How to Apologize in Spanish | Newsdle
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How to Apologize in Spanish

09/12/21

As in English, there are many ways to apologize in Spanish and what’s best to say depends on circumstance and who you are apologizing to. There’s nothing worse than overusing ‘lo siento’, which can sound overly apologetic in Spanish and will also lose its meaning if it’s your go-to apology.

In many other languages, we would sound too apologetic if we said sorry in the way we do in English. In English, it’s polite to be apologetic and use sorry as somewhat of a catch-all, but it’s not the same in other languages. Whether you’re asking for forgiveness for something small or offering a wholehearted apology for really screwing things up, we hope this guide will be useful to you in your Spanish learning journey!

Siento

The direct translation of sorry in Spanish would be ‘siento’, from the verb sentir – to feel. I’m sorry is ‘lo siento’ and I’m very sorry is ‘lo siento mucho’. This would be the phrase to use if you are trying to show genuine remorse, rather than simply excusing yourself. It can be also used to show condolences.

Perdón

Perdón is used to show that something is your fault and that you are accepting responsibility for it and asking for the other person’s forgiveness. This would be used to ask for an apology and would be for something more serious (but less formal) than using disculpe below.

Example: Perdón, ¿esta silla está ocupada?

Disculpe

The use of disculpe varies between Spanish speaking countries. It is generally a more formal and polite way of apologizing or accepting the minor inconvenience that you have caused someone. You would use it, for example, if you brushed past someone in a crowded place. You’d also have used disculpe if you interrupted someone on a Zoom work call during the past couple of years! The most similar use to this in English would be ‘excuse me’.

Example: Disculpe, ¿qué precio tiene esta mesa?

We hope that clears up some of the confusion surrounding how to apologize in Spanish. Here's our top tips for learning Spanish!

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