Example Letter #1
I am writing to apologize for the behavior of some members of our soccer team at the regional finals last week. We all know that emotions can get heated when close calls are made in intense games, but it does not excuse the language and behavior of some of our players.
I, too, was personally shocked and offended by their actions, which were a direct contravention of the values of dignity and good sportsmanship we teach in our school. The offending players are being disciplined, and will not have their athletic scholarships renewed. Please convey my personal apologies to the faculty and students of Doe College, for whom we have the utmost respect.
Example Letter #2
I feel terrible about the damage John did to your garden. Being a gardener myself, I realize how much work you put into making it productive. I know I would be displeased if someone were to run carelessly through my carefully planted tomatoes. John feels bad about what he did, and although he cannot repair the damage, he says he wants to compensate you by doing yard work for you this fall. If you agree, I think this would be a good lesson for John.
Example Letter #3
I apologize for the damage my son did to your screen door. John has delivered newspapers for two years and this is the first glass he has broken. He is embarrassed and understands your frustration. Will you please have the glass repaired and give me the bill. John will be over to personally apologize and pay for the repairs. You have been a good customer for John, and he looks forward to serving you as long as he has this paper route.
Example Letter #4
I hope you will accept my sincere apology for the excessive noise my class made yesterday afternoon. They got so involved with the activity we were doing that they completely forgot about keeping their voices down, and I must admit that I got carried away as well. I'm sorry that we disturbed and distracted your class from their lesson. I will make a greater effort in the future to keep my class's enthusiasm within acceptable limits.
Example Letter #5
I apologize for the behavior of our second-grade classes at the dress rehearsal of your excellent show. They were certainly disruptive, and I was only amazed at how well your actors managed to keep going, in spite of the noise.
Their teachers have spoken to them, and the children have prepared cards and pictures for the cast, to express their own apologies. Will you please pass these on to Mrs. Doe and the cast?
In the meantime, I think we have learned from this experience that our second-grade students are too young to sit through a full-length show. We will exclude them in the future, if you open dress rehearsals to us again. Our older students and staff certainly appreciate your kindness in this area very much.
Example Letter #6
I am so sorry the children behaved so badly when you were baby sitting for us last night. It must have been exhausting for you. I really don't know what got into them, though Jane was running a slight fever this morning, so it's possible that she wasn't feeling well. I told them that if they were going to be so naughty, you would not baby sit them again, and Eric in particular became quite tearful. You really are their favorite baby sitter.
Eric and Jane have both promised that if you will give them another chance they will be "as good as gold." In any case, this is up to you. Please let me know if you would prefer not to take care of them again.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the offense.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- On behalf of Doe University, I apologize for the animal carcass that some of our students left in your driveway last night.
- John, I am sorry that the security guard did not recognize you and prevented your entrance when you came to the plant.
- I am very sorry that my daughter caused the death of your cat.
- 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- apologize for his behavior
- apologize on behalf of
- believe an apology is in order for
- do not tolerate such behavior in our
- feel a shared responsibility to apologize
- feel there is no excuse for
- feel bad that
- offensive behavior saddened us
- on behalf of the university, I apologize for
- please accept my personal apology for
- rest assured that we do not
- since I am his supervisor, I feel
- sorry he gave you trouble
- sorry that my daughter caused
- want you to know that we are upset that
- would like to add my apology
- would like to apologize for
2 Acknowledge the reader's frustration.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- I know this incident must have caused you great inconvenience, and you are thoroughly justified in being upset.
- I realize you work hard to maintain an extensive collection.
- Thank you for the way you handled the incident at the time. You showed remarkable restraint in quietly asking us to leave.
- I know that it is frustrating to know that you have a right to be somewhere, but security personnel, following the prescribed protocol, hinder your efforts. Again, I apologize.
- I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating. Thank you for your patience.
- I know how your family must feel. Our dog, Rusty, had to be put to sleep a few months ago. It was a grave loss for the entire family. Our kids loved your cat, Missy, and she was a friendly, familiar feature in the neighborhood.
- I can imagine how upset you must have been, so I am grateful for the self-restraint you showed after the incident.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- after all you had done to
- are thoroughly justified in being upset
- can imagine how upset you must have been
- deeply sorry to have caused you
- don't blame you for feeling
- grateful for the self-restraint you showed
- have admirable self-restraint
- it is frustrating to know that
- know how your family must feel
- must have been extremely frustrating to
- must be extremely disappointed in
- must be very angry with
- realize you work hard to
- realize that this incident caused
- showed remarkable restraint
- spent a lot of time
- sure this caused you great inconvenience
- thoroughly justified in being very upset
- understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating
- understand your displeasure with
- very kind in the face of
- were very kind in spite of
- work hard to maintain a first rate
- would try anyone's patience
- wouldn't blame you for
3 Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement, and offer some form of compensation or restitution, if appropriate.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- I realize this small gesture can in no way replace your loss, but please accept these flowers as a token of our regret and the high esteem in which we hold you and your family.
- The board has placed the fraternity responsible for this prank on probation. In order to make amends, they must first pay the bill. 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 good learning experience for him. Let me assure you that John's vandalism did not come 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 not repeat his behavior.
- At last night's pack meeting we discussed what happened, and the boys were all very sorry for what they had done. I know that some of the artifacts are unique and irreplaceable, and that keeping up a museum is costly. Please accept our $50 donation of toward the upkeep of the museum. The boys agreed that we should forego our fishing trip next month and contribute the dues.
- 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 as compensation for your inconvenience.
- Let's reschedule for next Wednesday. This time I will pick you up myself, and we will come to the plant together.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- although it will not be exactly the same
- as compensation for
- assist in the rebuilding of
- compensate you for the loss of
- feel that I must
- has taken up this matter with
- has put that amount in this envelope
- has agreed to pay the bill
- has contacted his insurance company to
- hope to continue our good relationship
- pay the bill you received from the
- please accept a donation
- please accept this gift
- taken up the matter with
- want to make restitution
- wants to pay for the damages
- wants to make everything right
- will be a worthwhile lesson
- will get an estimate of the cost
- will repair it myself
- will not feel good about it until I have
- will personally take care of
- will speak to you next week to determine
- will work every Saturday morning until
- willing to do whatever is necessary to
- wish to make amends