Sorry about trying to get there on time, he said sarcastically.

Sorry for trying to get there on time, he said sarcastically.

Is using about in constructions where you're offering more details than just saying "Sorry about that" wrong? Basically, is the first sentence grammatically wrong? If I said "Sorry about walking into your room like that," would that be grammatically wrong? Lastly, do both the provided sentences mean the same thing?

  • It's not grammatically wrong, but doesn't make sense; surely he would be sorry about not getting there on time despite having tried to? Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


When you are sorry for something, you are accepting responsibility.

I'm sorry for hurting your feelings.

When you are sorry about something, you are simply expressing sympathy.

I'm sorry about your father's death.

If you said "I'm sorry for your father's death" it would sound like you'd killed him! Having said that, there may be a few idiomatic exceptions. For example, people do say "I'm sorry for your loss" in connection with bereavement.

  • I think you can be sorry about an error or faux pas you have made. Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 14:02

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