Example Letter #1
I am very sorry and embarrassed that I knocked down your fence post as I was backing out of your driveway last night. I know you had worked hard to get that fence built, only to have someone like me damage it. I offer no excuse. I simply wasn't paying attention.
Of course I will pay for the repair as soon as possible. Jane said that your home owner's insurance policy may cover the damage, so she told me to wait until she had called the company. I'll be glad to follow through on the repairs. It's the least I can do. Thanks for putting up with me. I'll be in touch.
Example Letter #2
I am terribly sorry that I damaged the book you lent me. I know you take pride in your book collection, so having this happen is undoubtedly disturbing. I will try to replace it if it is still in print. Otherwise, I will compensate you for it. Our friendship is too important to not make this right.
Example Letter #3
I am sorry for the damage we did to your fruit tree. My children were playing in the tree when the limb broke. I realize you must be very disturbed at the loss of the fruit and the damage to the tree, because you take such good care of your trees and yard. Of course my children are banned from your yard, and our family has agreed to work together to compensate you for your loss. Please let me know what a fair sum would be to pay for the tree surgeon and to cover the cost of the lost fruit. We want to be good neighbors and good friends.
Example Letter #4
Please accept my sincere apology for the damage I did to your car yesterday. Of course my insurance will completely cover the cost of repairs, but I know this will still cause you great inconvenience. I deeply regret my carelessness and the trouble this has caused you. You can be sure that I will be more careful in the future.
Example Letter #5
You were so gracious last night when I spilled coffee on your dress, but it really was my own fault and I'm sorry for my carelessness. I can imagine how frustrating it must have been for you to have such a beautiful outfit ruined. Please, will you allow me to pay for having it cleaned?
If the fabric is damaged to the point where professional cleaning won't help, I will be only too pleased to replace the dress. Just have the bills sent to me or send me the receipts. It really is the least I can do.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the offense.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- I am sorry about the damage to your car.
- Dad, I am so sorry about taking your car without asking permission, but I am even sorrier that I betrayed your trust.
- On behalf of Doe University, I apologize for the animal carcass that our students left in your driveway last night.
- I would like to apologize for the graffiti my son spray-painted on your garage door. John will offer his own apology in person.
- I apologize that my Cub Scout pack damaged the Indian display in your museum.
- I am sorry that my baseball broke your window.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- apologize for my carelessness that caused
- apologize for the damage to
- by no means meant to
- deeply regret that
- deeply sorry that
- feel very bad about the damage to
- hope you can forgive
- please let me apologize for
- please accept my deepest apologies for
- sorry I shattered your beautiful
- sorry for the carelessness that caused
- sorry that I didn't see
- sorry that I wrecked
- sorry about the damage to your
2 Acknowledge your reader's frustration.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- I know this must have frustrated you terribly. Thank you for your patience. I assure you that I will not rest until you have been compensated for your troubles.
- I am sure this caused you great inconvenience, and you are thoroughly justified in being upset about this incident.
- I know this has caused you great inconvenience.
- I know you must be extremely disappointed in me, and I don't blame you.
- I realize the effort it takes to maintain a quality museum.
- Thank you for the way you handled the incident. You showed remarkable restraint in quietly asking us to leave.
- I can imagine how angry you must have been, so I am grateful for the patience you showed our son after the incident.
- Dad, if there is nothing worse for a father than knowing his son violated his trust, there is nothing worse for a son than knowing that he willfully disappointed his dad. I am very sorry. I promise this won't happen again.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- after all you did to
- can imagine how upset you must have been
- don't blame you if you are angry
- don't blame you for feeling
- grateful for the patience you showed
- have admirable self-restraint
- must be extremely disappointed in
- must be very angry with
- must have frustrated you terribly
- realize the effort it takes
- realize that this caused
- showed remarkable restraint
- spent a lot of time
- sure this caused you great inconvenience
- thoroughly justified in being very upset at
- tries anyone's patience
- understand your displeasure with
- very kind in the face of
- work hard to maintain a quality
- wouldn't blame you for
3 Offer appropriate compensation or restitution for the damage. End on a hopeful note.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- I asked the receptionist at the Doe building if he knew who the car belonged to, but he did not. I waited to see if the owner would return, but I had to leave. My phone number is 555-5555. Please give me a call. I have already notified my insurance agent.
- The board has placed the fraternity responsible for the damage on probation. In order to normalize relations, they must first replace the broken object. If they do not contact you in a few days, please let me know at 555-5555.
- I have told John that he will have to repaint your garage door himself, and we will deduct the costs for paint and supplies from his allowance. This will be a valuable learning experience for him. Let me assure you that John's vandalism did not stem from any ill will toward you or your family.
- I have taken up this matter with John, and he has assured me that he will pay for the damage and be more careful from now on.
- At last night's pack meeting we discussed what happened, and each boy regretted his actions. I know that some of the artifacts are unique and irreplaceable, and that keeping up a museum is costly. Please accept our $50 donation toward the upkeep of the museum. The boys agreed that we should forgo our fishing trip next month and contribute the allotted money as well.
- In your letter you mentioned that you are a fan of university athletics. Please accept these free tickets to Doe University's home football game next Saturday.
- My Dad says your window will cost $30 to fix, so I have enclosed that amount in this envelope. I will come and help you install it, if you want. Next time, we won't play baseball near your house. I apologize for the trouble I caused.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- although it will not be exactly the same
- am responsible for the damage, so I will
- assist in the rebuilding
- compensate you for the loss
- feel that I must
- have notified my insurance agent
- have enclosed that amount
- have taken up this matter with
- intend to pay the insurance deductible
- pay the bill you received from the
- please accept this gift
- please accept these flowers as a token of
- please accept our donation toward the upkeep of
- want to make amends
- want to pay for the damages
- will have a repairman fix
- will repaint your garage door
- will deduct the cost of paint and supplies from
- will personally take care of
- will not feel good about it until I have
- willing to do whatever is necessary to