How to Use English Phrase In My Defense

This is a popular phrase, yet so many people who are learning English say it incorrectly.  There are two typical ways to use this phrase:

1.  After you apologize for something that you did that offended someone or hurt their feelings.


2.  In a conversation, when you are explaining why you think someone (or a group of people) did something or made a certain decision.

The WRONG way to use it

What are some common WRONG ways that people say it?

“On my defense”


“For my defense”

Don’t say it these way.

The RIGHT way to say it

If you decide use this phrase, you should make sure that you are saying it right.

The correct way to say it, in any situation, is:

“In my defense, …”.

After you say it, you will need to explain further.  Usually, you are going to give an excuse

For example, if you didn’t turn in your assignment on time in school, and you want to explain why to your teacher, you should say:

“I’m sorry I turned in my homework late.  In my defense, I got stuck in traffic and it took me two hours to get home last night.”

If you forgot your girlfriend’s birthday, you could say:

“I’m sorry that I forgot your birthday.  In my defense, I had a really stressful day at work.”  (She will probably still be mad at you!)


You can use different variations of this phrase if you are helping defend someone else and a decision or action that they made.  Here are some examples of how you might say it:

In her defense

“I agree with what she did.  In her defense, I don’t see how she had any other choice.”

In his defense

“I know that a lot of people are mad at him, but in his defense, I think he made the right choice.”

In our defense

“In our defense, we didn’t have much time to decide what to do.”

In their defense

“Most people disagree with the new laws.  In their defense, it is hard to please everyone.”

I hope you’ve learned a little about the phrase “in my defense” today 🙂

Thank you so much for visiting my website to learn English!

See you again soon,


In My Defense : English Phrase
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