A message to say you're late

Learn how to write text messages to tell a friend you're going to be late.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

I'm running 10 mins late, sorry!


No problem!


Aargh! Traffic is really bad. I'll be more than 10 mins late now, sorry again!!


It's OK, don't worry. I'm in the café already so it's fine


This is not my day! I'm here but can't find a place to park. I'm looking for a different car park. Not sure how long I'll be


OK, LMK when you find a place


I might get something to eat tho


Of course! I'll be as quick as I can




Found one! Be there in 10 mins


Well done! See you soon


Thx for waiting



1. You don't need to write complete sentences for text messages.

2. Use abbreviations like LMK (= let me know) or use emojis to save time writing.

3. You don't need to use full stops (.) at the end of messages.

4. Say how many minutes you think you'll need, e.g. I'm running 10 minutes late.

5. It’s good to say sorry and sorry again, but you don't need to say sorry in every message.


Worksheet96.32 KB

Language level

Beginner: A1

Submitted by francyscongo on Wed, 13/10/2021 - 11:10


Sometimes I am late on date. Now I try to be early every day in my work, english class and date.

Submitted by alisinasarabchi on Mon, 11/10/2021 - 21:13


i try to be on time, but sometimes i forget date and time of the meetings. so, it is necessary for me to find a way to remind me. LMK, what's your idea in useing of cell phone apps to solve this problem??thnx alot.

Submitted by Julia Han. on Mon, 11/10/2021 - 08:04


I am a punctual person ever. I always emphasize the given time,date and place. If the appointment place is a little far away from me, I take traffic jam into consideration. In this case, I plan two hours earlier for one hour way. On the other hand, for my journey to daily work, the bus number is rather rare and forty five minutes gap between one another. In addition, the bus is not on time and so I am not in time too. At such time, I late about 25 minutes. However, I have never late more than 25 minutes ever.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Sun, 10/10/2021 - 13:45


i am not often late because when i have a appointment with someone i am alway prepare everything before appointment time about thirty minutes so i am not late but for me if you come after appointment time about ten minutes, you are already late

Submitted by anarchopath on Fri, 08/10/2021 - 20:53


If we have a date, we have a quick and attend for time. Really when you came a late, is so bad because your friends are bored. So must we were careful for can't be late. This is a important for we communication.

Submitted by amussual on Thu, 07/10/2021 - 12:40


If I don't succeed to arrive in 15 mins, I consider myself to be late.

Submitted by Nhung2110 on Mon, 04/10/2021 - 13:43


I often be on time, but somtimes, I be on late. I think I prepare too long, so I should improve this problem.

Submitted by Abdurrahim on Sat, 02/10/2021 - 12:21


I'm always late when go somewhere or meet someone. Yes , I understand this is bad habit for me but I can't break it and therefore , I continue to be late every time.

Submitted by pabloxje on Wed, 15/09/2021 - 21:28

Usually I am on time and punctual, I don't like to be late I think that is not respectful to the other people being late. Also I get a little bit disturb when I must wait someone who is late.

Submitted by Minnu on Wed, 15/09/2021 - 12:08

I try to be punctual always but sometimes I’ll be late depends on the unpredictable situations.more than 20 mins late is the time considered late for me. I don’t like anyone keep me waiting for long time.May be others will think this way too..so I don’t like to make anyone waiting so I try to be on time

Submitted by hassan rakib on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 12:23

It depends on the traffic. I usually try my best to arrive on time, but can't always do it due to unpredictable traffic. 10 mins Before or after I count as on time in that sense. So, 15 mins late is the time I consider late and subjected to an apology.

Submitted by JonathanRob87 on Fri, 03/09/2021 - 01:38

I admit I have a problem with the punctuality. I always sorry for this defect but it is something I have not been able to change though the years. My friends or acquaintances already know about this and they always begin (whatever the activities are) without me. To me being late means 1 hour. I do not have problems when someone arrives late. I always bring with me a book into my backpack in order not to be bored.

Submitted by Tossa on Tue, 31/08/2021 - 23:40

I'm usually on time, for me is bad to arrive late, I think my time and your time is important. If happens something I'll probably call or text you explaining what happened with me and you'll probably wait for me. If you arrive one minute later, for me you're unpunctual person.

Submitted by Heyle20 on Mon, 16/08/2021 - 10:36

I always like to be on time or even arrive minutes before the appointment.

Submitted by Aisha Tameem on Sun, 08/08/2021 - 20:47

Hi I am sorry, I think I need 20 minutes too late There is a problem with my car so I wasting my sister to bring my I heat to me late! Sorry again, please waiting to eat together and I will you know when I arrive, see you soon

Submitted by avenesra on Sun, 01/08/2021 - 19:20

I'm usually on time and I'm not into when someone makes wait aargh

Submitted by Chue KP on Fri, 16/07/2021 - 16:47

I usually on time but sometime I late about 15 min that is maximum.

Submitted by amola on Wed, 26/05/2021 - 15:23

I'mnot driving a car so I always been late and I'm running hours late .Tha't bad 'but nothing to do about it. I really organize person and I like that in all things just my appointment with others out home

Submitted by Veronikka on Sun, 25/04/2021 - 21:25

I always arrive 10 minutes before the meeting. I don't like arrive late.

Submitted by Veronikka on Mon, 19/04/2021 - 00:47

I'm always on time. I dont'like to be late, because I think the time is important for the person who is waiting for me. I usually measure the time to travel and add a one hour extra to it, for assure I arrive on time. if you arrive one minute later, you are late for me.

Submitted by DarwinM on Sun, 18/04/2021 - 05:20

I'm usually on time because I think that being late is disrespectful. I don't like it when people think that being late is nothing. I know we could all be late at some point, but it is always necessary to explain why we will be late and try to take precautions in advance. I think If 5 mins have passed it is already late.

Submitted by stef on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 11:18

I am always on time, and I hate to be late also I feel upset when someone come late when we have to meet each other

Submitted by mirtha on Wed, 07/04/2021 - 15:37

I am usually on time. For me "late" it's more than 10 mins after or before the hour.

Submitted by paola_k on Wed, 07/04/2021 - 01:53

To be late is a common practice in my country for casual meetings. However, is judged as a very irresponsable behavior at work, unless your the boss.

Submitted by Dibesciak on Tue, 06/04/2021 - 08:32

I think that being late is a bad habit. You don't show respect to other people when you coming late for a meeting/ appointment. If You turn up late for job interview you propably won't get a job. Or if you will be late for doctor's appointment , you may will lost chance to visit a doctor. Anyway when I' ve worked in Central London, I was usually late because the buses moving very slowly during the peak ours and underground is overcrowded. It so difficult to be on time , while you using the public transport in London. You need to decide whether cycling or walk to work.
I agree with you. I'm happy to learn here on the site about expressions to make an apology for delay such as appointments you mentioned.

Submitted by 7s_mila on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 18:08

I like to be a punctual. I try rarely late. If 10 mins have passed it is already late.

Submitted by Thiên Lý on Mon, 05/04/2021 - 04:50

Late is a common habit in my country. we call this is "giờ cao su". I usually go to meeting...late because i think other people will be late also. but i go to school is on time, and sometime early.

Submitted by Veronikka on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 21:08

No, I'm not. I always like to arrive 10mins before the meeting and I hope the other person arrives on time. If the person arrives 1min late, it's late for me. Time is of great value to me and I don't waste it. I think Time is worth more than money.

Submitted by PuenteD on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 17:29

In my country is common to be late... For example, when two people mark the hour to meet, then everyone can be late or more late... is crazy, I know, but we are chance...

Submitted by Ehsan on Tue, 30/03/2021 - 05:42

I am usually on time. I try to be on the date even some mins sooner on Appointment. until 5 min is ok for me for waiting.

Submitted by SaraMessa on Mon, 29/03/2021 - 18:08

When I go to work, I'm on time. If I go out with friends or my boyfriend, usually I'm late, because l'm more relaxed. Late for me is 10 minute.

Submitted by Camila Abreu on Mon, 29/03/2021 - 14:34

I am always very punctual. I get extremely upset about any delay.

Submitted by giovannam10 on Mon, 29/03/2021 - 00:19

I try to be puntual but sometime I´m late. For me "late" it´s 30 minutes or more.

Submitted by AbdelmalekBC on Fri, 26/03/2021 - 21:03

I'm a punctual person, I used to be on time almost everyday, for me 5 mins is too late.

Submitted by Valentinamisas07 on Fri, 26/03/2021 - 00:51

I usually late, though I have a plan don't result how I want. For me late is 30 mins

Submitted by Camila Bastias on Thu, 25/03/2021 - 21:33

I usually late, because i´m very slow to arrive in a place. For my late could be 5 mins.

Submitted by mrs.agatt on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 13:22

I always try not to be late but usually I'm late approximately 10 to 15 mins. It's ok to me if someone is also late up to 15 mins.

Submitted by Asni on Tue, 23/03/2021 - 00:40

Punctuality is one of my qualities, so I'm nearly always on time. Although, it is not the kind of behaviour I appreciate much, I can tolerate up to a15 mins delay. I can't blame them for an urgent situation that might occur out of the blue, the world is not perfect and sometimes unpredictable.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Mon, 22/03/2021 - 13:33

I used to be 20 or more minutes late, I think that 20 minutes is late for me. I'm not late now.

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sat, 20/03/2021 - 12:13

I hear there are two kinds of people. Those who live time and who live on time. We shouldn't be much controlled by a clock; hope we follow our own time...!

Submitted by Dwi A on Fri, 19/03/2021 - 08:15

Well, it's better to have apologize by saying "I do apologize or I am sorry for....." for respecting others when I got late for formal situation or informal situation

Submitted by Wevellyn on Mon, 15/03/2021 - 22:29

I hate when I'm late, because I always arrive 10 minutes before my appointment. So, for me 1 minute is late haha.

Submitted by MikhailZatopliaev on Sun, 14/03/2021 - 04:42

Usually, I'm on time. It is about 10 mins is "late" for me.

Submitted by Maahir on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 11:22

I always like to be on time. but you may same times be late for some reasons, at that point its better to apologize the person you have the appointment with to show some respect. sorry for my English.

Submitted by EdithF on Wed, 10/03/2021 - 20:34

I think being punctual shows respect for other´s people time; but also, I think that when something happens it´is really important to be in touch with the person who is waiting :)

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Thu, 04/03/2021 - 13:57

I will use late
Online courses
Learn English online – with the world's English experts