Difference Between Sorry and Apology


Main Difference

The main difference between Sorry and Apology is that Sorry is based on true human emotions, empathetic, sympathy, pity, and direct way to express regret, misfortune, sadness, or any fault, whereas an Apology is a formal way of regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure.

Sorry vs. Apology

The word sorry is adjective and most commonly used to express informally about human emotions, whereas the word apology is a noun and formally used to express the offense or fault but not necessarily based on emotions.

Sorry is also used to express sympathy and regrets about someone else’s situation, but apology cannot be used indirectly; rather, it’s of more specified about a particular situation.


Sorry is expressed more in personal but lesser in a professional context; on the other hand, the apology is expressed more in a professional context. Sorry is based on sorrows without much-taking responsibility and can probably be insincere; on the contrary, the apology is based on an intellectual level where one person is taking responsibility.

Comparison Chart

Sorry is used to describe human emotions based on sorrow, grief, regret, etc.The apology is a word used to describe regret on wrongdoing.
Word sorry is an adjective.Word apology is a noun.
Informal way to express feelings based on sadness, sorrow, sympathy, grief, etc.A formal way that expresses the failure, fault, offense.
It doesn’t imply that the speaker is taking responsibility for a fault.Imply that the speaker is taking the responsibility of fault.
Expression Of
Even the expression of someone else’s situation.A particular expression of certain situations.
More Of
More of personal expression.More professional expression.

What is Sorry?

Sorry is a word of English language used to describe human emotions based on sorrow, grief, regret, failure, or fault. Grammarly it’s an adjective that also shows disappointments, bad news, loss in a polite way. The word sorry has different dimensions as it’s a personal way of expressing deep down heartfelt broken emotions.

Saying you’re sorry means you’re telling someone that you’re sorry for the hurt you caused, even if you didn’t do it on purpose. People who are saying sorry might also say that they will try to do better. They might promise to fix or replace what was broken or take back a mean thing they said. After sorry, one might feel a little better (the other person probably will, too). When you say sorry in a caring way, you can feel good because you are trying to make things right again.

Examples of Sorry

  • I was sorry to hear about your tragic loss.
  • I’m sorry if I disturbed you.
  • I’m sorry I wasted your time.
  • She said she was sorry for misleading me.
  • I’m sorry to inform you that the flight has been delayed by 10 hours.
  • “I’m sorry about the mean thing I said to you.”
  • “I’m sorry I lost your book.”
  • “I was mad, but I shouldn’t have called you a name. I’m sorry.”
  • “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
  • “I’m really sorry I hit you when I was mad. That was wrong. I won’t do it anymore.”

What is an Apology?

An apology is an English word used to describe regretful formal admission of wrongdoing. Grammarly it’s a noun used to express the fault, failure, or offense with the responsibility in a detailed account of the specific situation in a professional context with the recognition of your role in the event which cannot necessarily be on truly heartfelt emotions but probably sincere. Regret states that in which one is asked for forgiveness that it won’t happen again.

Examples of Apology

  • I apologize for the inconvenience we caused you.
  • My wife can’t come; she sends her apologies.
  • You owe me an apology.
  • The company issued an official apology to its customers.
  • He sent letters of apology to the parties concerned.
  • Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay.

Key Differences

  1. Sorry is an informal way to express fault, while an apology is a formal way to express a fault.
  2. Sorry is based on true heartfelt human emotions, whereas apology is based more on wisdom with the due responsibility that the same offense will not happen again.
  3. Sorry, it can be an insincere way of expression; conversely, an apology is a sincere way of expression.
  4. Sorry is used for someone else situation as well, but an apology is used only for certain specific situations.
  5. Sorry is mostly a personal expression, while an apology is a professional expression.


Sorry is an adjective commonly used to state personal feelings about loss, grief, sorrow, and empathy in different situations, and apology is a noun specifically used to state the regret, fault, and failure about a particular situation with responsible accusation.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson