You’re late, you’re flustered and in a panic about how your boss is going to react when you get to work or how your mother-in-law is going to feel about you missing the birthday cake. We’ve all been late at one point in our lives and it’s important to have a store of excuses for when you are in trouble!
These excuses that we have ever so graciously put together for you will get you out of any situation you’re put in. Be careful not to use them too often though, people will start realising that you are making up excuses! The other option of course is to be on time and punctual, but who really has the time and the patience to do that?
Let’s take a look at the categories by which? we are going to classify our excuses:
There will be new terms in each dialogue that will be put in bold. Then at the end of the dialogue we will explain the terms one by one.
So, let’s get started!
Traffic can ruin anyone’s day.
If you have to drive long distances to get to work it’s likely that you will run into traffic, which is when cars, buses and other vehicles have to form long lines due to the amount of people trying to use the roads. You can spend hours of your life sat in traffic, isn’t that sad?
Then again, if the people to whom you are giving the excuse know your family and see them often, your excuse might not work very well! You need to make sure that they can’t figure things out. This is particularly difficult in our modern times of social media. Anyone can search Facebook by name and find the person they are looking for in seconds.
Here’s your example dialogue for excuses involving family problems:
CHARLES: SORRY I’VE BEEN SO BUSY LATELY GUYS, I’VE HAD SO MANY FAMILY PROBLEMS!
CHARLES: YEAH, FIRST MY POOR OLD GRANDMA PASSED AWAY, THAT WAS SAD, SHE WAS 86 AND IT WAS A SHOCK TO US ALL.
YOLANDA: THAT WAS WHEN YOU COULDN’T COME OUT FOR DRINKS WITH US, RIGHT?
CHARLES: YEAH, SORRY GUYS.
BEN: THAT’S REALLY STRANGE BECAUSE I WAS TALKING TO YOUR GRANDMA DOWN AT THE SHOPS THE OTHER DAY.
CHARLES: UM… ARE YOU SURE?
BEN: I’M POSITIVE.
CHARLES: OH YEAH, SORRY, I MEANT MY GREAT GRANDMA. YOU DIDN’T KNOW HER.
YOLANDA: CHARLES, WHY ARE YOU MAKING THINGS UP TO NOT HANG OUT WITH US?
CHARLES: I’M NOT I SWEAR! THERE WAS ANOTHER INCIDENT THE OTHER DAY WHEN YOU INVITED ME TO THE THEME PARK. I REALLY WANTED TO GO BUT THEN MY DAUGHTER FELL ILL, WE WERE REALLY WORRIED ABOUT HER BUT SHE GOT BETTER.
A stronger way of saying you are tired of something.
excuses for being late to work, bed, bedroom
That pesky thing that we all hate, but it’s just doing its job!
The alarm clock is the device that we use to wake us up at a certain time every morning. Usually, the natural response is to turn it off and go back to sleep, but we can’t do that unless we want to be late for the day ahead. Some people are very lucky and they don’t need an alarm clock to wake them up. I don’t know about you, but I am not one of those people.
Usually, you have to pay to use public transport and you expect that it will arrive on time. In reality though, public transport has issues with being punctual and keeping up high standards. It’s important that you leave early so that you don’t arrive late!
Usually, when it works, the car is the most convenient and most comfortable way to get to work in the mornings. You can listen to music while you drive, you can recline your seat and in some cars you have personalised temperature settings.
Sometimes, if you’re late, you can pretend that your car has broken down and you were not able to get to work on time.
Take a look at the dialogue:
DARREN: LEE, WHY ARE YOU SO LATE?
LEE: DIDN’T YOU HEAR? I CALLED THE FRONT OFFICE.
DARREN: NO, WHAT HAPPENED?
LEE: MY CAR BROKE DOWN AND I HAD TO WAIT FOR THE MECHANICS TO COME AND FIX THE PROBLEM.
DARREN: REALLY? ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE TELLING THE TRUTH?
LEE: YES! IT WAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE WHEELS, THEY WEREN’T WORKING PROPERLY.
DARREN: OKAY, IF YOU SAY SO. BUT COULDN’T YOU HAVE JUST WALKED? YOU ONLY LIVE AROUND THE CORNER.
LEE: UM… YES THAT’S TRUE BUT I HAVE A BAD LEG SO IT WOULDN’T BE A GOOD IDEA TO WALK ANYWHERE.
DARREN: JUST DON’T LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN, LEE.
The main office in any organisation that deals with calls and other communications.
To break down
In this instance, this is when a car stops working during a journey.
People that work with cars to try and fix them.
A car has four of these. They allow the car to move.
Around the corner
An expression to show that something is very close.
A bad leg
To say you “have a bad” body part, it means you have a problem with that body part and you are in pain.
This is a pretty extreme example!
If you have an excuse that involves the police, you better know that your manager or your boss isn’t going to check your story with the police to see if it’s true. It could be very easy for them to find out if you’re lying.
There are a lot of examples of excuses to do with the police but we are going to take a look at a common one. Hopefully you don’t experience anything more serious on your commute to work.
GERRY: HAMISH, YOU’RE LATE AGAIN. WHAT’S THE EXCUSE THIS TIME?
HAMISH: BOSS, THIS TIME IT’S A REAL ONE. I WAS PULLED OVER FOR SPEEDING.
GERRY: REALLY? THAT’S NOT GOOD.
HAMISH: NO IT’S NOT, BUT I WAS ONLY GOING 2 MILES PER HOUR OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. IT WAS SO STUPID.
GERRY: WELL, YOU WERE TECHNICALLY SPEEDING.
HAMISH: YEAH, BUT COME ON, 2 MILES PER HOUR FASTER THAN THE SPEED LIMIT IS NOT HURTING ANYBODY.
GERRY: MAYBE, BUT HAMISH, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LEAVE HOME A BIT EARLIER TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN GET TO WORK ON TIME WITHOUT SPEEDING.
HAMISH: YEAH, YOU’RE RIGHT. I JUST HATE GETTING UP EARLY! IT’S HORRIBLE!
GERRY: NOBODY LIKES IT, HAMISH, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO IT SOMETIMES!
When the police tell you to stop at the side of the road.
When you are driving faster than the speed limit.
The speed at which you are allowed to travel on a certain road.
love, care for, adore, be in love with, heart, vital organ
Again, this one can be checked so you better make sure it’s either true or that you have a friend that’s a doctor!
People are generally allowed to miss hours or even days of work to go to the doctor’s. It is seen as something that needs to be taken care of and not even your boss can stop you from caring about your health.
But, some people will make up reasons to go to the doctor’s and will even lie about being ill.
Are you one of these people? If so, this dialogue is for you!
VICTOR: SARAH, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
SARAH: I TOLD YOU, TODAY WAS MY DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT. I’VE BEEN SUFFERING WITH THE FLU FOR WEEKS NOW.
VICTOR: BUT YOU SEEM OKAY! HOW DID IT GO?
SARAH: IT WAS ALRIGHT, HE GAVE ME A PRESCRIPTION TO GET RID OF THE REST OF THE FLU. I’M NEARLY OVER IT NOW.
VICTOR: WELL THAT’S GOOD. IF YOU DON’T FEEL WELL YOU SHOULDN’T BE AT WORK.
SARAH: YES, BUT I MISSED WORK LAST WEEK. I DON’T WANT TO BE OFF SICK THIS WEEK AS WELL.
VICTOR: OKAY, WELL TAKE IT EASY AND IF YOU FEEL BAD THEN GO HOME.
SARAH: THANKS, VICTOR.
doctor's appointment vocabulary
A scheduled time with the doctor where they will try to help you with your problem.
A document that your doctor gives you so that you can get drugs or treatment from a pharmacy.
Short for influenza, this is something that is very common and can make you feel like you have no energy and you can’t breathe normally. It’s not usually serious when treated properly.
To be off sick
To be away from work because you are ill or sick.
Take it easy
Another way to say “relax” and tell someone not to work too hard.
This one depends where you live, if you live in a sunny place where there is never any bad weather then this probably doesn’t apply to you. This excuse mainly applies to those living in countries that experience challenging weather on a regular basis.