"I'm sorry!" vs "My bad!"

Obama Rocks   Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:35 pm GMT
What's the difference between "I'm sorry!" and "My bad!" in terms of nuance, usage, connotation and etc.
Laura Braun   Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:55 pm GMT
My bad , never heard about it.I'm sorry, is when you have to say I'm sorry. It's so obvious. There are nations which have to learn how to apologize instead of curse. I've got an example. In US if you are shopping for example and someone push you with his cart he immediately is going to say I'm sorry, in some other country in the same situation you are not going to receive apologize but cursing words which are not so pleasant for your ears. That's the difference. You can also say 'It's my fault'.
12345   Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:59 pm GMT
I think I'm sorry is more a way you really wanted to say sorry and you want to heal the possibly broken relation again.

My bad is more an informal saying you made a mistake.

At least that's my opinion.

Like: You installed the wrong program on someone's computer. Or you dropped a glass of milk. Than you say 'my bad'. As the consequences aren't terminal.

If you said something very degrading to someone, or you destroyed someones painting or car. Than you'll say: I'm sorry.
Tina   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:06 pm GMT
"My bad" came from African-American street slang, and grew in popularity with white kids in the 1990s. Today it's considered passť, but I still hear some unhip adults use it <cringe>.

"My bad" isn't really an apology, while "I'm sorry" is.
12345   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:07 pm GMT
But I have to say I oftenly see and hear people use them both at the same time, but more like: 'Sorry, my bad'
Milanya   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:18 pm GMT
"I'm sorry!" - common, neutral, polite

"My bad!" - informal, slangish
Jasper   Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:53 pm GMT
I agree with Tina. "My bad", an informal phrase, seems to be going the way of the expression "Not!" at the end of a sentence.
Matthew   Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:30 pm GMT
"My bad" literally means the same thing as "my fault" or "my mistake." and can be used in conjunction with 'sorry'. It is informal.

Most English teachers would probably tell you to avoid using this phrase, but I'm the opposite in this regard. A small amount of slang in new speaker's informal dialect will do far more to make one sound like a native speaker than going completely by the book, which most native speakers would find to sound odd, especially when the speaker has a foreign accent.
IQ   Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:36 pm GMT
"My bad" is a horrible Americanism which should be avoided if you want to sound intelligent.
Matthew   Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:01 pm GMT

"Sounding intelligent" to a native speaker while speaking with what would not be considered a native accent is futile, except perhaps with a German accent, which has become a stereotype of intelligence since Einstein, but even then one would have to be talking about what one would consider an intelligent subject.

The first thing a new speaker should try to achieve next to pronunciation and intonation is a dialect as close to the general native populace as possible. There are of course exceptions to this, but as a general rule of thumb it's a good one.

I wouldn't personally use "my bad," but a small amount of slang isn't a bad thing. Slang, of course, differs between countries and regions, so one should take care to learn the right slang for the place you intend to communicate in/to the most.

Something to always keep in mind is that, irrespective of what academic teachers will try to tell you, speaking formally in an informal setting is generally regarded as pompous and should be avoided. This isn't to say that one should speak in all slang, either, as this would give the opposite impression, which is off-putting as well. Find that happy medium.
Johnny   Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:14 pm GMT
<<A small amount of slang in new speaker's informal dialect will do far more to make one sound like a native speaker than going completely by the book, which most native speakers would find to sound odd>>

I agree.

American dude: Hey man, how ya doin?

ESL dork: Hello, how are you? I am fine, what about you? *opens his grammar book* The idiom you have just uttered does not seem to appear in my Ultimate Grammar for Dorks. I suggest you revise your grammar as it might cause you problems in your job interviews in the future, making you appear as uneducated.
Guest   Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:17 am GMT
The last time I heard "my bad" used was in ... 1998, so probably best not to use it.
Laura Braun   Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:44 am GMT
Kess   Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:55 am GMT
My neck, my back, my bad
Guest   Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:59 am GMT
I have been hearing people use "my bad" (cringe) more and more over the past year or so here in Britain.

It is a blatant 'Americanism' and so surprised am I to hear Americans say that it isn't being used as much over there. Judging by much of your media this certainly wouldn't seem to be the case.