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How To Say Sorry In Spanish | Full Guide

If the time has come and you have wronged a native Spanish speaker in any way, you should probably apologize in one way or another.


After having dated a Latin-American girl for over a year, I'm pretty well qualified to talk about the best ways to apologize in Spanish, lol.


So let’s humble ourselves, and learn the best ways to show our regret and hopes to be better to another person in Spanish.


¿Listo/a? (Ready?)

Empecemos (Let’s start)


cartoon characters saying sorry and a title that reads "Saying sorry in Spanish"


Difference Between "Sorry" In English & Spanish

You are going to make mistakes sometimes, the important thing is that you take responsibility and tell the other person that you’re sorry.


However, be aware that "I'm sorry" isn't said in Spanish like it is in English.

I once apologized for offending a Latino American during a conversation about politics - and she responded with the saying “Only with God should one seek forgiveness.”

This tiny story shows a bigger cultural divide that exists where apologizing is not as common in Latino-American countries. Small mistakes, especially done without intention, are commonly not worthy of apologies in Spanish. With that said, let’s see how we can apologize when the time comes!


Lo siento

Lo siento literally means “I feel it”, and it's a pretty deep thing to say. We should use lo siento for deep/not surface-level mistakes. This really shows the person that you feel the apology deeply in your heart.

Ex:

“Tú me dijiste que no valió nada mis esfuerzos”

(You said my attempts were worthless)


“Lo siento, no sé que me pasó, lo siento mucho, de verdad”

(Sorry, I don’t know what happened to me, I’m so sorry, truly)



Perdón

The Spanish word "perdón" means asking for forgiveness or saying sorry when you mess up slightly. For example - if you talk over somebody.

Ex:

“Tú usaste mi taza esta mañana hermano”

(You used my cup this morning, brother)


"Ay perdón, ni cuenta me dí”

(Oh, sorry, I didn’t even notice)


Perdóname

"Perdóname" in Spanish is like saying "forgive me" in English, a way to ask someone to pardon or excuse your mistake or actions in a casual or truly sincere way.


Ex:

“¿Me llamaste tonta?”

(Did you call me stupid?)


“Ay perdóname, no era la palabra correcta para usar”

(Oh I'm sorry, that wasn’t the right word to use)


Te pido disculpas

"Te pido disculpas" is like saying "I apologize to you" in Spanish, a formal way to let someone know that you're sorry for something you did wrong.


Ex:

"Te pido disculpas por haberte llamado tonta"

(I apologize for having called you stupid)


"Gracias por disculparte, pero no pasa nada"

(thanks for apologizing, but it’s okay)


Te pido perdón

"Te pido perdón" is a way of saying "I'm asking for your forgiveness" in Spanish. It's an informal expression used to apologize and seek understanding after making a mistake or causing harm.


Ex:

"No quería lastimarte Sara, te pido perdón"

(I didn’t want to hurt you Sarah, I ask you for forgiveness)


Lo lamento

"Lo lamento" is a way of saying "I regret it" or "I'm sorry" in Spanish, informally expressing a sense of remorse for a situation or action.

Ex:

Ayer rompí tu taza, lo lamento mucho…

(yesterday I broke your cup, I’m really sorry)


Disculpa / Discúlpame

"Disculpa" and "discúlpame" are ways to say "excuse me" or "sorry" in Spanish, used informally to ask for forgiveness or to politely get someone's attention.

Ex:

"Disculpa, señor, ¿usted podría pasarme ese libro?"

(Excuse me, sir, could you hand me that book?)


Mala mía

"Mala mía" is a slang expression in Spanish that roughly translates to "my bad" in English. It's used informally to take responsibility for a mistake or to apologize for something you've done wrong. This phrase is mostly used in Caribbean dialects, such as that of the Dominican Republic.


Ex:

"Esa bebida es mía"

(That’s my drink)


"Ay mala mía hermano, pensé que era mía"

(My bad bro, I thought it was mine)


Mi más sentido pésame

"Mi más sentido pésame" is an expression of condolences in Spanish, informally conveying your deepest sympathy and condolences to someone who has experienced a loss or is grieving.


Ex:

"Escuché sobre tu mamá, mi más sentido pésame"

(I heard about your mom, my deepest condolences)


Con permiso

"Con permiso" is a polite phrase in Spanish that translates to "excuse me" in English. It's used informally to politely ask for permission to pass by or to interrupt a conversation briefly.


For example, I’m trying to get through a crowd of people, I’ll keep saying...


Ex:

"Con permiso, con permiso, con permiso"

(Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me)


How To Make A Real Apology In Spanish

When it comes to making a real apology, we need to be a little bit more specific right? In this section, we’ll take a look at some common ways to frame an apology in Spanish. Phrases such as - I regret having done that… I was wrong about… and forgive me for...


cartoon character with a sign that says "sorry" and a title that reads "How To Start An Apology In Spanish"


Me arrepiento de haberlo hecho…

This phrase literally means “I regret having done it” and is a great way to humble yourself before the other person and show that - “Look, I made a mistake, and I regret it”.


Ex:

"No sé qué me pasó pero me arrepiento de haberlo hecho"

(I don’t know what happened to me, but I am sorry for having done it)


Me equivoqué…

"Me equivoqué" means "I was wrong" or "I made a mistake" in Spanish. It's a beautiful way to admit an error or acknowledge that you've done something incorrectly.

Ex:

"Me equivoqué cuando te dije eso, lo siento much"

(I was wrong when I said that to you, I am so sorry)


Qué pena / Qué lastima

"Qué pena" and "qué lástima" are expressions in Spanish that convey a sense of sympathy, disappointment, embarrassment, or regret. They are used to express sadness or concern for a situation that didn't go as expected or turned out unfavorably.

For example, I was helping out my friend's boss in Panama, and he showed up late to pick up the information that I was giving him, and he said with an embarrassed tone:


Ex:

“Que pena, que pena, gracias por ayudarme con esto”

(Sorry, how embarrassing, thank you for helping me with this)


Me disculpo

"Me disculpo" is a way of saying "I apologize" or "I'm sorry" in Spanish, it's for showing regret or asking for forgiveness for something you've done wrong.


Ex:

"Me disculpo por haber llegado tarde, hay mucho tráfico ahora mismo"

(I am sorry for having arrived late, there’s a ton of traffic right now)


Me duele haber causado esto

"Me duele haber causado esto" translates to "It hurts me to have caused this" in Spanish. It's an expression of true regret and sorrow for being responsible for a situation or outcome.


Ex:

"Me duele haber causado esto, lo lamento mucho"

(It hurts me to have caused this, I am so sorry)


Examples Of Good Apologies In Spanish

Characters pleading for forgiveness with title that says "Apology Examples"

Spanish: "Lamento profundamente cualquier dolor que haya causado. Mi intención era diferente y me duele haberte lastimado. Por favor, acepta mis disculpas sinceras."

Translation: "I deeply regret any pain I've caused. My intention was different, and it pains me to have hurt you. Please accept my sincere apologies."


Spanish: "No hay palabras suficientes para expresar cuánto lamento mis acciones. Si pudiera volver atrás, lo haría de manera diferente. Te pido perdón de todo corazón."

Translation: "There are not enough words to express how much I regret my actions. If I could go back, I would do things differently. I sincerely ask for your forgiveness."


Spanish: "Mis disculpas no pueden borrar el pasado, pero espero que puedas sentir mi sincero arrepentimiento. Fui equivocado y me gustaría restaurar nuestra amistad."


Translation: "My apologies can't erase the past, but I hope you can feel my sincere regret. I was wrong and I'd like to restore our friendship."


Spanish: "Siento mucho haber herido tus sentimientos. Mi intención nunca fue causarte dolor. Ojalá puedas ver mi arrepentimiento y considerar mis disculpas."

Translation: "I'm really sorry for hurting your feelings. My intention was never to cause you pain. I hope you can see my regret and consider my apologies."



Conclusion: How To Say Sorry In Spanish

In a nutshell, diving into the world of apologizing and making amends in Spanish is like unlocking a new level of communication finesse.


We've delved into an array of sorry-slinging tactics, from the basic "Lo siento" to the more heartfelt "Te pido disculpas" or "Lo lamento mucho."


The choice here varies with the vibe you're aiming for and the gravity of the “mistake.”

Remember, though, that it's not just about stringing together the right words; it's about feeling remorse, showing empathy, and wanting to make things right. The words are just the surface; the genuine sentiment beneath is what makes an apology shine.

In Spanish-speaking cultures, a sincere apology involves more than linguistics. It's about recognizing the ripples of your actions and committing to fix what went wrong.


Whether you're exploring vibrant streets or having a heart-to-heart with a Spanish-speaking buddy, remember: a heartfelt "sorry" isn't just a phrase; it's a connection builder across languages.


Click here to learn how to say “I love you” in Spanish + the most common nicknames for couples, kids, and family.


Have a wonderful day, friend.

~ Ben

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