You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/Sorry for the delay in getting back to you......

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following examples is correct?

1) I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have had a bad week.

2) I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I had a bad week.

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

IN YOUR OWN WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU EXPRESS THIS CONCEPT?

Also, is it possible ot leave out the "I'm" before "sorry" in the above examples, that is, "Sorry for the delay....."?

Finally, may I join the two sentences with "but," that is, "(I'm) sorry for the delay in getting back to you but, I had/have had a bad week"?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following examples is correct?

1) I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have had a bad week.

2) I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I had a bad week.

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

*** They are both possible, but their meanings are somewhat differed.  The first sentence
suggests that your "bad week" is still happening -- at the time of speaking, your bad
week is continuing.

*** The second sentence says that you HAD a bad week.  The use of the past tense means
that your bad week is now over.

IN YOUR OWN WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU EXPRESS THIS CONCEPT?

*** I am sorry for the delay in getting back to you.  I have been having a really bad
week.  [Paolo, this example is actually true.  I HAVE BEEN HAVING internet and telephone
problems.]  An alternative way of saying the same thing is "I AM HAVING a really bad
week."]

Also, is it possible ot leave out the "I'm" before "sorry" in the above examples, that is, "Sorry for the delay....."?

*** Yes, but omitting the "I'm" makes the sentence sound more casual.

Finally, may I join the two sentences with "but," that is, "(I'm) sorry for the delay in getting back to you but, I had/have had a bad week"?

*** YES.  However, when you join two independent clauses, the comma is placed immediately
BEFORE the coordinating conjunction [in this case "but"].

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.