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Edustation's blog > Sorry or Excuse me?

Sorry or Excuse me?

Added by Tomasz H. 26 June 2014 in category: English, General tips, Lexicon

What is the basic difference between sorry and excuse me? It's really easy! Remember a golden rule:

Always use excuse me before you are going to interrupt or disturb someone by any means and say sorry when you have caused a damage or trouble to someone.

We use sorry to apologize after we have done something wrong (remember, sorry is a expression for sadness as well as regret). If you think a future action may upset someone else, you can say excuse me.


Sorry. When to use?

You just brushed someone at a crowded place.

You just poured a whole beer  on someone.

You have caused some serious trouble to someone.

You are feeling bad for somebody because something evil has happened to them.

Regret about a thing but unfortunately you can't change it.

You have committed something wrong, you are admitting it and promising someone to never repeat it.


Excuse me. When to use?

You are having a query to a person who is talking over the phone.

Trying to pass passengers who are blocking the aisle in a bus, train or plane.

You are having a dinner with other people. When you are finished with it and want to leave.

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