10 Synonyms for “Sorry for the Short Notice”

In professional settings, it’s common to face situations where you have to communicate with less notice than you’d like. Saying “sorry for the short notice” is a polite way to acknowledge this, but using the same phrase repeatedly can become repetitive.

This article provides 10 alternatives to diversify your apologies for short notice, maintaining professionalism and respect in your communications. Each alternative is explained with examples to help you use them effectively in your emails.

Is It Professional to Say “Sorry for the Short Notice”?

The phrase “sorry for the short notice” is professional, formal, and polite. It’s often used when you have to give someone information or ask for something with less warning time than is ideal. This phrase acknowledges the inconvenience and shows respect for the recipient’s time. However, it is important to consider the context in which this phrase is used. It fits best in professional settings where advance notice is usually expected or required, such as in business meetings, appointments, or when deadlines are involved.

An example of how to use “sorry for the short notice” in an email might look like this:

Dear Emily,

I hope this message finds you well. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to reschedule our meeting to tomorrow at 10 AM.

Sorry for the short notice, but I believe this meeting is crucial for our project's next steps. Please let me know if this new time works for you.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Using this phrase has both positives and negatives:


  • Shows politeness and respect for the other person’s time.
  • Helps soften the message when asking for a last-minute favor or change.
  • Can make a professional relationship stronger by acknowledging and apologizing for the inconvenience.


  • May not always lessen the impact of the inconvenience caused by the short notice.
  • Overuse can make it seem like you often fail to plan ahead properly, which can affect your professional image.

While “sorry for the short notice” is practical and polite, there may be reasons someone might look for an alternative phrase. Different situations or audiences might call for a variation in tone or formality. Also, if you find yourself frequently in situations requiring an apology for short notice, using synonyms or alternatives can help vary your language and possibly mitigate any negative perceptions of habitual last-minute notices. Acknowledging the short notice in varying ways can keep your communication fresh and more personal, avoiding the pitfall of sounding robotic or insincere.

10 Other Ways to Say “Sorry for the Short Notice”

When you need to apologize for not giving enough warning time, here are 10 professional alternatives you can use in an email.

  1. Apologies for the last-minute update
  2. Regretfully, this comes on short notice
  3. Sorry for the unexpected urgency
  4. Pardon the rush
  5. Excuse the hastiness
  6. My apologies for the sudden change
  7. Regrettably, the timeline has shifted unexpectedly
  8. Please accept my apology for the quick turnaround
  9. I hope you understand the immediate nature of this request
  10. Forgive the hurried nature of this message

1. Apologies for the last-minute update

This alternative is as polite and professional as the original phrase. It specifically highlights that the update or change being communicated is occurring at the last minute, therefore, directly acknowledging the inconvenience. This phrase works well in a professional setting where updates are common but usually provided with more notice.

This alternative is better suited when specific information or plans have changed close to the time they were supposed to occur. It directly addresses the timing of the update rather than the request itself.

Dear Thomas,

Please find attached the revised project timeline. Apologies for the last-minute update, but recent developments have necessitated a few adjustments.

Thank you for your understanding.


2. Regretfully, this comes on short notice

This expression is a formal and polite synonym that carries a tone of regret, making it an appropriate choice for professional emails. It indicates that the sender is aware of the potential inconvenience caused by the timing of their request or information.

It is particularly well-suited for situations where you need to convey a sense of solemnity or seriousness, along with the apology for the short notice. This phrase sets a respectful and considerate tone from the start.

Dear Ellen,

I must call a meeting to discuss the latest client feedback. Regretfully, this comes on short notice, but your attendance is crucial.

Kind regards,

3. Sorry for the unexpected urgency

This phrase is both formal and polite, emphasizing that the urgent nature of the request or message was not planned. It’s an effective way to communicate that the timing is less than ideal without sacrificing professionalism.

When the urgency of the situation is the focal point, especially if it arises from unforeseen circumstances, this alternative provides a clear explanation for the sudden rush. It’s useful in conveying the priority of the message.

Dear Sam,

Due to recent developments, we need to expedite our review process. Sorry for the unexpected urgency, but could you please provide your feedback by tomorrow?

Best wishes,

4. Pardon the rush

This is a polite and relatively informal alternative that still maintains professionalism. It’s concise and to the point, making it easy to understand in any context. This phrase acknowledges the speed at which you are asking something to be done.

This alternative is better suited for internal communications where the relationship allows for a slightly less formal tone. It’s perfect for when you need something done quickly and wish to apologize for the hasty request.

Dear Mark,

We need to finalize the budget by tomorrow. Pardon the rush, but can you review and send your feedback today?


5. Excuse the hastiness

Another polite alternative that leans towards a more informal tone, this phrase directly addresses the swift nature of the request. It’s suitable for professional emails where a brisk action is required, offering a courteous apology for the rush.

When the main issue is the fast pace at which you need to move forward, this phrase is particularly apt. It’s great for times when quick decisions or actions are needed, and you must reach out without much lead time.

Dear Alex,

Your input on the latest design draft is urgently needed. Excuse the hastiness, but could we have your thoughts by noon?


6. My apologies for the sudden change

This expression is unquestionably professional and polite, suitable for instances where plans or details have been altered unexpectedly. It conveys a sincere apology and is versatile for various professional contexts.

This alternative is better suited when a decision or situation has changed abruptly, and you need to inform others about the alteration. It’s useful for communicating adjustments in schedules, plans, or strategies.

Dear Rebecca,

The venue for tomorrow's workshop has been moved to Conference Room B. My apologies for the sudden change, but the original room is no longer available.


7. Regrettably, the timeline has shifted unexpectedly

This phrase is very formal and maintains a polite tone. It’s specifically focused on changes to deadlines or timelines, making it perfect for projects or tasks with shifting schedules. This alternative shows awareness of the inconvenience that such changes might cause.

It’s particularly useful in scenarios where deadlines or project timelines have been adjusted without prior warning. Using this phrase helps manage expectations and mitigate any frustration from the sudden shift.

Dear Joanna,

We will need to push the project deadline to next Friday. Regrettably, the timeline has shifted unexpectedly, but we are confident this will result in a better outcome.

Kind regards,

8. Please accept my apology for the quick turnaround

This is a formal and polite way of apologizing for asking someone to complete a task or respond in a shorter time frame than would normally be preferred. It acknowledges the difficulty that the quick turnaround might impose.

This alternative works well when you require a fast response or turnaround on a task, particularly in professional settings where timelines are tight, and tasks are urgent. It conveys respect for the recipient’s time and workload.

Dear Kyle,

To meet our publication deadline, we need your article revisions by tomorrow. Please accept my apology for the quick turnaround, and thank you for your cooperation.


9. I hope you understand the immediate nature of this request

This phrase is both formal and polite, making it suitable for situations that require immediate attention. It indirectly apologizes for the short notice by emphasizing the necessity of the request’s timing.

When there’s an urgent need that justifies the short notice, this alternative is particularly appropriate. It’s helpful in cases where the urgency is out of your control, yet you still wish to maintain courtesy and professionalism.

Dear Ian,

We need to adjust the client's campaign strategy based on recent feedback. I hope you understand the immediate nature of this request, but your input today would be invaluable.

Thank you,

10. Forgive the hurried nature of this message

This phrase is polite and slightly informal, ideal for when you’re sharing information that required immediate dispatch. It’s an acknowledgment of the rush, paired with a request for understanding.

This alternative is better suited for instances where the speed of communication takes precedence over detail or formality. It’s a respectful way to explain why you had to rush, making it fitting for fast-paced environments.

Dear Cooper,

An opportunity has just arisen that we must seize immediately. Forgive the hurried nature of this message, but could we discuss this first thing tomorrow morning?


Final Thoughts

Being able to say “sorry for the short notice” in various ways is a useful skill in any professional setting. The alternatives we provided can help you communicate more effectively and respectfully, especially when time is limited.

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