I still want to use the sentence "I'm really sorry" but replace "really" with a bigger word, what can I use?


  • I am unforgivably sorry. or I am inconsolably sorry. I am the epitome of sorry. – Jim Feb 28 '14 at 5:35
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    I like this one : "I am terribly sorry." – user3214 Feb 28 '14 at 7:20
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    I prefer GATA's suggestion to Jim's, which seem so over-the-top I'd wonder if the speaker was serious. GATA's, on the other hand, sounds sincere to me. – user230 Feb 28 '14 at 7:36
  • I like GATA's, too. It sounds genuinely sincere. My personal choice is perhaps this one: "I'm deeply sorry." (Note that I'd use it in a rather specific context.) – Damkerng T. Feb 28 '14 at 12:22
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    I purposely went "over-the-top" because I don't think anyone who is looking for a "bigger" word is really that serious- Saying, "I am really sorry" with the appropriate pacing, emphasis and emotion, in my opinion, is the best way to be truly sincere. ( I do agree that deeply in the right circumstances is also quite sincere). – Jim Feb 28 '14 at 21:49

This gives me an opportunity to define sorry and apology. Also, I'm mentioning this here to make you rethink whether you made some mistake or others? Depending on that, the sentences can be made better and effective.

There is something interesting I read in one of the grammar books. The word "sorry" may be used to express that something really went wrong and you feel sorry. Note that I'm sorry does not always mean that the consequences are only because of you!

"Your kid broke my glass while playing baseball."
"Oh, I'm so sorry for that."

In your case, if you are responsible for the consequences, prefer apology. Because you generally don't apologize for someone else's mistake whereas you can certainly be sorry for that as I said in my example.

My sincere/heartfelt apology. I'll take care that this mustn't happen next time.

However, I don't deny using sorry for the mistake you made. In such case, go with Jim's versions of intensified sorries!

  • @snailplane It's my kid, so I'd prefer I'm sorry. If broken glass is merely the news that some other kid did, I'd use I'm sorry to hear that My apology I have heard zillions of times. The last one is yes, your way sounds more natural but then I said it with more assurance! – Maulik V Feb 28 '14 at 7:39
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    As a note on "not apologize for someone else's mistake", the phrase "I'd like to apologize on the behalf of ..." or "I'd like to apologize on X's behalf ..." is quite common. – Damkerng T. Feb 28 '14 at 12:29
  • Thanks for your detailed answer. I'm actually translating a letter from French to English and I thought I'd better not mess with the expression (the original text says "Je suis vraiment désolé", translated "I am [intensifier] sorry") – arax Feb 28 '14 at 17:17
  • @AlexSu- "truly" is probably the best literal translation for that and it works just as well in English as in French – Jim Feb 28 '14 at 21:51
  • @DamkerngT. In English, everything is possible in one or the other way! I've learned a word 'generally' and 'usually' from this site that I generally include in my answer where other possibilities are possible! – Maulik V Mar 1 '14 at 5:10

In informal speech, intensification is sometimes accomplished with repetition:

I'm really, really sorry!

Another common version might be

I'm truly sorry!

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