If someone apologises for being late, is it pragmatically correct to respond as follow?

Student: Good morning Mr. Anderson, I’m sorry I’m late!

Teacher: Yes, I can see! So why are you late?

I mean, isn’t it infelicities in English to use “ Yes, I can see!” to mean that the situation is obvious?

  • Is this an actual conversation? Is is from a tv show. What do you mean by "infelicities" do you mean "inappropriate"?
    – James K
    Apr 1 at 7:23
  • It was made by a non native speaker, therefore, I want to clarify it. Infelicities means it does not meet pragmatics Apr 1 at 7:25
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    If someone apologises for being late, is it pragmatically correct to respond as follow? This sentence is rather at odds with itself do you mean is it pragmatic? or do you mean is it correct?
    – Brad
    Apr 1 at 7:27
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    The correct spelling is "infelicitous".
    – rjpond
    Apr 1 at 7:33
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    If the student just says "I'm late" then I can understand the teacher saying "I can see that", but if the student says "I'm sorry [that] I'm late" then it seems very odd indeed for the teacher to say "I can see that" - unless it's two separate sentences: "I'm sorry. I'm late."
    – rjpond
    Apr 1 at 7:47

The teacher is being sarcastic.

The teacher is mocking the student slightly because the student comes into class and says "I'm late" but doesn't explain why.

It seems an unlikely exchange. Normally teachers just tell the late student to sit down to avoid disruption, and all good teachers avoid mocking students in front of the class. But it is not "wrong". Perhaps the student's tone of voice suggests that the student doesn't understand what is the problem with being late.

Or it may be a simple misspeaking of "Yes, I see."


The answer is

sarcasm noun [ U ] UK /ˈsɑː.kæz.əm/ US /ˈsɑːr.kæz.əm/

the use of remarks that clearly mean the opposite of what they say, made in order to hurt someone's feelings or to criticize something in a humorous way: Ref CED

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