I am sorry _________________

A. for keeping you waiting

B. to keep you waiting

C. for keep you waiting

The given answer is B. (to keep you waiting)

Does infinitive is required after sorry? Why is A or C not correct?

  • As an aside, your question should be "Is it required", not "does it is required", because we don't use do with "is" questions in English.
    – stangdon
    Aug 3, 2021 at 11:29

1 Answer 1


C is definitely wrong: with a few exceptions prepositions cannot be followed by a bare infinitive. They either require to infinitives or gerunds. Which leaves us with A and B.

Sorry is an adjective that is more often used not before a noun. It can be followed by a to infinitive or by a gerund but with different meanings:

[not before noun] feeling sad and sympathetic

  • sorry (to see, hear, etc.)
    We're sorry to hear that your father's in the hospital again.

[not before noun] feeling sad and ashamed about something that has been done

  • sorry (for something/doing something)
    He says he's really sorry for taking the car without asking. (Oxford)

Your sentence is an instance of the first meaning, not the second (the second enhances that the action you are saying 'sorry' for is past). You would say

Sorry to keep you waiting

when you are late for an appointment, to people who have been waiting for you until the moment of speech. If the waiting was done in the past, you could probably say:

Sorry for keeping you waiting last week in the park, I just couldn't make it.

This use is more rare and would need more context. So yes, without any other context, your sentence B is correct.

  • I agree with this analysis but with one exception. Rather than just being for a context in the past “sorry for keeping you waiting” is also used for ongoing contexts. eg: shop assistant is still dealing with customer A but looks over to customer B and says, “Sorry for keeping you waiting. I won’t be long.” Aug 3, 2021 at 17:00

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