Wednesday, May 16, 2012
The grammar of apologies is "I'm sorry for" plus a progressive or past progressive verb, or "I'm sorry that" followed by a dependent clause that has "I" as the subject. In either case, preferably using a verb specifically describing what was done, and not a vague "hurt" or "offended." The grammar of non-apologies is "I'm sorry if," and/or a dependent clause that is in the passive, and/or a dependent clause that has "you" as the subject, often with any of these combined with vague "hurt" or "offended" verbs, or verbs about understanding or comprehension.
Posted by Jacob T. Levy at 9:46 AM