Delivering bad news via email is never easy.
However, if you have to deliver it, you should know how to be polite and respectful.
Of course, I regret to inform you might sound a little forced and impersonal, right?
You’re here to learn how to say I regret to inform you in an email, and we’ve gathered some information to help explain this.
Is It Correct to Say “I Regret to Inform You”?
I regret to inform you is correct and works well in professional contexts.
Generally, you’ll use it when delivering bad or uncomfortable news to a recipient. It lets them know that you’re not happy about sharing the information, but you don’t have a choice.
For instance, you can use it to reject an applicant or hand in a resignation letter.
This email sample will show you more about how it might work:
Dear Mr. Murphy,
I regret to inform you that I have decided to resign. It’s time for me to move on and see what’s out there.
All the best,
Generally, the above situation works best when leaving a workplace. It’s respectful and polite, showing that you plan on leaving and don’t want to burn any bridges.
You can also mix things up by using it in the following way:
We regret to inform you that the position has been filled. We wish you all the best in the future, though.
If you include we instead of I, it means you represent a company or organization. Therefore, it’s a more professional option that shows you speak on behalf of the company you work for.
Also, it’s smart to have a few alternatives ready to go. That way, you can mix things up and keep your writing engaging and formal when you need to send bad news to others.
So, keep reading to learn another way to say I regret to inform you. There are plenty of great choices, and we’ve touched on the 7 best ones to assist you.
7 Alternative Ways to Say “I Regret to Inform You”
You should review these 7 alternatives to see what you can use to politely express regret:
- I am sorry to have to tell you
- Unfortunately, I have to inform you
- I feel obliged to let you know
- I’m afraid I must share with you
- I wish I didn’t have to say this, but
- Regrettably, I need to tell you
- Unfortunately, I have disappointing news
1. I Am Sorry to Have to Tell You
You can formally express regret by saying I am sorry to have to tell you. It’s a great way to start an email with bad news.
Of course, it warns the recipient immediately that bad news is coming. So, it should help you soften the blow when you deliver it after the phrase.
While it’s never easy to express regret or give bad news, phrases like I am sorry to have to tell you go a long way in helping to make things easier to hear.
Feel free to review this example to see more about how it works:
I am sorry to have to tell you this, but I will be leaving the office. I hope we can remain close even when I’m not around.
All the best,
2. Unfortunately, I Have to Inform You
You can also say unfortunately, I have to inform you. It’s highly effective in formal emails when you need to deliver disappointing news.
If there’s no way around it, you’ll have to find the politest way to share bad news with someone.
For instance, you can use this to reject an applicant. It shows that you wish things could be different, but you simply can’t offer them the job they’re looking for.
Also, this example should help you with it:
Unfortunately, I have to inform you that we are unable to progress with your application. We wish you all the best, though.
3. I Feel Obliged to Let You Know
You can also try I feel obliged to let you know. It’s a good professional synonym for I regret to inform you that shows you owe it to the recipient to tell them the bad news.
Use it when emailing an unsuccessful applicant. It won’t make the news much easier to hear. However, it will at least show that you regret having to share the information with them.
Here’s a great email sample to show you how it works:
I feel obliged to let you know that your application has not been successful. We hope you try again soon.
All the best,
4. I’m Afraid I Must Share With You
Feel free to include I’m afraid I must share with you when sharing bad news in more personal and polite emails.
For instance, you can use it when emailing your boss. It shows that you have bad news to share.
You may include it in a resignation letter. It allows you to politely express regret and show that you wish things could be different, but you have to leave the company.
Check out this example if you still need some help:
Dear Miss Smith,
I’m afraid I must share with you that I will be leaving this company. Please accept my resignation effective immediately.
5. I Wish I Didn’t Have to Say This, But
Your next choice is I wish I didn’t have to say this, but. It’s highly effective and allows you to remain formal and polite.
We generally include a phrase like this when emailing an employer. It shows that you wish things didn’t have to go as far as they have, but it’s time for you to retire or resign.
Feel free to review the following sample email if you’re still unsure:
Dear Mr. Bickle,
I wish I didn’t have to say this, but this will be my last month working with you. I’ve found a new opportunity that was too good to pass on.
6. Regrettably, I Need to Tell You
Another great alternative to include in a professional email is regrettably, I need to tell you.
Generally, this helps to keep things sincere and apologetic.
Starting an email with regrettably shows that you wish you didn’t have to share the information you did. Try it when emailing a customer to let them down, especially if you can’t help them.
You should also review this example if you need help with it:
Dear Miss Adams,
Regrettably, I need to tell you that we could not find a way to progress with this line of inquiry.
We are very sorry,
7. Unfortunately, I Have Some Disappointing News
One final alternative we want to discuss is unfortunately, I have some disappointing news. It’s a great formal synonym for I regret to inform you that shows you have to share something bad.
We recommend trying it when emailing an employee. As their boss, it’s sometimes down to you to break bad news to them.
So, try a phrase like this at the start of an email to lighten the sting (just a little bit!)
This sample email will also help you to understand it better:
Unfortunately, I have some disappointing news regarding your project. It was not successful and will not be moving to the next phase.