• Olena Botvinko-Botiuk
  • Elina Koliada Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
Keywords: apology, speaker, hearer, speech act, strategy


In this article, consideration is given to the utterances of apology in Modern English. The utterances of apology belong to the post-event-acts, i.e. they signal that a certain type of event has already taken place. Moreover, the speaker recognizes the fact that a violation of a social norm has been committed and that the speaker is at least partially involved in its cause. The act of apologizing requires an action or an utterance that is intended to “set things right” between the apologizer and the recipient of the apology. The English language provides a range of accepted formulas for apologizing. Utterances of apology can be very short and direct, or longer and more complex. The expression of apology depends on the seriousness and importance of the thing which has happened, the social and cultural standards, the type of situation (official/non-official), the form of apology (written/oral), social relations of the speaker and the hearer (the degree of familiarity), the speaker’s feelings, and the degree of the speaker’s responsibility for what has happened. There are five possible strategies for making an apology: an expression of an apology, acknowledgement of responsibility, an explanation or account, an offer of repair, and a promise of non-recurrence.


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