更新时间:2023-04-12 16:40:10




Dear Charlie,

Kindly excuse me for my not being able to see you off at the airport this Saturday as I have promised.

A major business partner of our company will be attending an important conference in Xiamen this weekend, and my boss finally chooses me to accompany him there to negotiate about a new transaction. I have just been informed of this plan and am happy about the decisionthis is an opportunity to both display and enhance my abilities, so I am afraid I cannot be present at the airport.

Pursuing study overseas is an essential step in the accomplishment of your dream. How I wish I could have the chance to share with you my personal feelings and suggestions before you are away! I hereby send you a gift to wish you good luck. Please forgive me.


Li Ming


Dear Mr. Smith,

I am indeed very sorry that I missed the examination on International Business English Writing you gave last Friday. I feel awful about it and want you to know what happened that day.

I suddenly fell sick early that morning and my parents had to send me to the hospital. Please find enclosed a copy of the medical bill.

I sincerely hope you can understand my situation and accept my apology. I would appreciate your allowing me to take a make-up examination. I will come to your office during your office hour on Monday to discuss this possibility with you. Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Sincerely yours,

Wang Hua


Dear Sarah,

I am terribly sorry to tell you that I am unable to attend your birthday part next Thursday evening. That is owing to the fact that my younger brother suddenly fell ill and was taken to a hospital this morning. I have to go there immediately and take care of him. As told by the doctor in charge, it will take around five days for him to recover and I have asked my boss for a leave.

I really regret that I cannot go to celebrate your birthday personally and would miss the perfect chance of enjoying myself with all our old friends. I have chosen a small gift for you and will send it to you tomorrow to show my best wishes. Besides, please give my regards to our friends when you meet them at the party.



Dear Mr. Grison

Thank you for your letter of 6 May 20XX concerning the faulty tableware.

I am extremely sorry to learn that the delivery you took on 2 April was of poor quality. This was due to our faulty packing machine. We now have it repaired and we will replace the faulty delivery free of charge within three days.

We have been supplying you for five years and we will replace the faulty delivery free of charge within three days.

We have been supplying you for five years and you have always been one of our excellent customers. Therefore, I greatly regret the inconvenience it has caused and would like to offer my sincere apologies. I can assure you that such occasion will not occur and our supplies in the future will again be of our usual high standards.

I hope that you can use our company as your supplier in the future.

Your sincerely


Dear Sir.

I am writing this letter to apologize to you for the mistake that we sent the shoes in wrong color. I have acknowledged that my fault has brought you great trouble and unconviniences. I hereby express my deep sorrow for this matter and we are going to do our best to make it up to you. I assure you that this mistake will not happen once again and would appreciate very much if you could give us a chance to show our sincerity on this matter.

Best regards


Dear Mr. Clinton

Thank you for your letter of 9 May 20XX concerning faulty goods purchased in our store in London.

I am very sorry indeed that you were not satisfied with the pencils that you bought from our store.

Our company in always trying to improve the quality of its merchandise and we are very unhappy when one of our products does not give satisfaction. In fact, this was due to the breakdown of our packing machine.

In the meantime I regret the disappointment you were caused. As a gesture of goodwill, I have pleasure in refunding the cost of the pencils. And enclose a gift voucher that you can use in our London branch.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. I hope any further purchases you many make at our stores will be up to our usual high standards

Yours sincerely


考研英语道歉信常用开头和结尾的写法 1. Opening of an apology letter(道歉信开头)1) I am writing to apologize for


2) I am terribly sorry, but


3) Thank you for , but I am sorry to say that


4) I regret to inform you that I am unable to do


2. End of an apology letter (道歉信结尾)1) I hope you can accept my apologies. Please allow me to say sorry again. 我希望你能接受我的歉意,并允许我再一次道歉。

2) Once again, I am sorry for any inconvenience caused. 对于所引起的不便,我再一次表示歉意。

3) I would be very grateful if you could tell me if there is any way that I can make up for it. 如果有什么方法可以让我弥补这件事,请告诉我,我将不胜感激。

4) I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. 对于这件事给您带来的不便,我非常抱歉。

5) I hope you can pardon me for this matter again. 我希望在这件事情上你能再次原谅我。

6) I am sorry for causing you inconvenience. 很抱歉给您带来的不便。

7) To be frank, I completely forgot about it until it was too late, I am very ashamed of myself, and hope you will forgive me. 说实话,我完全忘了那件事。为此我感到羞愧,敬请原谅。

8) Would you please excuse my neglect in returning your book? 我忘了还书给你,你能原谅我吗?

9) I trust you will overlook my mistake, which I terribly regret. 对于我所犯下的错误,我深表遗憾,希望你不记前嫌。

10) I sincerely hope that you will be able to think in my position and accept my apology. 我真诚地希望你能站在我的角度思考,并接受我的道歉。

11) I am terribly sorry that I had to cancel our appointment yesterday. 昨天取消了约会,我非常抱歉。

12) I am very sorry indeed to have to refuse your request as the thing is quite beyond my power to do. 非常抱歉不得不拒绝你的要求,因为有些事情是我力所不及的。

13) I am awfully/terribly sorry for what I have done. 对于我所做的一切,我非常抱歉。

14) I feel very guilty for what I have done to you. 对于我对您所做的一切,我感到十分内疚。

15) I am afraid what I have done has caused many inconveniences to you. 对于我的所作所为给您带来的不便,我感到诚惶诚恐。

16) Please accept my most cordial and humblest apologies foronce more. 请接受对于我再一次最诚挚和谦卑的道歉。





The apology is one kind of speech act in the spoken language communication. In our daily life we may usually apologize to others in different ways or accept others’ apologies for different reasons. However, as far as "the apology" is concerned, people may refer it to the expressions such as "sorry" or "excuse me" and so on.. The speech act of the apology is one kind of behavior which usually occurs when the speaker intentionally or accidentally offends the hearer, for the purpose of restoring the former specific relation. When a person has violated the social norm or affronted others in the social group, if he makes apology, he can maintain the interpersonal harmonious relations, restore his social position, and set up the good individual image. This article analyzes the apologies and the differences in the selection of the apology strategies between English and Chinese. The article elaborates the present research situation and the apology’s definitions, the types of the apologies, the apology strategies and its restricted factors, carries on the comparison of the selection of apology strategies between the Chinese and English, and explores the difference in the speech act of the apology between China and the English-speaking country from the characteristic aspect. The result suggests that the different cultures, the different ways of communication and value trend between English and Chinese lead to the differences in the selection of the apology strategies.

Key words: Apology; types; social factors; influence; apology strategies;

近年来,言语行为已成为语用学和社会语言学领域中研究的重要课题之一。作为一种情感性的言语行为,道歉语也受到了许多学者的关注。“英国哲学家J.L.Austin最早提出言语行为理论(Theory of Speech Acts),他将道歉‘apologize’定义为施为语的一种”[1](P82),“Searle 基于Austin的分类,将道歉归于表达类”[2](P92)。“Brown和Levinson提出面子论(The Face Theory)”[3](P102),“指出说话人的道歉行为,表示承认自己的过失,有损面子,是导致说话人正面面子受损的FTA(威胁面子的行为face threatening acts, 简称FTA)”[4](P104),并且“向听话人道歉,表明无意在感情上或行动上伤害听话人是负面礼貌策略是为了满足对方面子上反面的要求”[5](P106)。而最早对道歉语进行具体研究的是Olshtain and Cohen,将道歉语定义为“a culture-sensitive speech-act set of semantic formulae or strategies”(一种对文化具有敏感性、具有一定的语义成分或策略的言语行为组),并提出了最初的道歉言语行为模型。后来,“Blum-Kulka & Olshtain等学者对该模型进行了改进,改进后的模型被纳入‘言语行为实现模式的跨文化研究’(CCSARP)项目中。”[6](P247)自CCSARP项目的道歉言语行为子项目设立以来,很多学者(Holmes、Trosborg、Suszczynska、Owen等)对不同语言(新西兰英语、丹麦语、匈牙利语、英国英语、美国英语等)与文化中的道歉语进行了研究。但这些研究大多是从道歉策略的整体使用情况对道歉语进行跨文化分析,而对道歉策略的具体安排模式或道歉内容的意义却少有涉及。而后,“J·霍姆斯(J.Holmes)对道歉作出定义:假设A 为致歉者, B 为被冒犯者, 道歉是A 为了弥补自己的冒犯行为, 向B 致歉, 以挽回B 的面子, 从而恢复A 与B 的平衡的言语行为。” [7](P376)

一、 道歉的种类





非语言性道歉是通过语言行为以外的所有道歉行为,它是通过非语言渠道实现的,是不用言辞的道歉,属于非语言交际(nonverbal communication)的范畴。在中国,如果一位学生不会回答教师的提问,他总会不好意思地用手搔一搔头以沉默、歉意的微笑对待之。这里,沉默、用手搔头就隐藏着“不好意思,对不起”这样的道歉意义。另外,中国人也有用双手抱拳来表达道歉的意思;中国春秋战国时期的廉颇对蔺相如的“负荆请罪”也是一种非语言道歉行为,以上这三种道歉形式在英语国家是没有的。需要指出的是,非语言性道歉和言语性道歉并不是完全区别开来使用的。人们在双手抱拳致歉的同时,嘴巴当然也要念叨着:“失礼了”、“给您添麻烦了”之类的话。而廉颇以“肉袒负荆,因宾客至蔺相如门谢罪,曰:鄙贱之人,不知将军宽至此也。”[9](P2370)






二、 道歉策略及其制约因素



许多学者对道歉策略(apology strategy) 进行过深入的研究。本文引用贾玉新“将道歉策略分为7 种(其中将“拒绝道歉”作为策略0):

策略0: 冒犯者拒绝道歉(strategy of rejecting);

策略1: 轻化自己的冒犯程度(strategy of minimizing);

策略2: 承认自己的责任(strategy of acknowledging);

策略3: 说明理由(strategy of explaining);

策略4: 直接道歉(strategy of apologizing);

策略5: 采用弥补手段(strategy of offering repair);

策略6: 下保证(strategy of promising forbearance);

策略7: 对被冒犯者表示关心(strategy of showing concern)。”[12](P376)



1. 冒犯者与被冒犯者之间的社会距离(social distance)

2. 冒犯者与被冒犯者之间的相对权势(relative power)

3. 冒犯者与被冒犯者之间相对的权利与义务(obligation of apology)

4. 冒犯者与被冒犯者双方的性别(gender)

5. 冒犯行为的严重程度(severity of offence)

三、 比较社会因素对汉英道歉策略选择的影响




相比较而言,美国人对朋友道歉没有那么客气,对亲密的人又没有那么随便。英美人,处处道歉,源于他们的文化以自我为导向,强调自身利益,“你我界线分明,说话做事,惟恐有碍他人,时刻不忘避免“侵权”行为。咳嗽、放屁、打喷嚏等会传播细菌,污染环境,对旁人的感觉器官也是一种侵害,“I’m sorry”是对他人的一种“赔偿”——虽然这种“赔偿”也是不花分文的,但于情于理都是必须付的。”[13](P104)



换而言之,“中国的上级对下级或是长辈对晚辈倾向于拒绝道歉,至少是拒绝采用直接道歉和承担责任策略,他们更喜欢采用简单的非正式的话语一带而过应承担的责任,或是使用补偿策略。而下级对上级则恰恰相反,显得正式而精致,不但多采用直接道歉和承担责任策略,而且还通过‘真、很’之类的副词来加强程度,甚至末了还要求批评处分。而英美国人则无论上下级或长晚辈其道歉的频率都高,而尤以减轻责任的策略使用为多,而且倾向多种策略的混合使用,显得更为诚恳。对同一冒犯行为,中英在其冒犯程度上的认同也是不同的,对中国人而言,同一行为下级对上级,晚辈对长辈的冒犯程度就要比上级对下级,长辈对晚辈严重得多,相应地,其承担的道歉责任也就要大得多。”[14](P108) 例如:

(中) 昨天我批评你批评错了。请原谅。

(英) I’m sorry. Due to a misunderstanding, I blamed you for someone else’s mistake. Please accept my apologies. It was all a terrible misunderstanding.(对不起。由于误会你,我责备了你。请接受我的道歉。这真是个可怕的误会。)


道歉言语行为是冒犯者公开承认做 了不应该做的事或没有做应该做的事。例如这样的情况,领导交给下属的任务,下属没有完成,这时中国人与英美人采用道歉策略不一样。

“(中) 领导同志,我没能完成您交给我的任务,我应该检讨。请您批评我吧。

(英) I’m very sorry. I completely forgot about it. I suppose I should have been more careful. It will definitely never happen again.(真对不起。我把这回事忘得一干二净。我应该仔细些的。我保证这种事不会再发生。)”[15](P383)




男女在道歉言语行为上存在着很大的差异。对于道歉言语行为,男性一般从自我出发,认为道歉是承认失败有损本人面子的行为,因而尽可能避免使用以维护本人的面子和社会地位。因此只有在冒犯程度严重或意识到对方地位高于自己或与自己社会距离远(如对陌生人) 的情况下,男性才容易采用道歉言语行为。女性则更能从他人出发,把道歉当作减轻或消除由冒犯带来的不良影响和恢复双方和谐关系的礼貌行为。


1.“英美人说‘对不起’并不一定是做错了什么事或觉得理亏。比如请人让路,说声‘对不起’,其实是叫你‘Get out of my way, so I can come out.’(你走开,我才过得去。),只是这种‘命令’,有了‘对不起’,让人更容易接受罢了。所以严格说来,在不少场合,‘Excuse me’等于汉语的‘借光’或‘劳驾’。比较文明的中国人一般是以‘请’开路,如:‘麻烦请让一让’,达到同样的效果。”[17](103-104)

2. “给人造成了损失就该道歉并给予相应的赔偿。例如:损害或弄丢了别人的器物要赔偿;撞伤了别人要带人到医院去治疗;在多大范围内造成了名誉或精神上的伤害,例如,诽谤,盗版等,就要在同样的范围内赔礼道歉,并给予经济上的补偿。”[18](P132)

3. 情节较严重的冒犯行为。例如:违法犯罪,不仅要认错道歉,赔偿损失,而且还要受到法律的制裁。

此外,值得一提的是,在道歉时,英汉两种文化也存在这样一种差异。“中国人在道歉时常说:‘对不起,我错了,我不应该这样说你’等等,而英语中常说‘I apologize for what I have said’,‘I apologize’或‘I take back what I said’。中国人则认为,说过的话是收不回来的。”[19](P73)


现将国内学者贾玉新教授通过问卷对未学过英语的中国人(称操汉语者) 使用道歉的情况进行调查而采集得到的数据与外国学者多斯博格的研究结果(称操英语者)作对比分析。两位学者的调查结果如下表:



百分比 方略0

拒绝道歉 方略1

减轻方略 方略2

认可方略 方略3

解释方略 方略4

道歉方略 方略5

补偿方略 方略6

保证方略 方略7


操汉语者% 1.3 3.9 6.6 23.3 43.0 3.9 5.8 13.9

操英语者% 7.6 20.9 16.3 21.7 7.2 21.7 2.3 2.3


语境对人类的交际起着巨大的作用。“中国属于高语境文化( high-context culture),因为他们在交流中更注重社会地位、客套话和其他的心理语境和外界语境信息,即人们强调‘意会’;而英语国家属于低语境文化(low-context culture) ,他们经常忽略这些信息,在交际中更多依赖的是语码信号本身,即人们注重‘言传’。” [21](P108)两种不同的文化导致了两种截然不同的交际方式和价值取向。

差异首先在于直接道歉方略,操汉语人士中该方略使用率为43% ,操英语人士中为7.2%。高语境文化的模式是统一、同一。中国文化传统中的价值观念是集体主义,重视集体的和谐,他人的利益至高无上,人际关系的紧张与对立有违社会规范,有害于双方的面子。而采用直接明确地道歉的策略则可以避免更剧烈的紧张与对立,因此,为了维护对方的脸面以恢复和谐的关系,中国人道歉言语行为中多采用此策略(直接道歉apologizing),其使用率达到43%。低语境文化的价值取向是推崇个人主义(individualism) ,人们可以为了保住自己的面子而争吵,因此比较不会使用直接道歉的方式。

其次,两者的差异在于减轻责任方略和补偿方略,他们的使用率分别为操汉语人士3.9%、3.9% ,操英语人士20.9%、21.7%。低语境文化的模式是分散、差异。英语国家的价值观念是个人主义,重视个人利益不受损害,个人间的冲突不受舆论谴责。在这种模式中, 个人的意见和与别人的分歧是被称赞的, 一定程度的冲突被认为是有积极意义的。在英语国家, 意见的冲突和据理力争被认为是一种民主的表现,所以英语国家的交际方式是富有冲突性的(confrontational) 。人们因而无可避免地冒犯别人。一旦冲突发生,他们多采用减弱事件的严重程度或责备他人也有责任,或质问责任的前提以质疑责任的存在等方式来减轻自己应负的责任,或声明愿意对对方的损失给予补偿, 即采用方略1减轻责任方略(minimizing)和方略5补偿方略(offering repair),其目的在于维护自己的脸面的同时,修复与受损人的人际关系和恢复受危害者的社会地位。

另外,两者的差异还表现于关心方略的使用率不同,操汉语人士为13.9% ,操英语人士为2.3%。此差异同样与价值观念的差异有关。个人主义价值观非常尊重个人时间、个人空间、个人隐私(可看作是一种心理的空间) ,而对他人的关心有可能会冒犯个人时间、空间和隐私,所以英语国家较少采用关心方略来表示歉意,同时也不能够接受涉及自己个人时间、空间和隐私的关心方式,自然也不会接受此类道歉。

从面子的角度来说,中国人采用形式4 (apologizing) 来保住双方(其实是他人) 的面子;而英语国家的人采用形式1(minimizing) 保住自己的面子。社会关系亦是跨文化交际研究的重点,是影响人们交际的重要因素之一。中国的社会交往关系遵循下列原则: (1) 人们应该服从上级或长者; (2) 等级观念强; (3) 遵循集体主义价值取向。因此, 如果每个人成功地扮演自己的社会角色———领导、下级、父亲、儿子、朋友、妻子等, 就能取得社会的和谐。



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[17] 同[13]:P103-104.

[18] 杜学增.中英(英语国家)文化习俗比较[M].北京:外语教学与研究出版社,1999:P132.

[19] 彭增安.语用·修辞·文化[M].上海:学林出版社,1998:P73.




一 商务英语信函的写作原则


二 商务信函中礼貌用语的重要性


三 商务英语信函中合理表达礼貌应注意的几个方面







四 商务英语信函中的礼貌表现



1 赞美


we find both quality and price aresatisfactory and we are pleased to place anorder with you for the following:(经检查,贵方产品的质量和价格都是我方很满意。因此,决定向贵方订货,具体的款项如下:……)

2 展示人情味 中国人很重感情,人们互相关心,互相理解。尤其当对方发生了不幸或不愉快的事情时往往会向对方表达关切或同情之意,并且会表示一定的理解和美好的祝福,这种写信人想收信人表达关心、理解或同情的方式我们称作“展示人情味”策略。如:

we acknowledge receipt of your let-ter dated the 3rd this month enclosin~thereprography 0f the insurance pohcyt weare regret for your loss.(本月3日来函和保险单印件已经收到,我们对责公司所遭受的损失深表同情。)


3 避免不和


according to our records.you havenot yet settled your account for electroniceqnipment supplied to you on loth de-cember and 20th january this year.(根据我方存档.贵方尚未还清我方今年12月10日以及1月20日向贵方提供的电子设备货物的资金。)

作者借用according t0 our records这个间接和模糊限制语来缓和对方未付款的事实。


4 声称关系亲近





1 减缓语气


2 表示歉意


3 道歉