entering a wrong room

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

Rover_KE

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'Oops. Very sorry. Wrong room'.
 

VivienneM

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"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".
 

Barb_D

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"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.
 

5jj

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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. :hi:
 
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Barb_D

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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!"
 

5jj

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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.
 

Barb_D

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

Differences everywhere!
 

Barb_D

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Side question:
If you didn't hear what someone said, do you use "excuse me?" for that?
 

5jj

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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.
 

Barb_D

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You talk to people in the elevator?
In the US, you stare straight ahead, no eye contact, no verbal interaction, aside from "thank you" if they hold the door for you and "excuse me" if you're in the back and need to exit.
 

5jj

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You talk to people in the elevator?
In the Czech Republic we don't speak, but it is polite to say 'goodbye' when we leave. I seem to remember that in Germany I used to greet on entering as well as saying goodbye on leaving.

The situation in the UK is very similar to that in the USA, which is why my occasional 'goodbye' surprises people.
 

VivienneM

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Side question:
If you didn't hear what someone said, do you use "excuse me?" for that?

Not really. Again, it would be "I'm sorry?" or "Pardon?"

Going back to the bumping into someone scenario, both parties would tend to say "I'm sorry" in Britain -- one for doing the bumping, and the other for being in their way. :)
 

Rover_KE

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Barb_D

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Going back to the bumping into someone scenario, both parties would tend to say "I'm sorry" in Britain -- one for doing the bumping, and the other for being in their way. :)

There was an episode of a TV show where one the characters was from Canada and there was a bar frequented by Canadians. She took her American friend to the Canadian bar, and to show they were surrounded by Canadians, she basically body slammed one of them, who promptly turned around an apologized. It was a cute little scene.


Here you'll get anything from a growled "Well, watch it next time, will ya?!" to "No worries/It's okay/It's fine" to an apology as you describe.

(I'm sorry for failing to welcome you earlier. Welcome to UE.)
 
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