Woman saying sorry

¡Lo Siento! Learn the Different Ways to Say “Sorry” in Spanish

Dennys Caldera Boka Published on December 4, 2023

Apologizing is a universal gesture of humility and respect, and it’s no different in the Spanish-speaking world. Whether you’re studying the language or simply want to learn common ways to apologize in Spanish, knowing how to say “sorry” in different contexts can help you navigate conversations with grace and understanding. In this article, we’ll explore different ways to say “sorry” in Spanish, from making excuses to offering heartfelt condolences. 

Woman saying sorry

Excuses

Apologies often begin with the need to explain our actions. This helps others understand what happened and shows their opinion matters to us. Here are some phrases you can use to describe what you’ve done to excuse yourself in Spanish:

  1. Perdona/Perdóname, pero… – “Forgive me, but…”
    • Example: Perdóname, pero llegué tarde porque hubo tráfico. (Forgive me, but I was late because there was traffic.)
  2. Lo siento, es que… – “I’m sorry, it’s just that…”
    • Example: Lo siento, es que olvidé tu cumpleaños. (I’m sorry, it’s just that I forgot your birthday.)
  3. Te pido disculpas, pero… – “I apologize, but…”
    • Example: Te pido disculpas, pero no pude encontrar el regalo que querías. (I apologize, but I couldn’t find the gift you wanted.)

Apologies

When you want to offer a straightforward apology, it’s best to use words and phrases that clearly show our intentions. These phrases can help you convey your need to apologize in Spanish or offer a sincere apology:

  1. Lo siento – “I’m sorry”
    • Example: Lo siento por mi comportamiento. (I’m sorry for my behavior.)
  2. Perdón/Perdóname – “Forgive me”
    • Example: Perdón por la confusión. (Forgive me for the confusion.)
  3. Disculpa/Discúlpame – “I apologize”
    • Example: Disculpa por la interrupción. (I apologize for the interruption.)
  4. ¡Mil disculpas! – “A thousand apologies”
    • Example: ¡Mil disculpas! Realmente no fue mi intención lastimarte. (A thousand apologies. I really didn’t mean to hurt you.)

Asking for Forgiveness

When you need to specifically ask for forgiveness, consider these Spanish phrases:

  1. ¿Me perdonas? – “Will you forgive me?”
    • Example: ¿Me perdonas por lo que dije? (Will you forgive me for what I said?)
  2. ¿Puedes perdonarme? – “Can you forgive me?”
    • Example: ¿Puedes perdonarme por mi error? (Can you forgive me for my mistake?)
  3. ¿Aceptas mis disculpas? – “Do you accept my apologies?”
    • Example: ¿Aceptas mis disculpas por hacerte esperar? (Do you accept my apologies for making you wait?)

Condolences

Sometimes, apologizing is about expressing sympathy or condolences. In these situations, the following phrases come in handy:

  1. Mis condolencias – “My condolences”
    • Example: Mis condolencias por tu pérdida. (My condolences for your loss.)
  2. Mi más sentido pésame – “My deepest sympathies”
    • Example: Mi más sentido pésame, él era una gran persona. (My deepest sympathies, he was such a good person.)
  1. Siento mucho tu pérdida – “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
    • Example: Siento mucho tu pérdida, ¿cómo puedo ayudarte? (I’m so sorry for your loss, how can I help you?)
  2. Te acompaño en el sentimiento – “I share your grief”
    • Example: Te acompaño en el sentimiento, no estás solo/a. (I share your grief, you’re not alone.)

Responding to an Apology

Knowing how to respond when someone apologizes to you is just as important as learning how to say sorry. Here are some ways to acknowledge an apology:

  1. No te preocupes – “Don’t worry”
    • Example: No te preocupes, todo está bien. (Don’t worry, everything’s fine.)
  2. No hay problema – “No problem”
    •  Example: No hay problema, le puede pasar a cualquiera (No problem, it can happen to anyone)
  1. Está perdonado – “It’s forgiven”
    • Example: Está perdonado, todos cometemos errores. (It’s forgiven, we all make mistakes.)
  2. Gracias por disculparte – “Thank you for apologizing”
    • Example: Gracias por disculparte, aprecio tu sinceridad. (Thank you for apologizing, I appreciate your sincerity.)

Ways to Practice Apologizing in Spanish

Learning how to apologize in Spanish takes practice. Here are some tips to help you become more proficient. Try to role-play with a language partner, and practice different scenarios in which you could use many ways to say you’re sorry. Many language-learning apps offer Spanish lessons and exercises focused on apologizing and expressing empathy. You can also watch Spanish movies and shows to learn how Spanish speakers apologize. This can teach you the best ways to apologize depending on the context and give you plenty of examples. 

Another piece of advice is to read Spanish literature. Reading novels, short stories, or articles in Spanish can expose you to different ways people apologize in written form. Finally, you could join language exchange groups. Participating in such groups or forums allows you to interact with native Spanish speakers and learn how apologies are used in real conversations.

Sorry in Spanish: Final Thoughts

By mastering various ways to say “sorry” in Spanish, you not only show respect and empathy but also enhance your language skills. Whether you’re making excuses, offering heartfelt apologies, asking for forgiveness, expressing condolences, or responding to an apology, these phrases will serve you well in all Spanish-speaking countries. So, don’t be afraid to practice and use them in your conversations, and remember that sincerity and understanding go a long way when saying “I’m sorry” in Spanish.

Dennys Caldera Boka

Dennys is a content writer at Langoly. He’s passionate about language learning and has been helping others achieve their goals and develop their language skills for many years. He’s interested in emerging technologies and how they can help people reskill and upskill. He loves cooking, watching sci-fi movies, and listening to podcasts. Connect with Dennys on LinkedIn.

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