I frequently get the emails from my UK/US client and find myself unavailable to respond right away. When I reply in next day I want to express my apologies for same in the email response. Could somebody provide me best phrase / English sentence for this.

  • I suspect that generally, no apology is needed for the situation you describe. A question about when you would send an apology would be on-topic at Workplace.SE.
    – WBT
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


A couple common sentences used in business emails for this situation are:

  • I apologize for any delay in my response.
  • I apologize for the delay in replying.

You can give a brief reason for your unavailability, but most often the reason is not given. In your business email it would come after the salutation line and immediately before the body of your message. For example:

Dear Mr. George,

I apologize for any delay in my response. Yesterday you asked about ...

English Language Learners

For additional business English phrases, some of my students have said that this site has been helpful to them.

  • Thanks Walter , i also want to give reason that - we have different office timing so i was not in office . How i can pass this message also
    – Joy
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 14:12
  • @Joy : You can add the reason as a clause after the apology. Typically the reason will be separated from the apology by a comma. The sentence would look like this: "I apologize for the delay in replying, my office was closed at the time of your e-mail."
    – Walter
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 12:11

In certain situations, the difference in timezones is unavoidable, so naturally, you will not be able to respond immediately. Responding the next day to an email sent the previous day is perfectly acceptable, and does not usually warrant an apology. If you still feel like you should apologize, you can use something like these:

Sorry for not replying sooner. I would like to clarify ...

Please excuse my late response, but I would like to clarify ...

Your perspective is unique because you are dealing with clients rather than colleagues. A constant apology for each email written the next day may begin to annoy your clients. To avoid this situation, I would only apologize if they mention the time issue, or if you are responding very late to an email (e.x. if it got buried in your inbox for a week).

More ways to respond to a late email.

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