I’m writing a comedy story that shows my two characters moving to the brink of tragedy and then, ultimately, to reconciliation. The tale is based on a series of emails between a football mad guy and his wife, within which they quarrel catastrophically.

The essence is that France's FIFA World Cup Semi-Final match against Belgium is on/at the same day and time (Tuesday, 7pm) as the football fan’s child's school play.

In the story, my character innocently (in his mind) begins the hostilities by sending an email to his wife apologising for not being able to attend his son's school play. What I’m struggling with is the format of this crucial email.

So, my question is: how do I go about researching the format of an apology email?

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    Are you asking us how to politely tell a family member that you won't be attending their wedding because you want to watch a sports event instead?
    – user
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 14:11
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    I didn't know where to start answering your question, so I googled "how to write apology letter". Two of my first results: grammarly.com/blog/apology-letter and wikihow.com/Write-an-Apology-Letter. I guess you've done the same search and already found those, and they weren't helpful, so could you perhaps add where specifically your problem is with writing the letter? Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 14:19
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    @robertcday Your "in particular" wasn't particularly illuminating then in terms of what you actually want to say in that e-mail. Consider editing.
    – user
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 14:28
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    If this question is 'off-topic' then why is writing.stackexchange.com/questions/1284/… not off-topic?
    – robertcday
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 9:29
  • 2
    @robertcday Perhaps because that question was asked over seven years ago, site standards have changed since, and no one has been bothered enough by that question's existence to push it into the review queues? Note that both meta discussions linked to in the "what to write" close reason are more recent than that question. (Dec 2011 and May 2012, respectively, compared to Feb 2011.)
    – user
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 10:18

1 Answer 1


Have you seen this website? It's for writing all sorts of apology letters/emails, and it has formal apology letters and personal apology letters: https://www.apologyletters.net/

How about this one from the website? (I changed some sentences a bit.)

Dear {Name},

I received your invitation and am so honored to be included among the people you want to celebrate your marriage with. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attending the wedding due to {reason}.

I'm so sorry to miss your joyful day. I know that your wedding will be perfect and I'm so happy for you. Congratulations, and I wish you all the best!


{Your name}.

  • The question used this example in a humorous way, but the real intention is still to write an apology email. As this site is about writing, not deciding what to do, this answer was flagged as "not-an-answer". Your information might be a nice addition, but please edit it to answer the question about writing an apology email or this might get deleted.
    – Secespitus
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 7:27
  • Done, @Secespitus. :)
    – user31677
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 7:57
  • Hi, @Cate - I'm looking for a more general apology, not one that applies to just one circumstance. I've removed the example from my question because it seems to have blindsided so many people. Apologies for the inconvenience.
    – robertcday
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 8:32
  • Oh, okay. Did you have a look into the website? Because the website has a lot of helpful apology messages.
    – user31677
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 8:44
  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 9:00

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