So, you’ve kept someone waiting on your email reply for longer than you planned.
It’s okay. These things happen!
However, you should know how to say sorry to keep you waiting in a business email without sounding rude or dismissive.
Luckily, this article has gathered the best synonyms to help you understand what else to say.
Is It Correct to Say “Sorry to Keep You Waiting”?
Sorry to keep you waiting is correct to use in professional contexts.
It’s incredibly effective when you’ve accidentally taken too long to reply. Generally, it helps the recipient to understand that it wasn’t your intention to keep them waiting.
We find it useful because it’s very professional and respectful. It also shows you genuinely regret the wait, even if it was out of your control.
You should refer to this email sample to learn how to use sorry to keep you waiting in a sentence:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am sorry to keep you waiting. I didn’t mean for that to take as long as it did, but I have your answer now.
Also, you can mix it up with the variation sorry to keep you waiting for my reply. It allows you to be a bit more specific and apologetic. For instance:
Sorry to keep you waiting for my reply. I wasn’t sure if I had all the information correct.
We also recommend using a variation every now and then to help keep things interesting. You can write it as follows:
Variation: Using for instead of to
- Correct: Sorry for keeping you waiting.
- Correct: Sorry to keep you waiting.
Both to and for are correct prepositional choices. You can use either one, making both phrases an effective way to help your email sound polite.
It’s clear that sorry to keep you waiting is a great professional phrase. However, it’s not the only useful one.
Keep reading to learn 8 other alternatives that will teach you another way to say sorry to keep you waiting.
8 Alternative Ways to Say “Sorry to Keep You Waiting”
Check out these 8 synonyms to learn a formal way to say sorry to keep you waiting that’ll help improve your email writing:
- My apologies for the delay
- I did not mean to keep you
- I’m sorry for making you wait
- Thank you for your patience
- Please accept my apologies for the delay
- Forgive me for delaying you
- I appreciate your patience
- I hope you can forgive me for making you wait
1. My Apologies for the Delay
You can try my apologies for the delay when trying to explain complicated business to the recipient.
It shows you regret making someone wait and want to offer sincere and formal apologies.
We recommend using this when contacting a customer. It shows you’ve done what you can to answer their query, but it took a little longer than you expected.
You can also review this email example:
Dear Miss Proctor,
My apologies for the delay. I have gathered all the relevant information to share with you now, though.
2. I Did Not Mean to Keep You
I did not mean to keep you is incredibly effective in business emails. It’s professional and sincere.
You should try it when contacting a client. It shows you’ve done everything you can to assist them, but the solution took much longer than expected.
We recommend trying it because it’s respectful and honest. It shows you made a mistake and would like the client to forgive you.
The following example should also clear things up:
Dear Mrs. April,
I did not mean to keep you. However, I have managed to find the best solution for us to continue.
All the best,
3. I’m Sorry for Making You Wait
Another way to say sorry to keep you waiting is I’m sorry for making you wait. As you can tell, not much changes from the original phrase.
However, these subtle changes make all the difference. They help you to mix things up while remaining formal and polite.
Try it when offering a genuine apology to the recipient.
Perhaps this email example will also help you with it:
Dear Mr. Carter,
I’m sorry for making you wait longer than I originally planned. This is a complicated business procedure, but I think I’ve figured it out.
All the best,
4. Thank You for Your Patience
This one’s a little different. Instead of an apology, you can turn it into a positive message with thank you for your patience.
Thanking someone instead of apologizing helps to keep things respectful and polite. It shows you appreciate someone for waiting on your response, even if you didn’t mean to keep them.
Try it when emailing a valuable customer. It’s a great way to keep them happy, as it shows you care about them and appreciate how important their time is.
You can also review this sample email:
Dear Ms. Clark,
Thank you for your patience. I have gathered all the relevant information to show you what your next steps are.
All the best,
5. Please Accept My Apologies for the Delay
You should also give please accept my apologies for the delay as try.
It’s effective because it’s professional and genuine. It shows you regret making someone wait for longer than you originally planned.
Try it when emailing a coworker who asked you to help them with a team project. It shows you did what you could, but you had to take longer than you first thought.
Feel free to review this email sample:
Please accept my apologies for the delay. However, I had to ask multiple departments to find the best solution.
6. Forgive Me for Delaying You
It’s always nice to ask for forgiveness in professional emails. That’s where forgive me for delaying you comes in.
We recommend using this when emailing your boss. It shows that you’d like their forgiveness because you made them wait for longer than you anticipated.
The following email sample should clear things up for you:
Dear Miss Hide,
Forgive me for delaying you. I have now uncovered the problem and attached the file detailing our next steps.
7. I Appreciate Your Patience
You can use I appreciate your patience rather than directly apologizing to the recipient.
It’s a positive and kind phrase that helps you to stay professional and genuine. Sometimes, sorry isn’t always the best word to use.
Try this when emailing customers. It shows you’ve kept them waiting for a while, but you finally have news for them and would like to keep them involved.
Feel free to review this example:
Dear Mr. North,
I appreciate your patience and have found a way for us to move forward. Please review the file and let me know.
8. I Hope You Can Forgive Me for Making You Wait
One final synonym to use is I hope you can forgive me for making you wait.
It works well when replacing sorry to keep you waiting. Try it to sound friendly and apologetic.
It’s a very regretful phrase. Generally, this works best when contacting colleagues who might have expected to hear from you sooner.
The following email example will also help you with it:
I hope you can forgive me for making you wait. Hopefully, this file will make up for how long it took.