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How to say "I'm sorry" in spanish?

  • Posted Feb 4, 2012
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In traditional everyday Spanish, if you are sorry to someone, simply say "siento". If you are sorry for something specific, then say "lo siento". If you are merely being polite for interrupting or asking a question, say "¡perdone!

  • "disculpe" is also used like "perdone". - samdie Feb 4, 2012 flag
4 Vote

I've seen several ways of apologizing in novelas, and they each seem to have a slightly different connotation. Note that these are only my observations of how they were used and the connotation I get from each of them and not explanations from a native speaker. Also, all the conjugations I've given here are in the tú form, so they may need reconjugation to fit a different situation.

"Perdón" appears to be the general purpose "sorry" as well as "pardon (me)" and "excuse me." E.g., "Ay, perdón, se me olvidó enviarle un email"; "Perdón, ¿qué dijiste?"; and something you'd say after bumped into somebody: "ay, perdón."

"Perdóname" is pretty much "forgive me."

"Discúlpame" is another general "sorry," I believe. If you look at it, it's literally "disblame me."

"Te pido disculpas" feels to me something like a more formal apology. "I apologize." I think "te pido perdón" would be a formal way for asking for forgiveness (I ask your forgiveness).

"Disculpa" is what two kids said to each other when a teacher told them to apologize to each other.

"Lo lamento" was used when someone did something that caused other grief but needed to keep doing it. E.g., people were watching a football game in a bar and someone changed the station to the news to watch about a plane crash. The bar patrons complained, and the woman said something like: "Lo lamento, pero necesito mirar esto."

"Lo siento" is something I feel like you'd say to someone if they suffered something that wasn't your fault. E.g., their pet died, "Lo siento" (I feel it). Note that it must be "lo siento" and not "siento" because sentir is transitive and needs an object in order to be grammatical.

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Welcome to SD

Try to put I'm sorry into the translator above and see what you get. smile

  • Doing this might produce an answer that could be understood but may not give the correct expression for a specific usage.t - juanito11 Feb 4, 2012 flag
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lo siento

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If you need to ask for directions, or disturb someone, you could use Perdóneme, or Disculpeme. If you are saying sorry about something you did not physically do, such as a death of a relative, people tend to say Te ofrezco mi mas sentido pesame, or "I offer you my deepest condolences".

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