Apology Responses and Politeness of Pakistani English and British English Speakers: Culture and Gender Perspectives


  • Dr. Tahir Saleem Assistant Professor, Department of English-University of Central Punjab, Lahore
  • Dr. Uzma Anjum Assistant Professor, Department of English-Air University, Islamabad
  • Prof. Dr Wasima Shehzad Dean, School of Social Sciences-Air University, Islamabad


Apologies,, Cross-cultural Pragmatics,, Culture,, Sociocultural,, Speech acts,, politeness


This study examines sociocultural, pragmatic, and gender differences between native speakers of British English (BritE) and Pakistani English speakers (PakE) in expressing apology responses (ARs). Based on a discourse completion task (DCT) using data from 60 speakers of both cultures, the study focuses on the variations in the use of apology response strategies in three severe and three non-severe situations. The findings show that the two groups use a variety of strategies in expressing apology responses. The majority of BritE speakers tend to use ARs with the relatively strong hearer-oriented strategies (Acceptance). PakE ARs, on the other hand, seem to be dominated by the frequent use of Acknowledgment, with speaker-oriented strategies. These results have proven that both male and female English-using Pakistanis are amazingly obvious and direct in their apology responses.


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