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Let's say you have brought a friend over to your grandma's birthday. But he's behaving very rudely.

Can you say "I am sorry for him" to mean "I am sorry for his misbehaving"?

  • The common phrase is "I appologize for his behavior" – SovereignSun Jun 30 '17 at 16:03
  • "My friend is being very rude, Grandma. I apologize for bringing him to your house, especially on your birthday." (Apologizing for your behavior, instead of someone else's.) – Adam Jun 30 '17 at 17:39
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"I am sorry for him" is typically understood as an expression of sympathy for him, and not what you are trying to say. But depending on context, it might be understood.

However "I am sorry for his behavior" would be the more "natural" way to say it in my opinion.

"I am sorry for him misbehaving", "I am sorry he misbehaved" or "I am sorry he's misbehaving"

would all work, depending on tense.

Edit:

Luke's comment is also correct

"I'm sorry on his behalf." But as @SovereignSun said above, you can always avoid ambiguity by saying "I apologize for __"

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    Also, "I'm sorry on his behalf." But as @SovereignSun said above, you can always avoid ambiguity by saying "I apologize for __." – Luke Sawczak Jun 30 '17 at 17:08
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You could also say I'm sorry about him, to be understood as I am sorry about bringing him. But to say you're sorry for him means he has your pity.

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