10 Other Ways to Say “Sorry for the Late Reply”

If you’ve replied late to someone in a formal email, you need to find the best way to apologize. Of course, there’s always “sorry for the late reply.” But does that work as well as you think?

Luckily, this article will provide all the answers to your questions. We’ll show you how to say “sorry for the late reply” professionally.

Other Ways to Say “Sorry for the Late Reply”

  • Apologies for the delay
  • Didn’t mean to make you wait
  • So sorry for getting back so late
  • Sorry for the delay
  • Apologies for the late reply
  • My sincerest apologies for taking so long
  • Sorry for taking so long
  • Sorry I took my time responding
  • I know I’m responding late
  • My bad for taking my time


  • “Sorry for the late reply” is a good choice in business emails because it shows you regret taking your time to reply.
  • “Apologies for the delay” is a more effective formal option making you sound more professional and apologetic.
  • “Didn’t mean to make you wait” is more informal, as it comes across as more friendly.

You should continue reading to learn more about the most effective synonyms. We’ll show you how to say “sorry for the late reply” professionally and informally to help in all situations.

It’s also worth knowing whether “sorry for the late reply” is correct. The final section will directly answer this question to help you.

Apologies for the Delay (Formal)

If you’re looking for a formal synonym, “apologies for the delay” is one of the best options. It shows genuine regret for missing a deadline or not replying on time.

Starting a formal email with “apologies” is direct and clear. It shows you want to get the apology out of the way before continuing with the rest of your email. You should use it when messaging your boss and admitting that you made a mistake or missed a deadline.

We highly recommend using this phrase over “sorry for the late reply.” It is much more professional and apologetic, showing that you did not mean to cause any delays or inconveniences.

When your boss receives this in an email, they’ll be much more understanding. That’s why it’s so effective formally.

Here are a couple of email examples to help you out:

Dear Andrew,

Apologies for the delay. A few things came up that I had to attend to before responding.


Dear Mariah,

Apologies for the delay, but I could not get out of the office to help with this.

All the best,

Didn’t Mean to Make You Wait (Informal)

“Didn’t mean to make you wait” is a much more conversational synonym for “sorry for the late reply.” It won’t work in formal emails, though.

Knowing how to apologize in a business email is great, but you must also know how to apologize to your friends and partners.

“Didn’t mean to make you wait” shows you are sorry for causing someone an inconvenience or making them wait longer than they have to.

For example, let’s say you set up plans with a friend to meet at six. However, you don’t get there till seven. You should say “I didn’t mean to make you wait” to show genuine regret for missing the original meeting time.

We don’t think this phrase works well formally. You should stick to “sorry for the late reply” in a formal email. Nevertheless, there aren’t any better options if you want something that sounds more friendly and conversational.

These examples will show you what we mean:

Oh, I didn’t mean to make you wait! I got caught up at home and had to do some things.

We didn’t mean to make you wait! Please, forgive us! We won’t let it happen again.

Is It Correct to Say “Sorry for the Late Reply”?

“Sorry for the late reply” is grammatically correct and works well formally.

However, it might be a bit dismissive if you don’t add more context to the situation (i.e., explain why you were late).

For example:

  • Sorry for the late reply. A few important things came up that I had to sort out.

Generally, “sorry for the late reply” implies you took longer than you were supposed to before replying to someone. The phrase works better if you can explain yourself and why you took so long.

Saying “sorry” when you are late shows regret. However, the phrase is still impersonal. A simple way to fix that is by including a personal pronoun, like so:

  • I am sorry for the late reply

This variation make it sound a bit more professional and personal. It shows that you genuinely didn’t mean to take as long as you did before replying to someone.

You can always bookmark this page if you need to return to refresh yourself on some of the synonyms you can employ in your writing!