How to write an Apology Letter?

Letter Of Excuse From Work Examples & How To Write


Mistakes are a common part of human life. Making mistakes is not a wrong thing, but not apologizing can be a serious issue. Sometimes we want to apologize to the next person, but we don’t have a clear idea of what to write. So, if you are also looking out for one of the best ways to write an apology, you are on the right page. Here we will see How to write an Apology Letter?

Why do people tend to ignore apologizing or feel it difficult to apologize to someone? 

Before starting with how we can write a good apology letter, let’s look into some of the problems or issues that people fail in before apologizing. Sometimes people believe that making mistakes is a trait of a bad person. Therefore they don’t want to apologize and show that they are mistaken. Even if they know that they are guilty of something, they will become defensive just to save themselves from further accusations. But believe me, the more you procrastinate your apology, the more aggravated the issue becomes. 

So if you have decided to write an apology letter for your mistake, you have already made a great feat. 

Let’s now move on to the appropriate way of conveying your apologies through an apology letter. 

Format of a proper apology letter

Start by saying sorry

Your apology letter should begin by saying a plain sorry. Start by telling the other person that the letter is an apology letter. After writing ‘Dear ‘the name of the person, start the main body by saying that you are sorry for whatever happened. Don’t include any buts and ifs. Just a precise sentence. 

It is not a very hard thing. Even through simple words you can create a good impression and apologize for both personal mistakes and the mistake of the whole team. In the case of the whole team, write ‘we all are sincerely sorry for the mistake’. When you start from sorry, the person connects with the letter emotionally and gets clarity on what will be there in the subsequent paragraphs. 

Example: I apologize or I am sorry, for whatever happened today (or whatever mistake you have done). 

Or I am writing this letter to extend my sincere apologies to you for my behavior today (or for the grave mistake that I committed). 

Acknowledge the hurt to the other person

After accepting your mistake, you should acknowledge that the other person is hurt due to your mistake. You can write that I understand that my one mistake has created a profound impact on the company, or your mental well being for which I am sorry. Here you have to show that your intention was never bad, and it was all unintentional. 

Example: I know that my mistake can have a profound impact on the company which will create a bad impact on your mind. I know I can’t even imagine the trauma that you have been going through. But trust me, it was never my intention to hurt your or the company’s reputation. 

Don’t shift the blame

A good apology letter is one in which you admit your mistake and don’t shift the blame on others. When you can convey to the other person that you are taking responsibility for your mistake, he or she can forgive you more easily. On the other hand, if you don’t take responsibility for your actions, the other person will feel that you are not genuinely sorry for your mistakes. So, avoid casting a bad impression by blaming others for whatever happened, if it was majorly your fault. 

Example: I know that my behavior in that situation was inappropriate and I take full responsibility for that. 

Explain to the other person about the whole situation

The next step is to explain in brief what happened and why you committed a mistake. This will help the person to understand that maybe it was not entirely your fault and your intention was not bad. Again, don’t shift the blame on the other person. Tell the true details of whatever happened. 

You can tell some genuine reasons if any for the commission of mistake. But don’t have to shift the onus on you to someone else. The reasoning should be clear and should not look like lame excuses. Otherwise, the whole purpose of an apology letter would get defeated. You can say that you chose the wrong option for which you take the full burden. 

Example: Though I can explain my mistake, I know no excuse can cover up my mistake. It was me who made the wrong decision from all the options available and the company had to suffer. My intentions were genuine throughout the decision-making process but still, I have caused a lot of pain to everyone for which I will always be apologetic. 

You can appreciate them for their past actions if you want

This is an optional part to include in the letter. Before coming onto the solutions to fix your mistake, you can share how sorry you are feeling by telling them how much you respect or admire them. You can say that you have always drawn inspiration from their hard work and you are feeling super bad to hurt one of the most important persons of your life. 

Example: I can’t tell you how embarrassed I am feeling today. I have always looked upon you as my role model and always felt grateful for your support or motivation. But today through this mistake I have hurt you a lot for which I will always be sorry. 

How do you hope to fix the mistake

It is rightly said that you can learn from your mistakes only when you fix them up. So if you have committed some mistake, say a wrong business deal, make sure to tell some plans on how you intend to fix the issue. If you come up with a plan for correcting your mistake, this would help the other person to forgive you easily. When you support your assurance of not doing the mistake again with a concrete action plan to rectify your mistake, the other person will naturally feel obliged to forgive you. So you can show your serious apology by suggesting a good solution for the mistake committed. 

Example: Besides this apology letter, I am also sending some suggestions to rectify my mistake. To get out of this bad business deal, we can take some steps (you can mention some steps according to your business acumen). 

Or I know that we have provided you with a bad customer experience today. Though I know that it can’t compensate wholly, I am attaching a twenty percent discount coupon with this letter that will help you avail yourself of good discounts on whatever commodities you purchase from us next time. I hope you will accept our apologies. 

Conclude by accepting your mistake and requesting forgiveness from the other person

Again, tell the other person that you are very sorry for the mistake. Then conclude your apology by requesting forgiveness from that person. You have to cast an impression on the other person that you will improve in that field and ensure that such mistakes are not committed in the future. 

Show the other person that you look forward to better interactions in the future and hope that the mistake does not strain your relationship. 

Example: If any customer felt inconvenience due to your company or employee’s mistake, you can write that you are thankful to them for bringing this issue to attention. Further, you will set up a review committee to look into the matter and ensure that the mistake does not happen again. 

Example: Although I know that forgiving me is not that easy for you, I sincerely hope that you would accept my apologies and don’t let this mistake strain our long friendship. I hope that I can create better moments for you in the future and you won’t be reminded of the mistake again. 

Additional tips for writing a good apology letter

Keep it brief and precise

It’s crucial to keep your letter precise and to the point so that you don’t waste precious time on the other person. Don’t write too much about what happened and why the mistake was committed. The letter should be a craft in a personalized manner. Avoid copy-pasting the given samples and use your words to say a genuine and sincerely sorry. 

Be mindful of the language you use

Make sure that the language you use for writing the apology letter is professional and respectful. The apology letter should not look fake. It should mirror your sincere apologies. The phrases and the words that you are using in the letter should not be such that they make the matter worse. If your words look rude and irritating, the other person will surely feel that the letter is for name’s sake. So keep your language humble. 

Some of the phrases to avoid while writing a professional apology letter include i. Mistakes are common, ii. If statements wherein you will be sorry only if the other person is hurt, etc.  

Also, make sure to proofread the letter to avoid any grammatical mistakes. The letter should be clear and sincere to convey your true feelings. 

Suggestions should be given to fix the mistake

Only those Suggestions should be given to fix the mistake for which you are hundred percent sure. Rather than saying that you would change the entire thing in the future, you will say that you can try to improve the mistake and ensure that such things don’t happen again.

Starting and ending of the letter

The format of an apology letter would be similar to a normal letter. It starts with the name of the person. Keep the salutation basic. If you want to keep it more professional, you can add your address, the address and contact details of the company or client, date, and other particulars as written in a formal letter. 

For the ending, too keep it simple. You can write yours sincerely, best regards, Sincerely, etc. You can also use phrases like ‘Sincere gratitude from my side to take out your time and admit my apologies, or I want to apologize again for the mistake and I hope my suggestions can help you to forgive me. 

Types of Apology letter

Mainly there are two types of apology letters. The first one is where you apologize for your mistake, and the second, where you are apologizing for another person’s mistake like your junior, agent, servant, employee, etc. 

If you have to apologize for your mistake: 

The first and the most common type of apology letter that many of us have to write is a personal apology letter where you have to apologize for your mistakes. Take responsibility for your mistake without giving unnecessary excuses. 

A sample apology letter for asking for forgiveness of your mistake is given below for reference: 

Dear (the name of the person), 

I am sorry for coming late to the office that day and missing a crucial meeting (or whatever mistake you have committed). I know it’s my mistake and I will not make any excuse for forgetting such a crucial thing. 

I know I have to be careful when I know that the whole thing is dependent on me. Therefore from the next time, I will ensure that better alerts are used to stay updated with the proper schedule. 

I request you to please forgive me this time. I will ensure that such a mistake is not committed again. Sincere apologies, again from my side. 

Yours sincerely 

Your name.  

Sample apology letter for a situation where more than one person got hurt due to your mistake: 

If you feel that your single mistake has an impact on several people, you have to send an apology letter to all of them. A letter which is written to all rather than one should contain this line for an apology: ‘I apologize to all of you if I have offended any of you. 

Dear Team (if it’s a particular department of your company) or Hello Everyone 

I’m sorry to all of you for coming in the wrong attire today. I completely forgot that the theme of the party is Black and white. It was only after going to the party that I realized that I am not in the right attire. 

I never wanted to break the decided code and cause distress to anyone. It was all unintentional. From next time, I’ll ensure that I am using the right reminders to remind me of anything important about any event. 

Once again sorry to all if someone felt offended. I hope you all will forgive me this time. I assure you that this will not happen again. 


Your name. 

Sample Apology letter to ask for forgiveness from your boss: 

If you have to apologize for the mistake of your junior, employee, or agent: 

Sometimes we have someone working under our guidance. But they might commit some mistake during their duties. As a result, you might need to apologize to your client or senior for their mistakes too. In that case, take the responsibility for his actions and don’t put all the blame on the junior. Through this, you can show your leadership skills. 

Also, you can tell about what actions you have taken against that employee so that he does not repeat that. You can also try appeasing the third party by giving some discounts if he is your client or offering some additional service to compensate for the mistake. This strategy would also help you to get forgiveness from another person, easily. 

So if you want to apologize for another person’s mistake you can refer to the sample apology letter below: 

Sample letter 1:

Dear (name of the client or other person) 

I am sorry for the ill-treatment of my employee and the bad experience that you had at our firm. I know that my junior (name of that person) did not provide you with the appropriate products that should have been supplied to you. 

As you must have seen throughout the years, we have ensured maximum customer satisfaction. But ABC is a trainee here and is not yet well-equipped with the working of our company. On his behalf, I extend my sincere apologies. We have sent him a written reprimand and if this behavior is exhibited again, we would terminate him from the training. 

I hope you will understand and forgive us for this mistake. You have been an important client for our firm for a long period. We hope that you will forgive us for this one bad experience. To compensate for his mistake we have attached a ten percent discount voucher that you can avail of on your next purchase. 

I hope you will forgive us and visit our store. 


Your name and your position in the company. 

Sample letter 2: 

Dear (name of the person to whom the letter is to be sent) 

I want to say sorry on behalf of my staff for the inconvenience that you had had today. I came to know that our customer service representative was not very kind in his behavior today and he did not provide you with the right products that you were looking for. 

I can understand that you have had a very poor experience in our firm today. But as you know that we have always worked for maximum customer satisfaction, we apologize for the bad behavior. To ensure that such a mistake does not happen again, we have appointed a panel to look into customer grievances. We will also ensure that no employee in the company goes against the company’s procedures. 

I hope you will forgive our company this time and our relations don’t strain due to this incident. Please feel free to contact me anytime in the future for any help. 

Yours sincerely 

Your name and designation in the company. 

Closing words

Apologizing for your mistakes is a characteristic of a brave person. If you have committed some mistake in your professional or personal life, it becomes essential to write a sincere apology letter to the other person to show your realization. Take help from the tips and samples given above to write a good apology letter. Make sure that you are sincerely sorry for your mistake and the words are not for name’s sake. Only a heartfelt letter can bring quick forgiveness. 


Ques 1: When is it necessary to write an apology letter rather than an in-person apology

Ans: Although an in-person apology sounds like a better way to show your realization, sometimes it’s better to go for a written apology letter. A written letter is required when you have to apologize formally or professionally to your boss or your client, or colleague. 

Ques 2: What are some of the phrases that one should never use in an apology letter? 

Ans: Some phrases that can look rude to the person should be avoided. Some of them that you should never include in an apology letter are: 

  1. Please chill, that was not a big mistake. Don’t make a big deal out of the matter. You should forgive me. 
  2. I know I was mistaken but you should now apologize to me. 
  3. I don’t feel that your feelings are hurt. But still, if you feel that you are offended, I am sorry. 
  4. From now on, I would never talk to you and ultimately you won’t have any problem with me, etc. 

Ques 3: what to do if a person asks you to write an apology letter for something which you have not done? 

Ans: Sometimes there are situations where the blame might come on you even if you are not guilty. In that case, too, you should write an empathetic and sincere letter because ultimately another person is hurt. Sometimes the other person also knows that the letter is for namesake, like in mediation, where both parties have to write an apology letter. But still, you can show your concern for their grief and how you would like to ensure that they don’t have inconvenience in the future. 

Ques 4:  What is the correct way of sending your apology letter? 

Ans: It’s good to mail your apology letter to your friend or your boss or any other person. This method would show your sincerity. Otherwise, you can hand over an apology letter in person and simply say that I want to give this letter. Please go through it once. Make sure that the location you are choosing for giving this apology letter to the next person is not inconvenient for them. 

How to write an Apology Letter?

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