I haven't been able to work on my thesis due to my ongoing masters and work obligations. I'd like to get in touch with my advisor regarding that, and I don't want to sound like I'm making up excuses because I really can't find the time to work on the thesis.

Would the phrase "I don't want to give you excuses, but" < situation description > be ok?

  • 1
    We'd normally say "I don't want to make excuses, but...". That said, your phrasing is ok too. – Dan Bron Feb 13 '15 at 10:10
  • With @DanBron's note in mind, the sentence is fine, but this kind of wording is sometimes seen as a cliche, introducing actual excuses. The same goes for "I don't want to criticize, but (insert criticism)" or "I don't want to tell you what to do, but (insert detailed orders)". – oerkelens Feb 13 '15 at 10:53
  • "Don’t make excuses. Don’t rationalise your failure by placing the blame on someone or something else. ... Those who give excuses get excluded." leadership.ng/religion/405127/… – Kris Feb 13 '15 at 11:39
  • "The Manchester City manager did not want to make excuses for his team's performance but remains confident they will get out of the group. ... while the manager refused to give excuses for the second-half performance, he insisted he is “sure” that the team will make the last-16." manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/… – Kris Feb 13 '15 at 11:41
  • "We can't give excuses for our skill. We know exactly what situation we have to face and prepare for that in training. We can't make excuses about wet balls and things like that." icc-cricket.com/news/2014/features-and-specials/79745/… – Kris Feb 13 '15 at 11:50

How about: I am not making up excuses but...


" I know how much you hate your students making up excuses but I really just was..."

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  • We can use "comments" to post our opinions. – Kris Feb 13 '15 at 13:53

If you have a genuine problem with respect to the completion of your thesis it would sound far better to start with an apology and then explain your problem ,maybe it is not necessary to talk about making up excuses ...

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  • The thing is that the whole course is very strenuous on students. It's a part time course which takes up around 20 hours a week plus I work which is additional 40-50 hours a week. Of course, there are other obligations that simply pop out every so often. On top of that we have to do a thesis, which I simply can't do. So, I don't want to make excuses, but the reality is such that the strain is big and I just can't make it as it currently stands.. – Robotron Feb 14 '15 at 19:39

You could say

"I don't like to give excuses, but I have been really running from pillar to post over the past one week" You can add that some of the obligations took more of your time than you anticipated and hence you ended up with little to no time to dedicate to the thesis. And you really wanted to make a good job of the thesis, so you need more time.

Good luck :)

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