Consider both formal and informal (among friends ) situations. How to excuse if we slept more than we should have therefore we were late somewhere we were supposed to be. For example:

Situation 1: Someone could not show up for work on time what would they say to their boss?

Situation 2: Someone misses a concert (at least its beginning) what would they say to their friends?


A simple apology.
Here is a simple way of saying what happened.

I'm sorry. I overslept.

This explanation might avoid punishment once.

One interpretation: An apology is a promise.
Many people believe that a genuine apology includes:

  • acknowledging that you were wrong.
  • admitting to what you did wrong.
  • genuinely trying to understand how you harmed (or inconvenienced) others.
  • thinking about what you did, to find what you could have done differently.
  • consistently endeavoring in the future to avoid making that mistake, so that if a similar situation occurred in the future, you would not harm (or inconvenience) others.

"I'm sorry", with an acknowledgement of what you did wrong, can be interpreted as such a genuine apology. If you make the same mistake again (and inconvenience the same person(s) again in a similar way), people will doubt whether your apology was sincere.

Thus, "I'm sorry" raises the stakes -- it can change an issue from a matter of politeness or inconvenience to a matter of honor, honesty, and integrity.

Another interpretation: An apology is a polite noise.
Many other people think "I'm sorry" is just a polite noise people make to acknowledge inconveniencing someone. Unfortunately, you cannot know in advance whether the person you are talking to interprets apologies as "mere words", or as sincere promises to avoid making the same mistakes.

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  • Thank you for your answer.How about " to sleep in" ? Is it ok to say " I am sorry.I (have) slept in ". – Mrt Feb 10 '15 at 21:24
  • "I'm sorry. I slept in." is grammatically correct, but is not as apologetic as "I'm sorry. I overslept." The difference is that "overslept" implies that you slept more than you meant to (or at least, more than you should have.) Thus, "I overslept" is an acknowledgement and admission of what you did wrong. "I slept in" implies that you chose to sleep in, so it might be interpreted as "I didn't care whether I would be late." – Jasper Feb 10 '15 at 21:47
  • how about 'slept over'? can it be used instead of 'overslept'? – MycrofD Aug 17 '15 at 15:33
  • "slept over" does not mean the same thing as "overslept". The "over" in "overslept" refers to sleeping past a desirable time to wake up. The "over" in "slept over" refers to the location where one slept. In America, a "sleepover" or "slumber party" is a party (often involving small children or pre-teen girls and/or teenage girls) in which the children or girls all go to one of their homes, stay up late chatting and playing games, and sleep overnight at their hostess' home. – Jasper Aug 17 '15 at 16:16

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