Explanation of APOLOGIZE FOR + verb -ing form [Grammar]

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Hello English learners! This post is going to discuss and explain the phrase: apologize for + verb –ing form.

Let’s first start with the word apologize.

This is a word that is not very close to any equivalent from the Latin languages. Most English speakers know this word, however I see many ESL students that do not understand this word.

The word apologize is a verb.




When you apologize you say that you are sorry or you give an excuse as to why you failed at something or why you hurt someone.

When I have students that fight or something like that, I tell them to apologize.

Nothing happens, except that I hear the sound of crickets (meaning silence).

I am then reminded that they do not understand the word.

Tell them you are sorry.

Then, they apologize to each other.

Here is example of a sentence:

  • After I accidentally broke the glass, I apologized to my mother-in-law.

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The next word is for, which is a preposition.

There are 32 definitions for this word as a verb.

The definition that I love to tell my students is that the word for is when you give a gift to someone.

The gift doesn’t always need to be great (like homework could be a gift).

If you transfer something to someone else, then to show this transfer, use the preposition for.

Here are some examples:

  • She has a gift for you. 
  • Class, I have homework for you. 
  • We have some information for you. 
  • Do you have those files for me?  

The verb apologize for is actually a phrasal verb.

When we add a preposition after the verb, the definition changes slightly depending on the preposition, and this is called a phrasal verb.

The phrasal verb TO APOLOGIZE FOR means to give an excuse as to why you failed at something or why you hurt someone.

Phrasal verbs can be conjugated into the various verb tenses in English. They also follow the same rules of conjugation pertaining to the verb.

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The preposition does not get conjugated!

Here are some examples with the phrasal verb apologize for:

  • I apologize for saying bad things about the United States. 
  • I apologize for being late to the party. 
  • She apologized for driving to Los Angeles in her dad’s new car.

If you notice, after the preposition FOR  the word ends in –ING.

In English, the verb APOLOGIZE FOR needs to have an –ING.

In fact this is called a Gerund.

A gerund is when we add -ING to a verb and it acts as a noun.

Here are some examples:

  • Riding a bike is a fun activity.
  • Do you want to go swimming in the pool tonight? 
  • Jennifer likes hiking in the mountains.

That concludes the explanation of apologize for + verb –ing form.

Please take advantage of the comment box below and write your OWN sentence using apologize for +verb –ing form.

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