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Can I transform "I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long" into "I am sorry for having kept you waiting so long"? Is there a difference between them?

Additionally, is "I'm sorry having kept you waiting so long" grammatical?

  • They are all borderline ungrammatical in my dialect, where it would be "for so long". Other than that, same difference. – RegDwigнt Feb 12 '14 at 11:59
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    We do get an awful lot of these 'infinitive (to keep) versus present participle (keeping)' questions. Usually it doesn't make any difference. – WS2 Feb 12 '14 at 12:08
  • @RegDwigнt Definitely no need for for for me. In most cases where either can be used (like here), so long with no preposition tends to sound quite a bit better to my ear. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 24 '14 at 21:10
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I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long. It is fine but can be a bit better:

I am sorry to have kept you waiting for so long.

I am sorry for having kept you waiting so long. It is fine but can be a bit better:

I am sorry for having kept you waiting for so long.

I'm sorry having kept you waiting so long. Not so good. Better:

I'm sorry for having kept you waiting for so long.

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    I wonder if this is a dialectal or purely idiolectal preference. To me, adding for actually makes it sound less mellifluous. The most natural phrasing to me would be, “Sorry to keep you waiting so long”. (Obviously I agree completely with “I’m sorry having kept you waiting” is only borderline grammatical.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 24 '14 at 21:13
  • I am sorry that you kept me waiting till the end, but you didn't explain the difference at all. – Nawaz Oct 17 at 5:00
  • @Nawaz - "...you didn't explain the difference at all" is fine. "I am sorry that you kept me waiting till the end" is awkward. – anongoodnurse Oct 17 at 15:24
  • @anongoodnurse: Yes. It is. It was an attempt to rhyme only; the thing after the but is the real concern. – Nawaz Oct 18 at 16:03

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