¡Lo Siento! and 25 more ways to say "sorry" in Spanish (2023)

¡Lo Siento! and 25 more ways to say "sorry" in Spanish (1)

written by
Benny Lewis

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How do you say "sorry" in Spanish?

Apologizing is difficult... even in your native language. Didn't we all feel at least a little embarrassed to say we were wrong at some point?

That being said, Spanish makes apologizing a little more difficult. There isn't a single Spanish translation for "sorry".

This is where I come in. Consider this post a crash course in everything you need to know to properly apologize in Spanish. Here's what it covers:

Table of contents

  • How to say "sorry" in Spanish
    • "Sorry" as an adjective in Spanish
    • "Excuse me" as an interjection in Spanish
  • How to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish
    • "I'm so sorry" in Spanish
    • "I'm sorry!" in Spanish
    • "I'm sorry, but..." in Spanish
  • What exactly does "Lo Siento" mean in English
    • The verb sentir
  • 3 other ways to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish
  • I'm very sorry...
    • General guidelines and examples for using Siento…
    • I'm sorry…
    • how stupid i am
  • How to say "Sorry for Your Loss" in Spanish
  • How to say "sorry" in spanish
    • forgiveness
    • Leave me…
    • sorry or sorry
  • How to say "Forgive me" in Spanish
    • Excuse
    • Pardon
    • forgiveness
  • 3 other ways to apologize in Spanish
    • "Excuse me" in Spanish
    • "I owe you an apology" in Spanish
    • I apologize and ask your forgiveness
  • How to forgive in Spanish
  • Say you're sorry in Spanish

While it's a daunting task, learning how to say "sorry" correctly in Spanish is important.

Imagine taking folk dance classes – be it tango in Argentina, flamenco in Spain or bachata in the Dominican Republic. And because you're a beginner, you step on your dance partner's toes.

You panic. how can you apologize Your dance partner does not help. They look at you with a raised eyebrow and ask, "So what, you don't know how to say it"Forgiveness"in Spanish?' ('So what, you don't know how to say 'sorry' in Spanish?')

That would be embarrassing.

But don't worry, you've come to the right place! If there is such a thingDancing and learning languageshave in common that they require a lot of practice.

So put on your dancing shoes and get out your notebook, let's get started!

How to say "sorry" in Spanish

How do you say "sorry" in Spanish? First, let's clarify what you mean by "sorry".

"Sorry" as an adjective in Spanish

When your dance partner wants to say they areSorry for being rude to you, they could use the adjectiveforgiveness(literally "repentant").

I'm sorry I spoke to you like that.- "I'm sorry I spoke to you like that."

Or they might want to tell you that you have itsuch a sad dance style. You will use the adjectiveregrettable– which in this case means “pathetic”. Quite a compliment.

"Sorry" in the sense of "grieving," "sad," and "sad" is translated asconvict.

"Excuse me" as an interjection in Spanish

If the "sorry" you want to know about is shortened to "I'm sorry" heckling, then...

How to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish

How do you say "I'm sorry" in Spanish? In this case, too, the English expression can be translated into Spanish in various ways. It depends on how you use the interjection.

(Video) How to say "sorry" in Spanish – Top 8 ways

Should it express regret, sadness or empathy? For example, it could be a response to the fact that your friend is ill. If so, the most common method is(I) I'm sorry. It is used throughout the Hispanic world as both "I'm sorry" and "I regret it."

Is it an excuse for inconveniencing someone, as in "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?" Then you can choose betweenforgiveness("Pardon"),forgiveness("Excuse me") andforgiveness("forgive me"). You can use the same words to apologize as in "I'm sorry, I have to go."

Let's dig a little deeperI'm sorrybefore we talk more about itforgiveness,forgiveness, Andforgiveness.

"I'm so sorry" in Spanish

If you want to make yoursI'm sorrymore powerful and heartfelt, you can complete the sentence with an emphasizing word.

Add toso much("so much") and you will getI'm sorry("I'm sorry"). If you adda lot("a lot"), you will getVery sorry("I'm very sorry").

You can also useReally("really"), which entailsI'm really sorry("I'm really sorry.")

"I'm sorry!" in Spanish

Spaniards like to sayI'm sorry!("How sorry I am!"). It is less standard than the simpleI'm sorry. It's a good choice when the situation calls for a more invested concern.

You might also encounter the following:

  • You don't know how sorry I am.- "You don't know how sorry I am" / "You don't know how much I regret it."
  • You have no idea how sorry I am.- "You can't imagine how sorry I am."
  • You have no idea how sorry I am.- "You can't imagine how much I regret it."

"I'm sorry, but..." in Spanish

In English we often use "I'm sorry, but...". It's useful to apologize before saying something that is unlikely to make the other person happy.

The Spanish equivalent isExcuse me but…

Example:I'm sorry but I can't come tomorrow("I'm sorry, but I can't come tomorrow.")

What exactly does "Lo Siento" mean in English

what doesI'm sorrymean? We've already seen that it means "I'm sorry," but what is it like?literallytranslated into English?

I'm sorryis Spanish for "I feel it". While it is also defined as "to apologize",feelalso used as "to feel".


  • I do not feel comfortable– "I'm not feeling well", literally "I'm feeling bad"
  • I can't feel my fingers- "I can't feel my fingers"
  • I can feel a storm coming– “I have the feeling that a storm is brewing”

However, it's easy to tell the difference based on the context of the conversation!

When you tell your dance partnerI believe this class will be productive("I feel this lesson will be productive") and they tell youYes, I'm sorry tooThey don't apologize, they agree with you: "Yes, I feel it too."

On the other hand, if they tell youyou stepped on my foot("You stepped on my foot"), yoursI'm sorrymeans "I'm sorry".

The verbFeel

The verbfeelbelongs to the third group of Spanish verbs ending in -ir. It is an irregular verb: its root changes when conjugated.

(Here isa great postif you need a refresher on Spanish irregular verbs.)

Whether used as "to regret" or "to feel," this is the conjugation offeel:

feel (present)
of I feel
Of you feel
vos you feel
he she you feel
we, we we feel
you you you feel
she, she, you feel

3 other ways to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish

I'm sorryis standard. But after a while of hearing you use the same excuse over and over again, your dance partner will regret wishing you could apologize in Spanish!

You can surprise them by choosing one of the following ways to say "sorry."

(Video) How to Say Sorry in Spanish

I'm very sorry...

InI'm sorry,please referis thedirect object pronoun. It replaces the entire explanation of what you are sorry for.

When your dance partner tells you toyou stepped on my foot("You stepped on my foot"), you can answerI'm sorry. What you are apologizing for is already indicated in the conversation.

If you want to mention what you're sorry for, there's usually no need to use itplease referBeforeI feel. If your apology leads to stepping on your partner's foot, then you would sayI'm sorry I stepped on your foot("I'm sorry I stepped on your foot.")

There is one exception to this rule. If the sentence begins withI'm sorryvon, Dieplease refercan remain even if you explain what you are sorry for. For example,Sorry for the confusion("I'm sorry for the confusion.")

General guidelines and examples of useI feel…

I feelmust be followed by a phrase explaining what you are sorry for, which often begins withplease refer,Was, an infinitive or a noun.

Even if the only real way to master useI feel…is through practice and conversation, there are a few guidelines that can help you.

Examples ofI feelfollowed byplease refer:

  • I'm sorry about what happened- "I'm sorry about what happened."
  • I'm sorry for what he said- "I'm sorry for what he/she said."
  • I'm sorry about your aunt- "I'm sorry about what happened to your aunt."

Hint: whenI feelis followed byone+ a person's name or mention ("your friend", "your father", etc.), it often refers to a death or an accident, but it can refer to any sad situation/event.

Examples ofI feelfollowed byWas(+ usually aconjunctive):

  • I'm sorry you have to go- "I'm sorry you have to go."
  • I'm sorry the class is over- "I'm sorry the class is over."
  • I'm sorry Ana can't come- "I'm sorry Ana can't come."

A few notes:

  • if you useI feel that+ significant present,I feelbecomes "I feel":I have a feeling they have to go– “I have a feeling that they have to go.”
  • InI feel that+ indicative past,I feel thatcan mean "I'm sorry":I'm sorry you couldn't come("I'm sorry he couldn't come")

This type of construction is rare and using the subjunctive instead sounds more correct.

  • IfI feelfollows the subjunctive, the tense cannot be in the first person singular:I feel that (I) gois not the right way to say, "I'm sorry to be going."

The right way is to use*I feel* + infinitive*: "I'm sorry to go."

Examples ofI feelfollowed by an infinitive:

  • I'm sorry to hear that- "I'm sorry for that."
  • I'm sorry I can't hug you- "I'm sorry I can't hug you."
  • I'm sorry I'm late- "I'm sorry I'm late."

Examples ofI feelfollowed by a noun:

  • I feel what happened- "I'm sorry about what happened" (or: "I'm sorry about what happened.")
  • I can feel the noise- "I'm sorry about the noise."
  • Sorry I'm too late- "I'm sorry for the delay."

I feel…can be strengthened with ita lot("a lot"), which leads toI'm sorry...("I'm very sorry…")

Example:I'm so sorry I stepped on your foot.("I'm very sorry I stepped on your foot.")

I'm sorry…

regret(“I'm sorry” or “I regret”) is another verb used to express empathy in Spanish.

Example:I'm sorry about what just happened("I'm sorry about what happened.")

regretbelongs to the first group of Spanish verbs ending in -ar and (yay!) is regular.

Here is the present ofComplain:

regret (present tense)
of I'm sorry
Of complains
vos lamentation
he she you regret
we, we We apologize
you you you intoxicated
she, she, you whine

Depending on the regionComplainAndfeelcan be interchangeable.

AlthoughComplainsounds a little more formal thanfeeland it carries a deeper regret or sadness, both verbs can be used in the same expressions.

(Video) How to apologize in Spanish (I) - Why not to say lo siento

Example:I'm sorry about your fatherAndI'm sorry about your fatherare both correct ways to say, "I'm sorry about what happened to your father."

Tip: If you are just starting out with Spanish, usefeelin less serious situationsComplainwhen dealing with very sad or regrettable events. With time and an active conversation, you will understand what is more commonly used locally.

As inI'm sorry,I'm sorrysometimes comes afterplease refer.

You can then form sentences like:

  • I'm sorry- "I'm very sorry."
  • I'm sincerely sorry- "I'm sincerely sorry."
  • I'm very sorry- "I'm very sorry" (pretty formal and heavy)

how stupid i am

how stupid i am("How stupid I am") is in no way translated as "excuse me," but Spanish speakers may use it in place of other excuses.

It's a playful way of admitting that you did something wrong. It has to be about something without serious consequences.

How to say "Sorry for Your Loss" in Spanish

deaths(“demises”, “deaths”) are a very touchy subject, so knowing how to say “sorry for your loss” is important.

Here are the key phrases to express grief over a loss:

  • I'm sorry for your loss.- "I'm sorry for your loss."
  • I'm sorry for the loss of [your grandmother].- "I'm sorry/I regret the loss of [your grandmother]."
  • My sincerest condolences- "My sincerest condolences."
  • I accompany you in your feelings– “I share your pain” (literally “I accompany you in your feelings.”)

How to say "sorry" in spanish

Imagine you are late for your dance class. You must squeeze into the line of dance students to get to your seat.

There are a few ways to apologize in this scenario.


One way to say "sorry" is(Forgiveness.

forgivenessmeans "with permission," so you say, "With your permission, [I'm squeezing the line]."

Theconcan be omitted, just leftPermission. However, that may seem less polite depending on the Spanish-speaking region you are in. My advice is that until you get used to local variations, use the full expression.

Leave me…

Leave me…(“Allow me”) is more formal since the verballow(“allow”) is conjugated in the singular formal third person (Of) of the imperative mood.

Leave me…may come before what you are asking to do:let me through(“Let me pass” – the “please” is implied in a formal tone) orlet me tell you(“Allow me to tell you” when you interrupt someone who is speaking).

let meis the second person singular (Of),allow meis the informal second person plural (Of, only used in Spain) andLeave meformal second person plural (Of, used both formally and informally outside of Spain).


In certain cases, it's okay to use itsorry/andAndpardonto say "sorry". In general, these words should be followed by what you apologize for.


  • Excuse me, I have a question("Excuse me, I have a question.")
  • Excuse me, I have to go in("Sorry, I have to pass.")

UseforgivenessAndforgivenesswith people you are familiar with.forgivenessAndforgivenessare formal.

How to say "Forgive me" in Spanish

The two verbs used to ask for forgiveness in Spanish areExcuseAndpardon.Pardonis the strongest.


As you saw aboveExcusecan mean "excuse me". But it also means "forgive" in light, not too serious situations.

To say "forgive me" you have to choose the right formExcusedepending on the Spanish "you" (formal, informal, plural, singular). Add after thatMich:

  • second person singular (Of/vos):forgiveness/forgivenessforgiveness
  • formal second person singular (Of):forgivenessforgiveness
  • second person plural (Of, only used in Spain):forgivenessforgiveness
  • formal second person plural (Of, used both formally and informally outside of Spain):forgivenessforgiveness

Example:I'm sorry I ignored you("Forgive me for ignoring you.")

(Video) Elton John - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word


Pardonmeans "forgive" or "forgive". It has a stronger meaning thanExcuse. You should use it when you've done something serious or want to add weight to your apology.

How withExcuse, choose the correct form ofpardonand addMich:

  • second person singular (Of/vos):forgiveness/forgive meforgive me
  • formal second person singular (Of):forgivenessforgiveness
  • second person plural (Of, only used in Spain):forgivenessforgive me
  • formal second person plural (Of, used both formally and informally outside of Spain):forgivenessforgive me

Pardoncan be used in many Spanish apology phrases:

  • Please forgive me- "Please forgive me."
  • I'm sorry, forgive me- "Excuse me, forgive me."
  • forgive me my love- "Forgive me my love."
  • you forgive me- "Do you forgive me?"
  • will you ever forgive me- "Will you ever forgive me?"
  • I don't know if you can forgive me– "I don't know if you can forgive me."


After stepping on your dance partner's foot for the tenth consecutive time, you can stop sayingI'm sorryand say insteadforgiveness.

When used as a noun,forgivenessliterally translates to "forgiveness" in English. Used alone as its own expression, it means "I'm sorry" in the sense of "I beg your forgiveness".

There are a few ways to say sorry in Spanish slang, but they're only used in texting. In text messages, you can abbreviateforgivenessifxdonorprdn.

3 other ways to apologize in Spanish

"Excuse me" in Spanish

Just like in English, "my sorry" is a more formal way of saying "I'm sorry" in Spanish.

There are two ways to say it in Spanish:my apologies(literally "my apologies") andExcuse me(literally "a thousand excuses").

"I owe you an apology" in Spanish

I always found "I owe you an apology" to be a pretty funny expression. It specifically states that you must apologize, but you are not exactly apologizing, just saying that you must apologize.

The Spanish equivalent isI owe you an apology.

I apologizeAndI apologize

To apologizeAndto ask for forgivenesscan mean "to apologize" or "to ask for forgiveness" depending on the context.To apologizeis less strong thanto ask for forgiveness, and should be used when the guilt is less severe.

To make your apology even more heartfelt, you can addfrom my heart("from the heart")I apologize:I sincerely apologize for offending you.("I sincerely apologize for offending you.")

How to forgive in Spanish

This post wouldn't be complete without a list of ways to respond to an apology.

Here are some of the most commonly used:

  • No problem- "It's okay" (literally "Nothing's happening.")
  • In order- "It's okay."
  • Do not worry- "Do not worry." (Do not worryis the formal version.)
  • No problem- "Don't worry" (literally "There is no problem.")
  • I forgive you- "You are forgiven."
  • I forgive you- "I forgive you."
  • It does not matter- "Doesn't matter."
  • you're excused- "You're excused."
  • you do not have to apologize- "You do not have to apologize."

Say you're sorry in Spanish

Now that you know how to say "I'm sorry" in Spanish, you can stop worrying about going to folk dance classes!

You'll have the opportunity to improve your dance style and apologize profusely if you step on your partner's toes. (Oh, and don't worry. Spanish-speaking dance partners aren't usually that grumpy 😉)

As a pro at saying "sorry" in Spanish, you will use itI'm sorryorforgiveness?

Maybe you could practice that with yoursPrepare(ourreview is here) tutor during your next session!

¡Lo Siento! and 25 more ways to say "sorry" in Spanish (2)

Benny Lewis

Founder, fluent in 3 months

Fun-loving Irishman, full-time globetrotter and best-selling international author. Benny believes this is the best approach to language learningtalk from day one.

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Speaks:Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

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