9 Synonyms for “Second Chance”

Have you done something wrong and need a second chance?

Or perhaps someone else has made a mistake, and you want to give them a second chance.

Whatever the case, this article will help you understand how to say “second chance” professionally.

After all, you won’t want to use the phrase if it’s not suitable in formal contexts, right?

Is It Okay to Ask for a Second Chance?

It is okay to ask for a “second chance.” However, there are different contexts where it will apply better.

For instance, it might not be wise to use it at work. It’s not professional. So, asking for a second chance might look needy or desperate. You should use a more professional alternative.

In private contexts, it’s more effective. You can use it in relationships. It shows that you’ve messed up and would like the chance to prove that you won’t do it again.

You can review this text message sample to learn more about how it works:

I’m so sorry! Please give me a second chance to show you that I’m not going to be like that.


  • It’s a genuine way to ask for a redo when you’ve made a mistake.
  • It’s polite and friendly.


  • It’s not professional, so it’s not good to use it in an email.
  • It’s fairly generic, so some people won’t be impressed with your choice of words.

“Second chance” works well informally, but it’s not great formally. Therefore, you’ll need to know a few alternatives to help you sound more professional when asking for a redo.

Keep reading to learn other ways to say “second chance.” We’ve gathered some great synonyms that work well in all kinds of contexts.

What to Say Instead of “Second Chance”

  • Another opportunity
  • Fresh start
  • Chance at redemption
  • Another try
  • Try again
  • Retry
  • Reprieve
  • Do-over
  • Another go

1. Another Opportunity

Another way to say “second chance” is “another opportunity.” This takes away from the informality of the original phrase, making it suitable in most professional contexts.

If you mess up, it’s always worth asking for another opportunity. After all, you’re only human.

Anyone can make mistakes, and unless you ask, you’ll never know whether someone can forgive you.

So, we recommend using this when emailing your boss. You can email them directly after you make a mistake to ask if they’re willing to overlook the problem.

Feel free to review this sample email if you still need help with it:

Dear Mr. Clark,

I realize that I was mistaken here. Please give me another opportunity to fix this.

I’ll have the final product ready by Friday.

Best regards,
Dan Shaw

2. Fresh Start

For something a bit more personal, you can use “fresh start.” This one will work much better in more private contexts (not professional ones).

For the most part, this phrase is more friendly and honest. It suggests that you could really use another try after you mess something up.

As an example, you can use this when texting a romantic partner. You might have made a mistake, and this is a good opportunity to ask them whether they’re willing to look past it.

Feel free to review these text message samples to learn more:

I’m so sorry! Please give me a fresh start to prove that I won’t do something like this to you again.

I think I’m going to need a fresh start here. Please tell me you can forgive me, as I’d love to move past this.

3. Chance at Redemption

You can politely ask for a second chance by saying “chance at redemption.” This synonym works well because it shows you’re asking for a simple shot to prove yourself.

Asking for a “chance” suggests that you’re open to change. You might make the same mistake again, but you at least want to try to see if that’s the case.

Therefore, this is good to use when writing to a client. If they’re thinking of leaving your company, it might be wise to use a more professional phrase like this to keep them around.

You can also review this sample email to learn more about it:

Dear Ms. Hiller,

I’m asking you for a chance at redemption.

Please trust me when I tell you this isn’t how we normally operate.

All the best,
Josie Kent

4. Another Try

It’s good to use “another try” in some cases as well. It’s another phrase for “second chance” that keeps things simple yet formal.

While it’s not an idiom or familiar saying like “second chance,” it’s still effective. It gets to the point quickly and makes it clear what you want to say without overcomplicating things.

Thus, it works when writing to a coworker. It suggests that you’d like to try something again because it didn’t work well the first time.

So, you can check out this example to learn more:

Dear Adam,

I would like another try if it’s all the same to you.

I’m certain I can find a way to get this done for our team.

Georgia Drone

5. Try Again

Next, we recommend using “try again” instead of “second chance.” Generally, this is a great phrase when encouraging someone to have a second try.

You can use it when emailing an employee. It implies that you’ve noticed a mistake they’ve made, but you’re open to them redoing something to fix their error.

Generally, this is a polite and compassionate way to highlight someone’s mistake.

You can review this email sample if you still need help understanding it:

Dear Lewis,

I understand what happened here, and I don’t mind if you’d like to try again.

Let me know if you need further guidance.

All the best,
Sophie Miller

6. Retry

Another word for “second chance” is “retry.” This is a one-word variation on the phrase that suggests you’re hoping to try something again.

Generally, you can use this when asking a loved one to try again. It shows that you realize your mistake, and you’d like to do whatever it takes to make it up to them.

It’s open and honest. So, it goes a long way when you’re doing your best to make things better for someone you care about.

Generally, they will be thankful to read something like this. It works best in a text message, so ensure you’re using it in the right context.

Feel free to review these text message samples to learn a bit more:

I really want to retry this. I think it will be good for both of us, as I don’t think either of us wants this to end.

We need to retry. I’m sure we’ll figure it out, and I realize that I’ve made a few mistakes that I need to correct.

7. Reprieve

You can also use “reprieve” as another synonym for “second chance.”

This phrase works really well because it shows you need another try at something. It implies that you’ve realized an error of sorts, and you want to do something to correct it.

So, you can use this when asking your boss for a redo. It’s a great way to own your mistake and let them know that you never meant to mess things up.

Also, you can review this email sample to learn more about using it:

Dear Dr. Smith,

I am asking you for a reprieve at the moment.

I believe I can do better, and I think I know what I have to do to get it to work.

All the best,
Joey Best

8. Do-Over

Try using “do-over” if you’re looking for something a bit more informal.

This one works really well in more private contexts. You can use it when fixing problems with a friend. It suggests that you’d like a second chance to do better to help them.

Generally, this is a great way to show your friends that they can trust you. It lets them know that you’re working on yourself and trying to find ways to make it better for them.

Also, these message samples should help to clear a few things up:

I want us to have a do-over. I really think it’s important for us to look at this logically and see what to do next.

We need a do-over. I’m certain that we can get through this, and I have a few ideas that will help.

9. Another Go

One final alternative we want to touch on is “another go.” This is a simple way to ask for a second chance when you realize you’ve made a mistake.

Generally, you can ask for another go when you’re certain you can correct an issue.

It’s a confident way to ask for another try. So, it works best when writing to your employer. It suggests that you’ve noticed the error in your ways, and you’ll do what you can to fix them.

You can also review the following email sample to learn more about it:

Dear Ms. White,

I’m so sorry for that oversight!

Give me another go, and I’ll ensure never to make a mistake as simple as that again.

Brian Mortimer