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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 55

    when apologising becomes pitying

    Hi everyone,

    I still seem to mix up 'being sorry for/about' and 'feeling sorry for' a lot.
    Sometimes, when people use it in a apologetical way, I've seen them use sentences like:

    "I'm sorry about the party"
    "I'm sorry for ruining your party" (why does the 'about' turn into 'for' here? is it because of the verb? Is it also okay to say "I'm sorry about ruining your party"?)

    I know from experience that 'feeling sorry for' means that you pity the person who you feel sorry for, but if I change that into 'feeling sorry about', does the expression become apologetic again?

    For example:

    "I feel sorry for Jane" (here I pity Jane)
    "I feel sorry about what happened" (is this good English? Does this senctence have an apologetic or pitying meaning or does this mean nothing at all?)
    "I feel sorry for what happened" (and what about this one?)

    Please help me out on this one

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 2,944

    Re: when apologising becomes pitying

    1. Try to substitute the word "apologize" for "sorry" to help clear things up. I apologize about the party.

    2. I am sorry your father died. could mean:
    I am sad to hear that your father died
    I feel sorry for you that your father died.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
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      • Germany
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 1,032

    Re: when apologising becomes pitying

    To say "I am sorry about the party." can have two different meanings.

    1-The person speaking may have heard about the problems that arose during a party, and is feeling bad about it, or consoling the party giver.

    2-The person speaking caused the problems at the party and is now apologizing.

    I am not a teacher.


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