Difference between Sorry and Apology | Sorry vs Apology

Most of us must have said sorry or apologised for something that we did, but are these two words the same or, do they have different meanings? Since both these words represent regret, people use these terms interchangeably, but while doing so, they often end up using them in the wrong way. So how would one differentiate between sorry and apology and use them correctly in a sentence? This article will make sure that students understand the difference between ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’.

The English Language consists of words that often seem to confuse people, and most of the times, students get confused between such terms as they don’t know their exact meanings. This article will cover the following topics to make sure that students understand the difference between ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’.

Table Summarising the Difference between Sorry and Apology

Sorry Apology
Meaning The word sorry is used to express the personal feeling of regret or sympathy. The word apology is used in a more formal tone when something wrong is done. One might be or not be sorry while apologising.
Usage It is used as an adjective. It is used as a noun.
Example I am sorry for your loss. Please accept our sincerest apology.

This table shows that though ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’ are ways of expressing regret, they do not represent the same thing and therefore, can’t be used synonymously. Students often get confused between these words, but it’s essential that they understand the context they are using these in. Only then, they can use these terms correctly.

The Difference between Sorry and Apology – Meanings

You might have seen people saying ‘sorry’ or asking for an ‘apology’, and you might think that both are the same. But there’s a subtle difference between these two terms. The word ‘sorry’ is used to express remorse or sympathy. The word ‘sorry’ has a personal essence in it. Whereas the word ‘apology’ is used in a formal tone and used to represent the feeling of regret one has after doing something wrong. While being apologetic, one might or might not be sorry for what they did wrong, for example, ‘Sheldon faked an apology for his rude behaviour though he didn’t regret his actions for a moment.’ Another example is ‘Raj was sorry for not being able to attend his mother’s birthday.’ Once students understand this basic point of difference, it will be easier for them to use these words accurately.

Examples of Sorry and Apology

The following examples will help students to better understand the terms ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’:

Sorry – Monica was sorry for lying to her best friend and tried her best to patch things up.

Apology – Please accept my sincere apology as I couldn’t attend the party yesterday.

Students can easily form examples using these words on their own.

Sorry and Apology- Conclusion

To sum up, ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’ are used to express remorse/regret but are not synonymous and can’t be used interchangeably. While one is using these words, one has to understand the context or they will end up misusing them. This article talks about the essential points that help one understand how to use these two terms. BYJU’S offers various articles on many such ‘Difference Between’ two words that people often get confused with.


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