6 Ways of Saying Sorry in Japanese Posted by keiko on Sep 29, 2015 in Culture, Grammar
In your day to day conversation, I am sure there are some occasions or moments where you have to sincerely apologize to someone. Perhaps you didn’t mean to hurt his/her feelings, but thing happened, and that you need to let him/her know how sorry you are. Today’s post is all about apologizing in Japanese. I don’t think I have covered this topic yet in my blog. These are some useful expressions when you need to say “sorry” to someone.. I added some explanation to each of them so you know when/how to use it. Read on!
Gomen ne (ごめんね) – I am sorry. or Gomen nasai (ごめんなさい) – I am sorry.
This one is a typical expression when you just want to say, ” I am sorry.
Gomen (ごめん) – Sorry…
Just like when you use say “sorry” in English, this is a shorter version. Depending on the way you say it, it would sound like, you might not actually mean it…(you know what I mean..)
Honto ni gomen ne (本当にごめんね。ほんとうに ごめんね。) – I am really sorry.
“Really” is “honto ni ” in Japanese. By adding this word, you sound like you mean more.
Suggoku gomen ne. (凄く、ごめんね。 すごく ごめんね。) – I am truly sorry.
This expression is rather between kids or close friends of yours.
Moushi wakenai. (申し訳ない、もうしわけない。) – I feel terrible.
This expression is mainly used among adults. You would say this to someone you don’t know to well, or someone who is in higher status than yourself. This applies also to the next expression.
Moushi wake arimasen deshita. (申し訳ありませんでした。もうしわけ ありませんでした。) – I am really sorry. I feel terrible.
This expression is used again mainly among adults. It is used also in professional environment, such as at work places.
If you know how to use the above 6 ways of saying “sorry” by differentiating based on the situation you are in, you are good to go. Most of the time, you can get away by using the first expression. Hopefully you don’t have to use these so often!
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