I want to reply to an email that I should have answered two weeks ago already. How can I say the following in an idiomatic manner?
'sorry for the delayed answer'

The email's tone is rather colloquial.

What I was thinking of:
'Je suis désolé pour la réponse tardive'
'Je suis désolé que je réponds tardive'
Since I don't have any intuition for the French language I'm absolutely not sure whether this is what one would say.

  • 2
    Hello, welcome to FLSE. What have you tried so far ? What is wrong with what you already found ?
    – Random
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:07
  • @Random Thanks, put it into the main post as an edit so that everyone sees it right away.
    – Dahlai
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:11
  • 1
    How about: "Désolé(e) de ne pas avoir répondu plus tôt." Aug 31, 2016 at 14:13
  • @LUNA This sounds better to me. If others agree you can write an answer, so that I can accept it =)
    – Dahlai
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


How about:

Désolé(e) de ne pas avoir pu répondre plus tôt.

Or if you want to emphasise how sorry you are:

Vous me voyez profondément navré(e) de ne pas avoir pu répondre plus tôt.

  • Merci beaucoup Luna!
    – Dahlai
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:30
  • Perfect. The first one is polite enough for informal language, the second one is just what is needed for formal language (i'll just avoid profondément, maybe it's a bit too much).
    – Destal
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:47
  • This isn't strictly translating the English sentence. Here you say you were late because you were unable to answer, i.e. there is something that prevented you to reply. Unless something out of my control is the cause of the delay, I wouldn't use these sentences because it means between the lines: "I'm sorry but it's not my fault."
    – jlliagre
    Aug 31, 2016 at 21:32
  • Suggestion by a French friend of mine: 'Je vous présente mes excuses pour ma réponse tardive'
    – Dahlai
    Sep 1, 2016 at 9:46

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