The verb EXCUSE

Hi, How is it going? Thanks in advance!

E.X. You excuse , ‘I?ll be ruined if I do that’

Is that right?

Should I use ‘yourself’ with
the verb excuse?


See you!

Hi Jesus

As I understand your question, you want to know if you can use the word excuse similarly to the way you’d use say when you quote someone.

That’s a bit tricky. In your example, yes, you would need “yourself”. You excuse yourself would mean that “you make an apology”.

But if you wanted to use this with a direct quote, I think you would need to say:
You excuse yourself by saying, “…”

In other words, using excuse this way isn’t normal. I wouldn’t do it.

I think it would be more typical to say:

“I?ll be ruined if I do that,” he apologized.

Just my opinion…

I agree with Yankee. You can’t use excuse to directly indicate someone said something like that. You would actually have to fully describe the act of excusing and then tie it to what you are saying. As Yankee gave an example.

Hi! Thanks a lot, Amy. I understand, but, if that?s
not normal, isn?t that right?. Why should I use
that “by saying”?. Isn?t it understood that
someone who excuses himself/herself is going
to ‘say’ something? Can?t I omit it?

Thanks a lot again!


Hi Jesus

Using “excuse” with the sense of “say” is just not a way that “excuse” is used. And that’s why I say, if you really, really, really must use “excuse” that way (with a direct quote and despite what I say ;)), I think you would have to add “by saying” in order to make it half-way normal. In my opinion, if you omit “by saying”, it won’t be even half-way normal. It will just be weird. :shock:

Another difficulty is that the sentence “He excused himself” often means or is understood as “He left the room”.

The next difficulty is that the word excuse is also the word you would use when you want to give a “half-baked” reason (usually a lie or a half-truth) for something you did or didn’t do that made somebody else unhappy or angry.
“He didn’t apologize, he just made a lot of stupid excuses.”

However, you can use apologize (British spelling: apologise) instead of “excuse”. That would work the way you want to use it.

You could also use many other words, for example:
“I?ll be ruined if I do that,” he stressed/explained/complained/whined/pointed out/etc.

Using excuse is really is not a good idea.


Thanks a lot again, Amy!!

I have been asking myself the following question
because of it all.

Can I use ‘you apologize’ at the
beginning of the quote?

You apologize, ‘I?ll be ruined if
I do it’

Thanks again and again!


Hi Jesus

It’s much more standard to have it after the quote (when you’re writing a story or reporting the news, for example).