55+ Cute, Funny & Different Ways to Say Sorry & Apologize
There are various ways to say sorry and apologize. It all depends on who you're apologizing to and what kind of apology you want to give—funny, cute, creative or formal.
Adding a personal touch to your apology can have a big impact on getting things back on track with friends, family, a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife.
I'm Sorry & I Apologize: What's the Difference?
Although people often use these phrases interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two.
"I'm sorry" expresses regret or remorse, indicating that you feel bad about what happened. It's appropriate for small mistakes (e.g. "I'm sorry I stepped on your foot") or for close relationships (e.g. "I'm so sorry I hurt you").
On the other hand, "I apologize" is a statement of admission where you're admitting fault, without necessarily expressing that you're sorry about it.
In simpler terms, 'sorry' statements convey emotions, while apologizing without saying sorry simply state facts.
So, since you can be sorry and not apologize, and apologize without being sorry we recommend you use both in your apology, most of the time.
Cute Ways to Say Sorry
This list of cute ways to say sorry includes mushy apologies, endearing mea culpas and sweet ideas for saying sorry...
★ You'll need a balloon and strip of paper for this cute idea. Write I'm sorry on the strip of paper and insert it in the balloon. Blow up the balloon and handed it to the person you hurt or offended while saying "I blew it, I'm sorry and I apologize."
★ This cute breakfast apology idea is a great way to start a new day on a new foot. Create an I Love You (I ♥ U) Breakfast by using a sausage for the 'I', a heart shaped egg (use a heart shaped cookie cutter) and cut a 'U' out of an English muffin or piece of toast. Serve it to them in bed or at the breakfast table along with a note that says, "I'm sorry."
★ If you've got a cat or dog, write your apology and I'm sorry note on a small piece of paper and attach it to your pet's collar with a flurry of ribbons. Then let them wander around until they find the person you offended who will surely inspect the new addition to the pet's collar.
★ Nothing says I was wrong like eating a Humble Pie. Buy or bake a humble pie and offer it as a peace offering to the person you hurt. Tell them that although you should be the only one eating it, you can't help but share. Discuss how to move forward while enjoying a slice together. Note: Humble pie is from Medieval times and was originally made with deer innards. If you're into that then go for it. If you're not, you can use any type of pie. Just add a label or place a flag on it that clearly states that you're presenting a Humble Pie.
★ If the person you hurt reads before bed then this bookmark apology is perfect for you. Get a bookmark or make one out of cardboard. Decorate it with stickers, paint or markers and write "I never want you to go to bed angry with me. I'm sorry and I love you."
★ Make your own 'I'm Sorry' wrapping paper. Use a large sheet of white paper or light-colored wrapping paper and write I'm Sorry all over it. Use your custom wrapping paper for a small gift such as a cupcake, chocolate bar or anything else that makes sense for the recipient.
★ Get a box of Band-Aids and attach a note that says "I hurt you. I'm so sorry. Please let me make it better."
★ Paint your face blue. You can buy blue face paint or make your own (Google it) then find the person you hurt and tell them... "How blue you are without them. How sorry you are and how much you want to make things right again."
★ Get a pad of sticky notes and write 'I'm Sorry', 'I apologize' and 'I Love You' Messages. Stick them all over the place, in cupboards, in drawers, on the back of the remote control. Put one on their car window or steering wheel. They'll be finding them for days.
★ Nothing says I'm sorry like a single long stem red rose. Attach a decorative label to it, extend your hand with the single rose towards your sweetie and let them know how sorry you are and how much you love them.
★ Get a bag of Hershey's Kisses and tell them "I know these kisses won't make up for what I did but I promise to do better. I'm sorry, can we please kiss and make up?"
★ If you know the person will call at some point, change your outgoing voice-mail message to: "I'm unavailable right now, I'm busy apologizing to someone. If this is you—I'm sorry.”
★ Wrap a bag of their favorite nuts; Attach a note, or verbally say: "I messed up I know. I'm really sorry, but I'm nuts about you!"
Funny Ways to Say Sorry
Humor can help get your relationship back on track. Our list of funny ways to apologize should help to break the ice when tensions are running high. You may even see a hint of a smile when the offended person realizes what's going on.
★ This one is for the guys out there... Buy a small cactus and wrap it with a bow. Offer it as a gift to the offended party with a handwritten note attached saying "I've been a prick. I'm sorry and I apologize." If you're handing the gift over in person, read the note aloud.
★ For the girls out there... Make or buy crab cakes for a shared meal or buy a small toy crab to offer as a gift. Attach a handwritten note saying "I've been so crabby lately. I'm sorry."
★ Buy a lollipop to hand over as a peace offering. Attach a note or say aloud "I suck. I'm sorry. Please forgive me."
★ This type of funny statement can go one of two ways. "If you thought my first apology was insincere, just wait until you hear this one." Obviously, an initial apology would have had to have been offered prior. The offended party will either soften from the humor or become even more irate, so tread carefully and know your audience.
★ Head to the bathroom and unroll a foot or so of toilet paper. Write a note a few squares down that says "You don't deserve the crap I put you through. I'm so sorry." You can also add a few more notes further on that reads "I apologize" or "I love you." Once all your messages are written, roll up the toilet paper once again and wait for nature's call.
★ Buy a bag of nuts, tie a ribbon around it and offer it as a gift saying "I know I drive you nuts. I'm sorry and I'll try to do better. I love you."
★ Get a bag of gummy bears, tie a bow around the bag to turn it into a gift then let them know how "Beary beary sorry you are and how much they mean to you."
★ Write your own love apology poem especially if you're a lousy writer. The lousier the poem the funnier it will be. Just make sure that you include the words I love you and I'm sorry. Recite it or give it to them to read so that they can fully appreciate the bard that you've become.
Creative Ways to Say Sorry
Look no further than the Arts and other creative outlets to find creative ways to say sorry. A little effort and imagination always makes an apology special.
Using Poems and Poetry In Your Apology
A poem has long been considered one of the most thoughtful, symbolic, and romantic ways to communicate one's feelings. They capture the essence of a person's thoughts and often invoke an emotional or sensual response.
When thinking about ways to say sorry however, a poem or some poetry by itself is almost NEVER a sufficient alternative to a good and meaningful apology.
As we always say, the perfect apology can only be tailored to your particular situation, so poetry alone is not likely to do the trick. Use poetry to let the person know how important your relationship is; but, frame the poem with a well-crafted verbal or written apology in your own words and appropriate to the circumstance.
For example, if you'd like to include poetry when apologizing to your sister, then add a poem that really highlights the important bond that siblings share.
And when apologizing to your boyfriend or girlfriend include a romantic, touching and heartfelt love poem that speaks to something special or unique about your relationship. For extra meaning and maybe a smile, add any personal details or inside jokes that you share with the other person.
Finding the right poem is NOT always easy, so take the time to read through a few and find the right one for you!
Here are some examples of poems that are appropriate for saying sorry and how to use them as part of your apology.
Saying Sorry with Quotes
Using quotations can also help to illustrate a point and enrich your apology. But just like poems, quotes should be used to support your apology and NEVER be the apology itself.
For example, in a situation where you remained quiet when a friend needed support, the following sentiment may help:
When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that in itself is a choice. William James
The quote above acknowledges the error and takes ownership of the mistaken choices made—two key ingredients of a perfect apology. Additionally, your apology will likely be better received and more effective because you chose a quote that expressed the injured party's point of view. After all,...
A stiff apology is a second insult.... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt. Gilbert Keith Chesterton
On our quotes page we provide a few good examples of quotes for saying sorry and what types of situations they're best suited for. We also have other pages on quotes that surround apologies and saying sorry.
1 | Apology quotes by famous people.
2 | Forgiveness Quotes, after all that's what we're all looking for...
3 | Quotes on Regret, a common emotion when we've hurt someone.
Saying Sorry with Music and Song Lyrics
Quoting song lyrics in a letter can also enhance an apology, for many of the same reasons as mentioned above. The added advantage of using song lyrics is that you can include the song on a custom-made CD (or, even better, an iPod) as a gift to go along with the apology.
For one, the band Chicago's song "Hard to say I'm sorry" has some beautiful lyrics about promising to make things right again.
After all that we've been through, I will make it up to you. I promise to.
Apology E-cards and Greeting Cards
Sending e-cards is another alternative when considering ways to say sorry. They offer a quick way to extend an apology for minor infractions and can contain long heartfelt messages or be a simple 'sorry' image or meme like the one below.
For more serious infractions, e-cards can be used as a vehicle for extending an invitation to a meeting where you can then deliver a verbal apology.
When choosing an e-card or greeting card, think about an appropriate (and relevant) image or sentiment related somehow to you, the injured party, or your situation. It will show that you took time and gave thought to the choice that you made.
Greeting cards are also useful for adding a special touch to an apology. Because we associate receiving one with a special occasion or memorable event, they add a level of importance and suggest that your apology is heartfelt.
Now let's take a look at different ways of saying sorry & apologizing.
Different Ways of Apologizing & Saying Sorry
Our list of the most common phrases for saying sorry.
- I apologize.
- I beg your pardon.
- I hope you can forgive me.
- I owe you an apology. I'm sorry.
- I sincerely apologize.
- I take responsibility, I'm sorry.
- I want to tell you how sorry I am.
- I was wrong. I'm sorry and I apologize.
- I was wrong. Can you forgive me?
- I'd like to say sorry for how I reacted the other day.
- I'm so sorry. I should have known better.
- I’m sorry.
- Mea Culpa (Latin but used in English)
- My apologies.
- My bad.
- My fault, bro. (American expression)
- My mistake.
- Oops! I'm Sorry!
- Pardon me. (for light infractions with strangers)
- Pardon me, that was rude / wrong of me.
- Please accept our (sincerest) apologies.
- Please don’t be mad, I'm really sorry.
- Please excuse my lack of understanding / knowledge / courtesy.
- Please excuse my poor behavior.
- I'm sorry. I did you wrong. Let me make it right.
- Sorry about that.
- Sorry. It was all my fault.
And, finally you never know when you need to say sorry to someone who speaks a different language than you do.
Ways to Say Sorry in 41 Different Languages
Sometimes we want to know how to say sorry in another language to show the recipient, whose native language may be different from ours, that we are serious about our apology.
With that in mind, here's our list on how to say sorry or 'I apologize' in different languages.
- Arabic — 'ana 'aetadhir
- Chinese — Wǒ dàoqiàn | 我道歉
- Czech — omlouvám se
- Danish — jeg undskylder
- Dutch — ik verontschuldig mij
- Filipino — humihingi ako ng pasensya
- Finnish — Pahoittelen
- French — Je m'excuse
- German — Ich entschuldige mich
- Greek — ZITO syngnomi | ΖΗΤΩ συγγνωμη
- Hawaiian — e kala mai iaʻu
- Hebrew — אני מתנצל
- Hindi — main kshamaapraarthee hoon | मैं क्षमाप्रार्थी हूं
- Hungarian — bocsánatot kérek
- Icelandic — ég biðst afsökunar
- Indonesian — saya minta maaf
- Irish — tá brón orm
- Italian — chiedo scusa
- Japanese — Shazai shimasu | 謝罪します
- Korean — naneun sagwahanda | 나는 사과한다
- Latin — ego veniam
- Latvian — ES atvainojos
- Lithuanian — aš atsiprašau
- Luxembourgish — ech entschëllege mech
- Malay — saya minta maaf
- Nepali — Ma māphī cāhanchu
- Norwegian — jeg beklager
- Polish — przepraszam
- Persian — معذرت می خواهم
- Portuguese — Peço desculpas
- Romanian — imi cer scuze
- Russian — prinoshu izvineniya | приношу извинения
- Samoan — ou te faamalie atu
- Spanish — Lo siento, Me disculpo
- Swahili — naomba radhi
- Swedish — Jag ber om ursäkt
- Turkish — Özür dilerim
- Ukrainian — Vybachte”
- Vietnamese — tôi xin lỗi
- Welsh — ymddiheuraf
- Zulu — Ngiyaxolisa
Key Takeaway on Saying Sorry
There are so many great ways to say sorry. Finding the right one for your situation only requires a little thought and planning. But adding that little 'extra something' to your apologies will pay off big time!
Finally, in most cases, the most important aspect of the apology process is to do it as soon as possible. The more time you let the conflict remain unresolved, the more difficult it can be to restore your relationship.
Take a breath and then take that step. After all—you messed up. Now do something about it.
Need more? Learn about romantic apologies and the best ways to say sorry in intimate relationships.