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How to say “I’m sorry” in Spanish Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Basic


Taken from Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/25792994@N04/

TGIF, right? But before we set out for a great weekend, let’s learn how to say “I’m sorry” in Spanish. We all make mistakes, todos cometemos errores, so it’s a good idea to know when and how to say I am sorry.

Take a look at this dialogue between Pedro and Juana. He has done something wrong and she is a little mad at him.

Pedro: ¿Tienes un minuto?
Juana: Dime.
Pedro: Creo que te debo una explicación por lo de anoche.
Juana: Bueno, si quieres saber la verdad, lo que dijiste me molestó mucho.
Pedro: Lo sé, sé que estuve mal. De verdad lo siento. ¿Crees que puedes perdonarme?
Juana: No te preocupes, todos cometemos errores.
Pedro: ¿No estás enojada entonces?
Juana: No, olvídalo.

Here are some useful words and expressions so that you can understand the dialogue better:

tener un minuto = to have a minute
Dime = Tell me. (informal)
Creo que = I think that
deberle a alguien una explicación = to owe someone an explanation
lo de = what happened
anoche = last night
lo que = what (the topic that)
dijiste = you said
molestar = to bother
lo sé = I know (it, that)
estuve mal = I did a bad thing
de verdad = really
lo siento = I’m sorry
¿Crees que…? = Do you think that?
perdonar = to forgive
no te preocupes = don’t worry
cometer errores = make mistakes
enojado = angry, mad
olvídalo = forget about it

Ok, so the two most common expressions to say you’re sorry in Spanish are

Lo siento.
Discúlpame. (informal)
Discúlpeme. (formal)

Here are some other very interesting and useful sentences.

Quiero disculparme por lo de ayer. [I want to apologize for what happened yesterday.]
Siento haber dicho lo que te dije ayer. [I’m so sorry for what I said yesterday.]
Te pido desculpas por haber sido tan grosero. [I’m sorry I was so rude.]
Te debo una explicación. [I owe you an apology.]
Creo que mi reacción fue exagerada. [I think I overreacted.]
Quisiera retirar lo que dije sobre… [I would like to take back what I said about…]
No tuve la intención de interrumpirte. [I didn’t mean to interrupt you.]
No pude evitarlo. [I couldn’t help it.]
Siento incomodarte. [I’m sorry to bother you.]
Perdón por el atraso. No volverá a suceder. [Sorry I’m late. It won’t happen again.]
Lo siento, pero tengo que marcharme. [I’m sorry, but I have to go.]
No quise lastimarte/ofenderte. [I didn’t mean to hurt/offend you.]

Dialogue and sentences adapted from Fale tudo em espanhol.

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About the Author:Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.

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  1. Fran Lafferty:

    Oh this is most helpful, gracias! I wonder if I could use some of your phrases in some type of printable activity... I think high school Spanish students especially would like them... www.HomeEducationResources.com/category/spanish (some of my other printables & reviews, etc)

    • Adir:

      @Fran Lafferty Fran, yes, you can use it as a printable as long as you include our link, ok? Thanks for visiting our blog!

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