Hi

I have a doubt here.

"I'm sorry, but I do not remember your name."

My question is I am unable to understand the useof but here

To me the statement is ok without but. But but seems to be all right as i see natives use it in this context.

Can you help?
1 2
We tend to - or at least some of us tend to - add the word 'but' when giving an apology. From my own personal perspective it adds a note of perceived insincerity by running in an excuse or deflecting blame: "I'm sorry I bumped into you but I didn't see you" or "I'm sorry I bumped into you but you were in my way".

The 'proper' (if there is such a thing) way of phrasing it would be: "I'm sorry. I don't remember your name."

Or you could say, "Who the @#$*!% are you?" (Just kidding!)
vsureshHi,
I have a doubt here.
"I'm sorry, but I do not remember your name."
My question is I can't am unable to understand the use of but here.
To me the statement is OK--ok-- without but. However, But but seems to be all right as I--i-- see

natives use it in this context.
Can you help?

Hi,

This sentence is correct, and but should occur in it. You said if but weren't there, it would still

sound OK to you. Let's leave out that but and see if the sentence is still grammatical.

'I'm sorry, I do not remember your name.' Do you see the comma in bold? This sentence is called

a comma splice because you joined two independent clauses ('I'm sorry' and 'I do not remember your name')

without a coordinating conjunction like but. So, grammatically your sentence wouldn't be correct.

Instead, you could either say 'I'm sorry; I do not remember your name.' or 'I'm sorry. I do not remember your

name.' However, while omitting but from this sentence, you somehow lose its logical meaning.

On the one hand, you wish to say that you're sorry; on the other hand, you wish to say that you don't

remember his / her name. Therefore, you use but to connect these two sentences logically.

Regards

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I'm sorry I do not remember your name.

I'm sorry, but I do not remember your name.

Hmmm...let's see if it works here:

I'm sorry I bumped into you.

I'm sorry, but I bumped into you.

Why should the language structure in apologising for not remembering a person's name be any different to that of apologising for bumping into that same person?
Because the person you bumped into surely realizes that you bumped into them.

The person whose name you have forgotten does not know this until you reveal it to them.
Grammar GeekBecause the person you bumped into surely realizes that you bumped into them.
The person whose name you have forgotten does not know this until you reveal it to them.
Hi,

This is an excellent explanation! You took the words right out of my mouth, Grammar Geek!

Regards
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Thank you, Regards.

I did think of the alternatives you have mentioned-

I'm sorry; I do not remember your name.' or 'I'm sorry. I do not remember your

name.'

Perhaps since my grasp and usage of English is quite less than a native I have the trouble of considering it a natural

expression.

Please give your opinion on this.

What about using 'for' in place of but as I think it is only because we have forgotten the name we feel sorry.

Or is it for any other reason?
We tend to apologize for a lot of stuff.

We could be more straightforward: I've forgotten your name. Could you please remind me?

But we don't usually do this. We apologize for what we are about to — to ask them (implicitly) to repeat their name, and for failing to find them important enough to remember in the first place. (This is an exaggeration.)

Let's say I'm about to introduce you to someone else. Just as I'm about to do so, my mind goes blank. You look at my face and realize that I have no idea what your name is, so you introduce yourself. In that case, a few minutes later, I could later say "I'm sorry for forgetting your name just then" or "I"m sorry that I forgot your name a few moments ago." I could not logically say "I"m sorry, but I forgot your name." You are already well aware of the fact that I forgot it.
vsureshThank you, Regards.
I did think of the alternatives you have mentioned-
I'm sorry; I do not remember your name.' or 'I'm sorry. I do not remember your
name.' Perhaps since my grasp and usage of English is quite less than a native I have the trouble of considering it a natural expression. Please give your opinion on this.
What about using 'for' in place of but as I think it is only because we have forgotten the name we feel sorry.
Or is it for any other reason?
Hi,

As I said, I still think the best solution would be saying but. Frankly, you could just say 'I don't

remember your name'. However, when you offer an apology like 'I'm sorry', you show the respect you have

for the person you're talking to, and it's accepted that people should talk to each other courteously

(at least that's what I believe). I wouldn't use for here since to me, for doesn't convey the same intent

that but does. Let's take the following conversation as an example.

Student: I think you have made a mistake in your argument, ma'am.

Teacher: Oh, you're right, umm. I'm sorry, but I forgot (=don't remember) your name.

Could you remind me your name, please?

Student: Sure. It's Steve, ma'am.

Teacher: You're right, Steve. I'll correct it at once.

Regards
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