when you're leaving someone waiting?

    I was hoping native English teachers could help me with this question.
    Thank you very much.

  3. #3
    jctgf is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: sorry to keep/ to have kept you waiting

    hi,

    may I say "sorry to make you wait" ?

    I have found many entries with this expression on Google.

    thanks,
    jc

  4. #4
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    Default Re: sorry to keep/ to have kept you waiting

    "Sorry to make you wait" sounds okay to me, though I myself would say "Sorry to keep you waiting."

    This, like so many questions of language is a matter of personal style, impossible to reduce to a set of rules.

    The most literal meaning of "make" is to use force, authority, or compulsion. This is why it wouldn't be my first choice in sentences like the one we're discussing. But it can be used quite casually, as in "make you wait."

    I do hope to make you think!
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    may I say "sorry to make you wait" ?

    I have found many entries with this expression on Google.

    thanks,
    jc

  5. #5
    Harry Smith's Avatar
    Harry Smith is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: sorry to keep/ to have kept you waiting

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    may I say "sorry to make you wait" ?

    I have found many entries with this expression on Google.

    thanks,
    jc
    Though 'sorry to make you wait' is used nowadays it's grammatically incorrect. I'd vote for 'sorry to keep you waiting'.

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