Just when you think you’ve heard every excuse for being late, someone tells you a new one. Here are some of the most common. Which ones do you think are acceptable?

“I couldn’t find my car keys”

This isn’t a great excuse because it’s probably your own fault. Having a special place for them in your home will usually solve this problem.

“I overslept”

Very honest, but not a very good excuse. Going to bed earlier or setting an extra alarm will help.

“I got stuck in traffic”

Accidents or breakdowns are unpredictable and can cause chaos in the morning rush hour. If you really can’t afford to be late, find alternative routes, listen to the traffic news on the radio or just leave earlier.

“My train was delayed”

Another transport problem that’s usually out of your hands. Taking an earlier train often helps, especially when the weather is bad, so does checking your local transportation system’s website for the latest news.

“My watch is slow”

Or maybe everyone else’s watch is fast? If your watch is unreliable, use the internet to set the correct time.

“I had to take my kid to the doctor”

If none of your family or friends can help you, there’s nothing you can really do about it. Try to recognise the signs early to give you the chance to plan ahead.

“I forgot”

This can happen, but it sounds really bad. Put appointments in your diary and, if you use a digital calendar, set a reminder.

“Something came up”

This is a very vague excuse, and could cover everything from an urgent business call to a family problem.

Do some of these sound familiar? Which excuse do you use or hear the most?