There are many reasons why it’s important to be able to say “sorry” in Spanish, or any other language you’re learning. It’s one of the first things you learn when you start learning a language, and we’re sure you know why. Not only is it useful; it also shows manners, and those are important to have no matter where you are. That said, you’ll be glad that you learned how to say sorry in Spanish culture!
Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re on a trip to Spain, you’re walking down the street, and you accidentally bump into someone. They might not know you’re a tourist who doesn’t speak much Spanish, so you have two options here: you could choose not to say anything and look like the bad guy, or you could apologize and show how polite you are.
This is only one example of where you would need to say that you’re sorry in Spanish on a simple short trip to Spain, but if you’re planning on a longer trip—or on moving there—you’ll soon start to make Spanish-speaking friends. Even if you’re a friendly person, there are many situations where your friends might require an apology. You could forget their birthday, or you could…step on their dog’s tail by accident? Or what if you meet a special someone and you forget an important date? Anything could happen.
As you can see, the list could go on and on. We all make mistakes sometimes, and because we’re sure you’re a good person, we’re going to help you learn a few different ways to say “sorry” in the Spanish language, and how and when you should use each of them. Start with a bonus, anddownload your FREE cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Spanish Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)
- Nine Ways of Saying “Sorry” in Spanish
- Four other Sentences You Might Use to Apologize:
- Six Different Answers You Might Get after Apologizing:
- How SpanishPod101.com can Help You Learn Spanish
1. Nine Ways of Saying “Sorry” in Spanish
When learning how to say “sorry” in the Spanish language, one of the first words you need to know issorry.Sorryis the most common way of saying “sorry,” and this also happens to be the Spanish word for “forgiveness”. We don’t consider this word to be formal or informal, because this word can be used in different contexts. But do keep in mind that it’s always used in minor incidents such as the situation in the example below.
Example:SorryI think I accidentally picked up your pencil.
Translation: “Sorry, I think I unintentionally grabbed your pencil.”
Another situation when you could apologize using the wordsorrywould be the first example we mentioned before, which is if you bump into someone by accident.
I'm sorryis another common way to apologize in Spanish, and is usually the first one you learn when starting to learn Spanish, because it’s not as limited in meaning as the wordsorry. It literally means “I feel it” and it translates to “I’m sorry.”
It can be used in a much wider sense than the wordsorry: You can use it for both minor and major incidents. For example, it can be used to offer your condolences after your friend broke up with someone, or after someone has been fired.
This one has a few simple variations: If you’re not just sorry, butverysorry, you say:Very sorry. You use a third version,I'm really sorry, if you’revery,verysorry.
Example:Marta,very sorry,I just found out about your father.
Translation: “I’m so sorry, Marta, I just heard about your father.”
There’s still one last very common variation of this phrase, which consists of forming a sentence that starts withI feel, still meaning “I’m sorry,” followed by the action or situation you’re sorry for. Don’t worry, we’ll give you an example of this one too.
Example:I feelthat you had to go through this.
Translation: “I’m sorryyou had to go through this.”
This phrase is very similar toI'm sorry, but it’s generally used either when you regret something or in sad situations, such as when offering your condolences.I'm sorryis, by far, not as commonly used asI'm sorry, so there’s no need to worry about memorizing this one right away.
Example:I've gone through this joke. I'm sorry.
Translation: “I went too far with this prank.I’m so sorry.”
Sorryis another very common word in Spanish, and it translates to “excuse me.” Some people say that all waiters and waitresses are actually called “Perdona,” as that’s what one commonly uses to call them. You should also use this word if you want to ask a stranger for directions.
Example:Sorry,can you pass me the salt?
Translation: “Excuse me, could you pass me the salt?”
excuse meis basically the formal version ofsorry, because it follows the conjugation of the formyou, instead ofyou(the common “you”). If you don’t know much Spanish yet, don’t worry about it, as it’s not that common anymore and it’s very likely you’ll never have to use it. We’ll use the same example we used with the formsorry, but translated to “pardon” so the difference is more obvious. Also notice that the main verb of the question also changes fromcantocan.
Example:excuse me,can you pass me the salt?
Translation: “Pardon, would you mind passing the salt?”
This one might sound similar to the previous two words in the list, but it actually has a different meaning, which is “forgive me.” You can also saysorrywhen you mean to say “forgive me,” but not the other way around; so you don’t sayforgive mewhen you mean to say just a casual “excuse me.”
Example:Forgive me,I didn't mean to hurt you.
Translation: “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
This word,sorry, has the exact same meaning assorry, but it’s slightly more polite. While you can usesorryin all situations, this word is more limited in use. For example, a young person doesn’t usually saysorryto friends or family, but rather when addressing a stranger, a teacher, or a boss.
Whilesorryandforgive medon’t always have the same meaning,sorryandexcuse meare completely interchangeable.
Example:excuse me/excuse me,you have dropped the keys.
Translation: “Excuse me, you dropped your keys.”
Similar to the difference betweensorryandexcuse me,excuse meis the formal version ofsorry. It can be translated to “pardon” or “I beg your pardon.” We’ll use the same example as we did withsorry, with a couple of changes to make the difference more obvious.
Example:Excuse me, sir, you have dropped the keys.
Translation: “Pardon, sir, you dropped your keys.”
9-My deepest condolences
Looking for how to say “sorry for your loss” in Spanish? This last phrase can only be used during funerals or when offering your condolences. As we mentioned previously, you can also useI'm sorryorI'm sorry, but this one is much more specific and standard.
Example:Your father was a great man.My deepest condolences.
Translation: “Your father was a great man.My deepest condolences.”
2. Four other Sentences You Might Use to Apologize:
When you truly want to apologize to someone, you don’t just say “sorry” and leave, right? In situations like this, you’ll want to know other sentences that might be useful someday if you need to apologize to someone in Spanish. As opposed to the previous list, these phrases are pretty easy to translate into English and their meanings, once you understand them, will make perfect sense. Don’t worry, we’re going to give you examples of every single one. Here’s our shortlist of helpful phrases regarding how to say “sorry” in Spanish culture.
1-It was not my intention(“It was not my intention”)
Example:I'm sorry I hurt you.It was not my intention.
Translation: “I’m sorry I hurt you.It was not my intention.”
2-I will not do(“I won’t do it again”)
Example:Sorry for eating your sandwich.I will not do.
Translation: “I’m sorry I ate your sandwich.I won’t do it again.”
3-It won't happen/happen again(“It won’t happen again”)
Example:I know I've made a mistake, butIt will not happen again.
Translation: “I know I made a mistake, butit won’t happen again.”
4-I shouldn't have done it(“I shouldn’t have done it”)
Example:He thought he was doing the right thing, but he was wrong.I shouldn't have done it.
Translation: “I thought I was doing the right thing, but I was wrong.I shouldn’t have done it.”
3. Six Different Answers You Might Get after Apologizing:
Just like in English, there are a few different ways of accepting an apology in Spanish. In Spanish, there are only a few of these responses and they’re pretty simple to understand, as they all have a direct translation to English and a very clear meaning, so once again, they don’t require an explanation.
1-Don't worry(“Don’t worry”)
Example:A:Have I stepped on you? Sorry!
B:Don't worryI haven't even noticed it.
Translation:A: “Did I step on you? I’m sorry!”
B: “Don’t worry, I didn’t even feel it.”
2-No problem(“It’s nothing”)
Example:A:Oh, sorry, I spilled some water.
B:No problem,I'm going for a rag.
Translation:A: “Oh, I’m sorry, I dropped a bit of water.”
B: “It’s nothing, I’ll go get a cloth.”
3-It doesn't matter(“It doesn’t matter”)
Example:A:Yesterday it was your birthday? Forgive me, I forgot!
B:It doesn't matter.
Translation:A: “Your birthday was yesterday? Forgive me, I forgot!”
B: “It doesn’t matter.”
4-I forgive you(“I forgive you”)
Example:A:I'm sorry, mom, I broke a cup. You forgive me?
B:Of courseI forgive you.
Translation:A: “I’m sorry, Mom, I broke a cup. Can you forgive me?”
B: “Of courseI forgive you.”
Example:A:My deepest condolences.
Translation:A: “I’m sorry for your loss.”
6-It's not your fault(“It’s not your fault”)
Example:A:I'm very sorry, but I can't go tonight, my father is sick.
B:It's not your fault, we'll see each other another time.
Translation:A: “I’m so sorry, but I can’t go tonight, my dad is sick.”
B: “It’s not your fault, I’ll see you some other time.”
4. How SpanishPod101.com can Help You Learn Spanish
Now you know how to say “sorry” in Spain, but what if you wanted to visit Mexico? You can click on the following link to learnCommon Ways to Say Sorry in Mexican Spanish. You’ll see that some of these sentences are the same, or very similar, but you might learn some interesting new ones!
If you’re not sure how to pronounce some of these words, you can check out SpanishPod101.com’s guide onSpanish Pronunciation.
At SpanishPod101.com, you’ll find everything you need to learn Spanish. For example, if you followthis link, you’ll find hundreds of different useful vocabulary lists in Spanish. But hey, that’s not all! We have all the resources you need to become fluent in the language and knowledgeable in the culture. Just visit our website, explore, and learn!
We hope this article on how to say “sorry” in the Spanish language was helpful to you. Continue practicing, and it won’t be long until you master the art of how to say “sorry” in Spanish culture. Best of luck!
Saying sorry (informally)
If you're with friends or in an informal situation, you can use either lo siento or perdón, but lo siento is most common.
- Perdón (I'm sorry) / Perdóname (forgive me) ...
- Lo siento (I'm sorry) ...
- Te/Le pido disculpas (I apologize / I ask for your forgiveness) ...
- Te pido disculpas de corazón (I sincerely apologize) ...
- Te/Le debo disculpas (I owe you an apology)
- Siento lo que ha pasado – “I'm sorry for what happened.”
- Siento lo que dijo – “I'm sorry for what he/she said.”
- Siento lo de tu tía – “I'm sorry about [what happened to] your aunt.”
Although the meaning of lo siento is “I'm sorry,” this isn't an exact translation. Literally, lo siento means “I feel it”—which, if you think about it, is a beautiful way of apologizing. What exactly is that thing that you feel? It's whatever you did wrong that's made you “feel” that you need to apologize.How do Mexican people say sorry? ›
If you want to be very apologetic, or if you're concerned you've just offended or hurt someone, you can say Perdón or Perdóneme, por favor. Literally, these phrases mean “Sorry” or “Forgive (me)” and “Forgive me, please”.How do you say I'm sorry in slang? ›
My bad is a slang expression used to claim responsibility for a deed. If you bump someone on the street, you can say “my bad” to let them know you acknowledge your fault. My bad should only be used in casual speech or among friends.How do you politely say sorry? ›
- I apologize. ...
- I can't apologize enough. ...
- Please accept my sincerest apologies. ...
- I'm regretful. ...
- Pardon me. ...
- Please forgive me. ...
- I am at fault and take full responsibility. ...
- I beg your pardon.
"Disculpe" means "excuse (me)." "Lo siento" means "I'm sorry" like "I'm sorry for hurting you." Hope this helps!What does lo siento mucho mean? ›
I'm so sorry.Does siento mean? ›
Siento: I Feel or I Sit.
There's no literal translation for órale in English. Instead, it can mean one of a few different expressions, such as: “Okay”
gracias. Gracias is used just like “thank you” in English. But, there will be occasions when you will wish to express gratitude in a more polite and obvious manner, and then you should use the expression muchas gracias.How do you say I'm sorry in Spanish to a girl? ›
If you'd like to say “sorry” in Spanish, you would generally say “lo siento.” However, there are times when using “perdón” or “disculple” may be more appropriate.What is a word for terribly sorry? ›
adj.remorseful, regretful. adj.sad, heartbroken. pathetic.What is the short cut for sorry? ›
SRY: An abbreviation for sorry.How do you respond to Oh I'm sorry? ›
- That's OK.
- It happens.
- No problem.
- Don't worry about it.
- I forgive you. (for serious problems)
ごめんなさい (gomen nasai) is the polite way to say “I'm sorry,” but you can make it more casual, too. Switching it to ごめん (gomen, masculine) or ごめんね (gomen ne, feminine) makes it more casual and lighthearted for minor issues.How do I say sorry to my boyfriend? ›
- 1 Give him some space if he needs it.
- 2 Be clear about why you're apologizing.
- 3 Be genuine and sincere.
- 4 Make a clear “I'm sorry” statement.
- 5 Explain what happened.
- 6 Take responsibility for your actions.
- 7 Listen to your boyfriend's perspective.
fine, thank you! ¡bien, gracias!Does de nada mean no problem? ›
De nada. Sometimes, we use the expression “no problem” in Spanish to mean “you're welcome.” Just say: de nada. This is the most common way of replying after anyone says ¡gracias!
This is the standard way of saying “no” when offered something. It's also the most polite option. No, gracias means “No, thank you” in Spanish, and it's used in the same way as in English.
I'm sorry if I offended you. She was sorry to hear about their divorce. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry for saying that.
- Name what you did wrong. Don't just say: “I'm sorry you got hurt.” That's not owning up to your actions. ...
- Use empathy. Maybe your actions wouldn't have hurt you, but the fact is that they hurt someone else. ...
- Make it all about you. ...
- Keep explanations brief. ...
- Let it go.
Lo siento is the usual way of saying sorry in Spanish. It is used to apologize to someone when you have made a mistake. If you want to ask for permission you should not use 'Lo siento'. Instead, you should say 'Disculpe'.Why do you say lo siento and not yo siento? ›
Saying "yo siento" probably does not mean what you think it does. You have to say "lo siento" to effectively say I'm sorry. The verb "sentir" means "to feel" so saying "lo siento" literally means "I feel it" and that somehow means "I'm sorry".Do they say lo siento in Mexico? ›
Well at least in Mexico is not common to say "lo siento" instead we say "perdón" for apologizing. The only part that I've heard "lo siento" is in movies or telenovelas. A stronger version of "perdón" is "perdóname" or "discúlpame". You can add "por favor" at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.What does lo siento mean in texting? ›
― I'm really sorry.Does por favor mean sorry? ›
If you want to be very apologetic, or if you're concerned you've just offended or hurt someone, you can say Perdón or Perdóneme, por favor. Literally, these phrases mean “Sorry” or “Forgive (me)” and “Forgive me, please”.How do you say sorry in 20 languages? ›
- Indonesian: “Maaf“
- Irish: “Tá brón orm“
- Italian: “Scusa“
- Japanese: “ごめんなさい“
- Kazakh: “кешіріңіз“
- Latin: “Paenitet“
- Latvian: “Atvainojiet“
- Lithuanian: “Atsiprašome“
The Numbers 1-10.
I'm sorry about what happened yesterday. It was my fault. Siento lo que pasó ayer.Do they say OK in Spain? ›
Vale is one of the most popular expressions in Spain, and you'll hear it everywhere you go. It's the Spanish way of saying “okay,” and you can use it as a response for pretty much anything.Is there no K in Spanish? ›
The letters k and w do not occur in Spanish words unless the word has been borrowed from another language such as English or even Japanese. For example, el karate is considered a “Spanish” noun, even though the k is not a Spanish letter. In Spanish, there are two ways to produce the sound of the English letter k.How do Russians say no? ›
How do you say “No!” in Russian? No! = Нет! The word "нет" is pronounced like "nyet" in English or /njet/ in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).What language is de nada? ›
Etymology. Spanish de nada (“it's nothing”).What is de nada amigo? ›
You're welcome, my friend.What does lo vemos mean? ›
Translation of "lo vemos" in English. we see see it see him we can see we look we watch we're seeing.Which is Izquierda? ›
izquierdo adjective. left [left] (calificativo) left-handed (zurdo)What is the Spanish word for pardon? ›
¡perdone! ⧫ ¡ay, perdone! pardon me? ( US) ¿ perdón?Why do Spanish people say permiso? ›
Permiso: When trying to pass someone you can also say “permiso” or “con permiso”, which is not technically a way to apologize, since literally what you are doing is asking for permission to pass, but it still is polite.
Gilipollas. One of the most common curse words in Spanish is 'gilipollas' which translates as idiot or jerk. Try it out on the idiot in your life with the phrase, 'no seas gilipollas' which in English is along the lines of 'don't be a dumbass.'What is a cuss word slang in Spanish? ›
|Spanish||English Equivalent||Vulgarity Level|
- No hay problema – No problem.
- No importa – It's fine.
- No te preocupes – Don't worry about it.
- No es nada – It's not a big deal.
Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a gay person, especially a gay man.Is Punta a cuss word? ›
Is Punta a bad word? No, it means point or tip of something. Punta is usually mixed with Puta which is a curse word.Is Maldito a bad word? ›
Even if it is soft, it is still a rude thing to say, especially if you aren't close enough to the person to whom you are talking. “Maldito/a” also comes from Latin and it means “cursed” or “damn”. It is a combination of Spanish words “mal” and “dicho”, which in English would be something like “bad words”.What is a dirty girl slang in Spanish? ›
|1||General||chancha [f] LA|
Cara Sucia (dirty face in Spanish) may refer to: Cara Sucia (Mesoamerican site), an archaeological site in El Salvador.How do you politely get someone's attention in Spanish? ›
A great all around way to say excuse me or politely get someone's attention is Disculpe (or disculpa in the tú form).