How to write a letter of apology

How to write a letter of apology

We all screw up from time to time. It is often worthwhile to apologize for our mistakes. Therefore, learning how to write a letter of apology is important to help you amend the situation. If you don’t know how to write an apology letter, keep reading because here, we have provided you with a guide on how to do it. You may need to write a formal letter or a personal letter of apology. It is always advisable to send the letter as soon as you realize your mistake, to show that you value the relationship. Before sending the letter, ensure that you check your English grammar, punctuation, and spelling to prove that you are sincere in saying sorry.

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Although apologizing in person portrays more sincerity, sometimes, a written apologizing message might be the only option, or it may be the preferred method of apologizing. When writing an apology letter, you should admit your mistake early in the letter and acknowledge the feelings of the other party. You should also accept full responsibility for your mistake. Then you need to provide a solution that will fix the underlying issues related to the problem. To make the apology letter effective and not cause more misconceptions, focus on both sincerity and clarity while writing it. Just follow the guidelines below.

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How to apologize to someone you hurt deeply

This is also understood as a personal apology letter. When writing an apology letter for someone you hurt deeply, you should do these:

  • Start by stating what the letter is all about. It will make the recipient understand that it is a letter of apology. You should say something like “I wanted to write you a letter to apologize for what I did.” This will make them interested to find out what you are going to say.
  • Next, you should state your mistake and be careful about it. Say why you are apologizing. In this case, you need to be exact and descriptive. Say something like “what I did to you yesterday was horrible and wildly selfish.” This will make recipient know that you understand what you did.
  • Then acknowledge how much you have hurt them. It involves admitting that the recipient has been hurt and you understand the pain they are going through. It is also the best time to make them understand that you never intended to hurt them. Say something like "Peter, I know that my action ruined your party yesterday. I hope you can understand that that was not my intention. I understand that what I did is one of the worst things a person could ever do, especially to you".
  • Next, you should accept responsibility, which is often the hardest thing for many people, but it is the most important part of an apology. Here, you will admit your responsibility for the mistake. Do not make excuses for your actions, but you are allowed to explain your reasons carefully. Say something like “My intentions were good, but I understand there is no excuse here. I completely take responsibility for my selfish actions and the pain I have caused you".
  • Finally, you should offer a solution that will lead to change. Forgiveness message is not enough, you should provide a solution that will help solve the problem your wrong might have created. This is better than saying that it will never happen again. It proves to the recipient that you are serious about making the situation better. For example, you can say "You deserve better than a 'sorry'. When you come back home, I will throw a welcome party in your honour. I aim to find a way through which I can create the happy memories that I messed up for you.

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Example of a personal apology letter

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Dear Dan,

I wanted to write to apologize to you for the embarrassment I caused you during your party last weekend. What I did was disrespectful, inappropriate, and selfish. The party was supposed to be about your happiness, but I turned the focus to me. I was wrong because I tried to steal your moment.

I understand how it feels to you and I know that that was the worst thing that I could ever have done to you. You have shown me so much kindness and support but my action was an insult to all the good things you have done for me. I hate myself for the problem that I caused.

I completely take responsibility for my actions and the pain that I have caused you. Being sorry is not enough. Next time you have a party, I will pay for all the costs to make up for what I did to you.

I hope you will forgive me and let me earn back the great relationship we had.



Professional apology letter

  • A professional letter is also understood as a formal apology letter or a business apology letter. Therefore, the guide below will help you when writing a professional apology letter:
  • Type the message in a professional font like Times New Roman. Then, print it on a high-quality, white paper. You should use a formal block or semi-block format.
  • Start the letter by saying you’re sorry.
  • State the issue and explain as much as possible, what led to your actions.
  • Provide a solution for solving future problems and give examples of how you would do this.
  • State an apology message at the end.

Examples of professional apology letters include:

Apology letter to customer

Your address


Name of Addressee

Title, organization


Dear Jane:

I am writing to apologize for the confusion regarding the transaction # 765-989. The problem occurred because we recently began using a new packaging system, which has a few small bugs. This afternoon, we corrected your order, and we have sent it. Also, we have enclosed coupons for future purchases at our stores to compensate for the inconvenience caused.

Once more, I apologize for the mix-up concerning your order. I understand this may have caused you some trouble.




Customer Service Manager

Apology letter to a boss

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Dear John,

I am sorry I did not attend your meeting this afternoon. I was scheduled to the matter of the staffing costs as you had proposed, and I’m sorry I let you down.

As I mentioned earlier, my husband got sick at night so, I had to rush him to the hospital in the morning. I had to wait until he was discharged because there was no one else to look after him.

I have already emailed the staffing cost analysis to everyone who attended the meeting and I have explained to them how the data is in line with your proposal. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make up for my absence. Next time something like this happens, I promise to communicate to you much earlier.

I regret my actions. Please accept my apology.



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Business apology letter

Dear Peter,

I am sorry for the way I reacted yesterday concerning the proposed project team restructuring. I understand that I made inappropriate assumptions regarding your decisions.

As mentioned earlier, I depend on Jane's participation, and I do not want to lose her expertise and enthusiasm on my team. I agree with you that Jane is ready for other vast projects of the company. Therefore, I agree with and support your decision.

I regret making those comments. I promise you that I will support the restructuring process of the team. Please accept my sincere apology.



Apology for poor English

Dear Jamie,

I write this letter to say sorry for any spelling or grammatical errors that appeared in the correspondence. It was not my intention, but English is not my first language. Although I possess a full professional proficiency in it, I sometimes struggle with phrasing and idioms.

Next time, I will seek help from my colleagues, and I promise such a problem will not come up again in the future. Thank you for your patience and understanding.



The guidelines above will help you know how to write a letter of apology that will be appealing to people you have wronged. Also, the guidelines will help you in making sure that the apology is valid and it doesn't cause more hurt. The recipient of the letter will understand that you are taking responsibility for your actions and it will show that you are responsible. Don’t forget to share the above guidelines with your friends and families because it will help them solve their misconceptions.

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