Please accept my apology / apologies.

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Tan Elaine

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Please accept my apology.

Please accept my apologies.

Which is the correct sentence?

Thanks.
 

Nehushtan

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Both are correct.
 

Tan Elaine

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Thanks, Nehustan.

Is there a difference in meaning between the two sentences?
 

emsr2d2

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

No discernible difference, no. You don't have to make more than one apology in order to use "apologies".
 

BobK

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

:up: But if you do use the singular there can be the implication that you're referring to a particular sorry-saying event: 'I told him I was sorry and assured him that it won't happen again. He seemed to accept my apology at the time - but we'll see.'

This sort of 'dummy plural' (not an official term, as far as I know ;-)) tends to happen with social exchanges of various kinds. At the end of a party you 'say your goodbyes'. You might think that a plural makes sense there, because you say goodbye separately to a number of people. But children at b8rthday parties are often told to 'say their thank-yous' - referring to only one thank-you, to the host/hostess. When you 'make your excuses and leave', there's usually only one excuse: 'Well, early morning for me. I can't go on to the club.'

So I think, in most cases that involve apologies, I'd use the plural unless I wanted to be specific about its one-ness.

b
 

Tan Elaine

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Thanks, Emsr and Bob.

What about "My apology" and "My apologies"?

I wonder if the first implies a particular sorry-saying event. Or is the second used regardless of the number of apologies?
 

Islands

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

In most cases I would use 'Please accept my apology'

Examples:
1. Please accept my apology for arriving late today.
2. Please accept my apology for arriving late, disrupting the class & forgetting to bring my homework.

I may use 'Please accept my apologies' if I am referring to several apologies that I have made in the past.
Example:
I have apologized to each of the students that I had upset. Teacher, please accept my apologies.
 

Tan Elaine

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Thanks, Islands. But you have not replied to the post above yours, which I have reproduced below.


What about "My apology" and "My apologies"?

I wonder if the first implies a particular sorry-saying event. Or is the second used regardless of the number of apologies?
 

Islands

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

I apologized to the teacher & to each of her students.
My apology was not accepted by the teacher however, my apologies were accepted by her students.
 
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BobK

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Thanks, Islands. But you have not replied to the post above yours, which I have reproduced below.


What about "My apology" and "My apologies"?

I wonder if the first implies a particular sorry-saying event. Or is the sedocond used regardless of the number of apologies?

b

PS I used this 'pseudo-plural' here (just an example - nothing new).
 
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Tdol

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

In this phrase, it's not the number of acts. I'd use the plural for a single act to sound more sincere.
 

emsr2d2

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

I apologized (AmE spelling) to the teacher and to each of her students.
My apology was not accepted by the teacher. However, my apologies were accepted by her students.

I don't often correct posts by native speakers but I'm afraid I had to correct this one. The usage of "... teacher, however..." was not grammatical. I would also like to point out that I would not have used that combination of "apology" and "apologies" when referring to the same event. I would have said "I apologised to the teacher and to each of her students. My apology was not accepted by the teacher but it was accepted by the students".

I was also interested to see that a UK-born British English speaker currently based in Australia used the American spelling (apologized) instead of the BrE "apologised".

Islands - please don't use ampersands on the site. It's important that the learners use full words unless, as in some company names, an ampersand is required.
 

Islands

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Thank you emsr2d2 for your corrections. I accept that my example wasn't the best. I just wanted to show that 'apologies' can be used in the plural form to mean more than one apology. Perhaps this would have been better: Many of the apologies that we received were from teachers not students. Thinking of them as written apologies may be helpful.
 

Tan Elaine

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

I don't often correct posts by native speakers but I'm afraid I had to correct this one. The usage of "... teacher, however..." was not grammatical. I would also like to point out that I would not have used that combination of "apology" and "apologies" when referring to the same event. I would have said "I apologised to the teacher and to each of her students. My apology was not accepted by the teacher but it was accepted by the students".

I was also interested to see that a UK-born British English speaker currently based in Australia used the American spelling (apologized) instead of the BrE "apologised".

Islands - please don't use ampersands on the site. It's important that the learners use full words unless, as in some company names, an ampersand is required.

"Apologize" can be found in several British English dictionaries. I believe both spellings are now correct in British English.
 
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Islands

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

(I am not a teacher)

Why might an English/Australian (me) spell apologize with a ‘z’ and not an ‘s’?



I must admit that seeing the word ‘apologize’ (with a ‘z’) used to jar with me. However, it has become familiar over the years and I have come to accept it and sometimes use it too.
The word that I grew up with ‘apologise’ (with an ‘s’) still sits more comfortably with my eyes. (but not with a red squiggly line under it) If I knew how to configure my computer’s spell checking software so that it doesn’t default to American grammar, I would no doubt use ‘apologize’ less.
 
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Tdol

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

Why might an English/Australian (me) spell apologize with a ‘z’ and not an ‘s’?



I must admit that seeing the word ‘apologize’ (with a ‘z’) used to jar with me. However, it has become familiar over the years and I have come to accept it and sometimes use it too.

That's the key point for me- I have seen British English speakers use both forms in the same text, the same paragraph even. Also, many of these changes occur- movie was definitely an American word when I was a child, but I happily use it now.
 

emsr2d2

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

I don't find using different words for things an issue. I too use "movie" sometimes, although I use "film" far more often. As we found in another thread recently, many of us use "to quit" instead of "to give up" quite frequently.

However, for my own part, the sight of an AmE spelling still jumps off the page at me and I can say with almost complete certainty that, unless I'm directly quoting, I have never used the -ize ending and I have no plans to. I still tell students that "-ise" is BrE (and other regional variants) and "-ize" is AmE.
 

BobK

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

"Apologize" can be found in several British English dictionaries. I believe both spellings are now correct in British English.
Yes. I use it, and mildly (but only mildly ;-)) resent being told I'm flirting with Americanism when I do.

I've blogged about this Big-Endian vs Little-Endian dispute* elsewhere.

b

* This is a reference to a dispute described in Gulliver's Travels:

The novel further describes a ... quarrel over the practice of breaking eggs. Traditionally, Lilliputians broke boiled eggs on the larger end; a few generations ago, an Emperor of Lilliput, the Present Emperor's great-grandfather, had decreed that all eggs be broken on the smaller end after he cut himself breaking the egg on the larger end. The differences between Big-Endians (those who broke their eggs at the larger end) and Little-Endians had given rise to "six rebellions... wherein one Emperor lost his life, and another his crown". The Lilliputian religion says an egg should be broken on the convenient end, which is now interpreted by the Lilliputians as the smaller end. The Big-Endians gained favor in Blefuscu.

See more here.

b
 

Nehushtan

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Re: “Please accept my apology / apologies”

The use of the spelling -ize rather than -ise in British English is Oxford spelling. See the Wikipedia article on it.
 
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