10 Different Ways Of How To Say Sorry In Spanish

10 Different Ways Of How To Say Sorry In Spanish

July 8, 2021 Off By Christina

Learning the Spanish language is famously easy as it doesn’t have a huge vocabulary (like Arabic, for example). But students learning this beautiful language should aim to use synonyms as often possible so as not to sound repetitive. One example is learning how to say sorry in Spanish. No matter where in the world you go, you will make mistakes, bump into someone or spill a drink. And every culture follows that up with an apology. So, before jumping on a plane and jetting off to foreign lands, it’s important you learn how to apologize in Spanish.

Learning how to apologize in Spanish is not as straightforward as remembering a single word. There is a world of difference, for example, between between bumping into someone in a market and then apologizing, and saying sorry for knocking someone off of their bike. If you’re going to be making an effort to test your language skills, you will make mistakes. And when you do, you’ll want to say sorry. You may also want to thank a waiter for his patience and apologize in Spanish for holding him up. In any event, you won’t want to repeat the same phrase over and over again, particularly when speaking to the same person.

Now, when it comes to saying sorry in the Spanish language, there are three main verbs that you will use:

Perdonar (to forgive) | How To Ask For Forgiveness And Apologize In Spanish

Perdonar is the verb used most commonly to say sorry in Spanish. The conjugation varies depending who is speaking and who they are talking to. The four main forms of the verb perdonar are:

  1. Perdona (Forgive [me]) — Use this form when talking to close friends or family. Don’t be fooled by the imperative form of tú. It is polite and is not a command.
  2. Perdone (Forgive [me]) — Use this form to apologize in Spanish in a formal conversation.
  3. Perdón (Forgiveness) — This is a neutral form of the verb which. It is used in most casual situations.  It is actually a noun and should not be used formally.
  4. Perdóname por favor! (Please forgive me!) – Use this form in situations when you do something wrong and want forgiveness.

Perdonar is used to apologize in Spanish for doing or saying something that is fairly minor.

Examples might be:

  • Perdona por llegar tarde. (Sorry for being late.)
  • Perdón. No te había visto. (Sorry, I hadn’t seen you.)

It is also used to attract someone’s attention or if you didn’t hear or understand something – very useful when conversing in a foreign language.

  • Perdone, ¿sabe donde está la calle Málaga? (Excuse me, do you know where Málaga Street is?)
  • Perdona, ¿puedes repetir esto? (Sorry, can you repeat that?)

Sentir (To feel) | How To Express Regret In Spanish

Sentir is used to ask for forgiveness and for expressing regret in Spanish. It is also used to display empathy.

It is most commonly used to say:

  1. Lo siento (lit. I feel it) – Use this form to express sympathy and regret or when saying “no” to somebody’s offer. Lo siento, pero no. (I am sorry, but no.)
  2. Lo siento mucho/muchísimo (lit. I feel it a lot) — Use this form if you have done something wrong and feel guilty. It is a stronger emotion that perdona. Also use it if something bad has happened to a person and you want to tell them you know how they are feeling, for example when expressing sympathy following the death of a relative.
  3. Siento (mucho)… (lit. I feel [a lot]…) — Use this form as above but when following up with other information.

Also use it to let someone know you feel sorry for them or for their situation:

  • Siento mucho lo ocurrido. (I’m very sorry about what’s happened).
  • Siento mucho la pérdida de tu madre. (I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother).

Disculpar (To excuse) | How To Apologize In Spanish | “My Fault” In The Spanish Language

This is the third most common way to apologize in Spanish – saying it’s your fault. It is also used to attract someone’s attention in a formal way and, once again, the conjugation varies depending on who you are talking to.

Disculpar has three main forms in the Spanish language:

  1. Disculpa (Excuse/forgive [me] – my fault) — Use this form when talking to friends or family. The word “culpa” means fault, so the closest translation of “disculpa” would be – “Sorry, it’s my fault.”
  2. Disculpe (Excuse/forgive [me]) — Use this one when speaking to a superior or to a person you do not know in a formal context.
  3. Disculpa/e + noun (Excuse me for… / sorry for…) — Use this form when adding a reason for your apology.

The verb disculpar is used in a similar way to perdonar but is slightly more formal and is used to apologize for something more serious that you have said or done.

  • Disculpa, no te había oído. (Sorry, I hadn’t heard you).
  • Disculpe, no sabía que estaba esperando. (I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were waiting).

Also use disculpa and disculpe to attract someone’s attention or ask them to repeat something:

  • Disculpe, ¿sabe donde está el banco? (Excuse me, do you know where the bank is?) – formal way
  • Disculpa, ¿puedes repetir eso? (Sorry, can you repeat that?)

Learning to say sorry is one of the most important elements of language learning. Understanding the differences in how to use apologies according to social convention is also crucial. Often, people will simply brush it away if you make a mistake, but in some circumstances, such as bereavement, it could be very upsetting.

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Some Other Ways How To Say Sorry In Spanish | How To Apologies In The Spanish language

Lo siento (mucho) – I am (so) sorry

Disculpa (inf)/ Disculpe (f) – Excuse me

Perdona (inf)/ Perdone (f) – Sorry/ Pardon

Lo lamento – (I’m) sorry

No sabe cuánto lo siento/lo lamento – You don’t know how sorry I am

Siento lo ocurrido – I regret what happened

Mil disculpas – A thousand apologies

Me disculpo por… – I apologise for…

Espero me perdones por… – I hope you can forgive me for…

Te debo una disculpa por… – I owe you an apology for…

Estoy muy apenado por … – I am very sorry about…

Using a phrasebook or app is a good starting point, particularly if you are just visiting a foreign country for a vacation. If, however, you’re learning Spanish in a more profound way, it’s a nice idea to find a private Spanish tutor.

Example of the Spanish lesson online with a private Spanish tutor by Skype.

A Spanish language tutor will help understand your learning style and guide your learning. This structured approach, with guidance on extra activities to supplement your learning, is the quickest way to learn Spanish expressions.