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“How have the right to I say sorry in Korean?” you might be asking.

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“Sorry” is one of the first words that language learner come across when beginning out. It’s a valuable word due to the fact that you have the right to use the in plenty of situations. There are numerous different ways to say sorry in English, such as “I to be sorry,” “I apologize,” and also so on, and the very same is true for Korean. Some korean apologies are formal and some are slang words, and sometimes words are only used in a specific situation.

“Sorry” in learning korean is simply as necessary as it is in any type of other language. In this blog, we’re walking to introduce eleven ways to say “I am sorry” in Korean, and when to use an expression appropriately. Over there are many words for sorry in oriental vocabulary, as well as many usual gestures that consist of a huge part of exactly how to apologize in oriental culture. Start with a bonus, and also download your complimentary cheat paper – how to enhance Your korean Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

1. 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) – Formal

죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is the most commonly used phrase to to speak sorry, and if you’ve just started learning just how to say sorry in Korean, memorize this phrase at every costs. Why? due to the fact that you’ll hear this where you go, and you’ll be utilizing it a many while travel in southern Korea.

죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is a an ext respectful means to apologize 보다 미안합니다. (mianhamnida.) and 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.), which we’ll define to you in much more detail later.

In addition, using the proper body gesture is really important once you speak this phrase; you must slightly bow your head when saying sorry. Also, uneven in several of the countries where eye-contact is very important, making direct eye-contact is considered rude in Korea. Therefore, once you want to apologize come someone, shot not to do eye-contact; instead, look slightly downward, towards the floor.

Situation 1:

Someone comes along and pushes girlfriend while you holding a cup that coffee, which outcomes in spilling the coffee on someone else.

You: 어머, 괜찮으세요? 너무 *죄송합니다. You: eomeo, gwaenchaneuseyo? neomu joesonghamnida.You: “Oh no, space you okay? ns am so sorry.”

*죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) is a good way to apologize come someone. However, once you want to more sincerely apologize come someone, add 너무 (neomu), definition “very,” prior to 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

Customer: 아, 괜찮습니다.Customer: a, gwaenchanseumnida.Customer: “Ah, that okay.”

In this situation, you flood the coffee by accident and also are dear apologizing someone. In this case, you should bow as you apologize.

Situation 2:

You accidently stepped on someone’s foot when entering the bus.

You: 죄송합니다. You: joesonghamnida.You: “I to be sorry.”Other person: 아니요, 괜찮습니다.Other person: aniyo, gwaenchanseumnida.Other person: “It’s okay, never mind.”

In this situation, you nothing have sufficient time come bow and also apologize come someone. So this simple version of exactly how to to speak “I’m sorry” in korean to the person whose foot girlfriend stepped ~ above is an excellent enough.

2. 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) – Formal


잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is analyzed as “It is mine fault,” in Korean, and also it’s a formal means to to speak sorry. It’s supplied when you know that something you did was totally wrong, and want come ask for your forgiveness. You can include 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) come sound more apologetic.

The classic example of how to use this phrase is as soon as a child asks for his mom forgiveness. Once a boy apologizes, he/she normally rubs your hands with each other as they apologize. The informal means to speak 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is 잘못했어 (jalmothaesseo).

Situation 1:

You wronged your friend before, and also need come apologize come them.

You: 네 말이 맞았어, 다 내 잘못이야. 잘못했어.*You: ne mari majasseo, da nae jalmosiya. Jalmothaesseo.You: “You to be right, it’s all my fault. Please forgive me.”Your friend: 휴… 됐다.Your friend: hyu… dwaetda.Your friend: “Sigh..whatever.”

* Be mindful with spacing the phrase. Many Korean learners make mistakes here. For example, 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.), meaning “It is my fault, i am sorry,” and also 잘 못했습니다. (jal mothaetseumnida) meaning “I walk not do well,” have actually two totally different meanings.


3. 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) – Formal

Each apology expression has a different level the politeness, and also 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) is the least formal way to to speak “I to be sorry.” that not often used, yet you will certainly hear this expression a lot of in korean dramas. Simply note that 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) is one more option for apologizing.

It sounds a lot much more natural to say 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.) or 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) rather of 미안해요. (mianhaeyo.) in practice. Also, 미안합니다 (mianhamnida) sounds more polite, however in most situations, friend should simply stick to 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

Situation 1:

You’ve received countless missed calls from someone who’s a pair of year younger than you, and also you desire to apologize for not answering their calls.

You: 전화했었어요?. 못 받아서 미안해요.You: jeonhwahaesseosseoyo?. Mot badaseo mianhaeyo.You: “Did girlfriend call? ns am i m really sorry for absent your calls.”Other person: 괜찮습니다. 전화 주셔서 감사합니다.Other person: gwaenchanseumnida. Jeonhwa jusyeoseo gamsahamnida.Other person: “It’s okay. Say thanks to you because that returning the call.”

Situation 2:

A colleague was calling, yet you couldn’t choose up the phone since you to be driving. You’re returning the call and also want come apologize.

You: 미안해요, 운전하고 있었어요.You: mianhaeyo, unjeonhagoisseosseoyo.You: “I am sorry, ns was driving.”Your colleague: 아 그러셨군요. 괜찮습니다.Your colleague: a geureosyeotgunyo. Gwaenchanseumnida.Your colleague: “I see. That okay.”

4. 죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) – Formal.

죄송해요. (joesonghaeyo.) has actually the same definition as 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.), but sounds much less formal. Friend can’t say this expression to your professor or someone who’s lot older than you. If you desire to it is in on the for sure side, stick come 죄송합니다. (joesonghamnida.).

Situation 1:

You’ve currently asked a few questions to her colleague about something, however you still desire to ask an ext questions.

You: 바쁘신데 계속 방해해서 죄송해요.You: bappeusinde gyesok banghaehaeseo joesonghaeyo.You: “I am sorry to keep bothering you.”Your colleague: 아닙니다. 괜찮습니다.Your colleague: animnida. Gwaenchanseumnida.Your colleague: “No, that okay.”

Situation 2:

You interrupted someone and the person seems annoyed by it.

You: 죄송해요 방해할 생각은 아니였어요.You: joesonghaeyo banghae hal saenggageun aniyeosseoyo.You: “Sorry, i didn’t mean to interrupt.”The other person: 괜찮습니다.The various other person: gwaenchanseumnida.The other person: “It’s okay.”

5. 미안해 (mianhae) – Informal

미안해 (mianhae) is one informal way to to speak 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.). 미안해 (mianhae) and 미안 (mian) are supplied interchangeably, yet keep in mind the 미안해 (mianhae) sounds an ext polite and gives the impression the the speak cares about the listener’s feelings. On the various other hand, 미안 (mian) sounds much more like how a child would apologize.

Situation 1:

You desire to to apologize to her friend.

You: * 정말 미안해, 용서해주라. 응?You: jeongmal mianhae, yongseohaejura. Eung?You: “I’m really sorry, have the right to you forgive me. Ey?”Your friend: 알았어. 이번 한번만 용서해줄께.Your friend: arasseo. Ibeon hanbeonman yongseohaejulkke.Your friend: “Alright. I will forgive friend this time.”

* 정말 (jeongmal) method “really.” include this indigenous if you desire to dear apologize to your friend.

Situation 2:

You’re claimed to satisfy your girlfriend at three o’clock, but you arrived half an hour late.

You: 많이 늦었지? 정말 미안해!You: mani neujeotji? jeongmal mianhae!You: “I’m so i m really sorry for getting here late!”Your friend: 괜찮아. 나도 방금 도착했어.Your friend: gwaenchana. Nado banggeum dochakaesseo.Your friend: “It’s fine. I’ve simply arrived too.”


6. 미안 (mian) – Informal

미안 (mian) is a casual method to to apologize to her friends, and also the straight translation is “sorry.” In addition, 미안 (mian) can also mean “no” in part situations. Because that example, once you’re invited to a party organized by your friend and want to politely decline, you deserve to simply to speak 미안 (mian).

Situation 1:

You’re thirty minutes late and want come apologize to her friend, and need come know just how to speak “Sorry ns late,” in Korean.

You: 늦어서 미안! (=먄!*)You: neujeoseo mian!You: “Sorry i’m late!”Your friend: 괜찮아.Your friend: gwaenchana.Your friend: “It’s okay.”

* 먄 (myan) is a shorter word come say sorry, and it’s a korean slang. This korean slang is used commonly in written context among young people. A an ext polite oriental slang to say sorry is 죄송 (joeson), i beg your pardon is one more casual way for world of the same age to apologize to every other.

Situation 2:

You’re invited to a party the you don’t want to go to.

Your friend: 이번주 토요일에 이태원에서 하는 파티 갈래?Your friend: ibeonju toyoire itaewoneseo haneun pati gallae?Your friend: “Do you want to go to a party in Itaewon this Saturday?”You: 음… 미안. 별로 가고 싶지 않네.You: eum… mian. Byeollo ga sipji anne.You: “Hmm… sorry. I don’t feel choose going.”Your friend: 알았어.Your friend: arasseo.Your friend: “Alright.”

7. 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.) – Informal/Formal


The direct translation of 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.) is “please organize on.” It likewise translates together “Excuse me,” in Korean depending on the situation, and is roughly how come say “Excuse me, sorry” in Korean. 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.), i m sorry we’ll comment on below, and also 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.) space interchangeable; by simply remembering among these two phrases, you’ll be able to survive in Korea.

To distinguish between these two phrases, 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) sounds slightly more formal, and it’s regularly used through professionals. Therefore, once you speak this phrase, people around you will certainly instantly think the you’re a experienced white-collar worker.

잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.), on the various other hand, is regularly used by world of various age groups, and it sound casual and friendly. Also, 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo.) is offered a lot more than 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.).

Situation 1:

You desire to pass through the group at the bus stop.

You: 잠시만요.*You: jamsimanyo.You: “Excuse me.”

* when someone claims 잠시만요. (jamsimanyo.), typically you don’t should respond through anything. If you do want come respond, you can say 네 (ne) or 알겠습니다. (algetseumnida.). An alternate response is to slightly nod to the person without saying a word.

Situation 2:

Your colleague involved ask whereby some important records are.

You: 아, 그 서류요. 어디에 있는지 알아요. 잠시만요.You: a, geu seoryuyo. Eodie inneunji arayo. Jamsimanyo.You: “Oh, I recognize where the records are. Please hold on.”

8. 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) – Formal

The straight translation the 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) is “Excuse me” in Korean. The can also be translated as “I am sorry for interrupting.” You have the right to use this phrase in numerous situations, such as when you desire to interrupt someone.

You can also say 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) when you want to go through a small area, such as a corridor between two bookshelves in ~ a bookstore, and also want to ask who to relocate a little bit for you.

Situation 1:

You’re riding top top a rush hour train in Korea. Her stop has actually been reached and you must pass through the group to gain off the train.

You: 실례합니다. (지나가겠습니다.)*You: sillyehamnida. (jinagagetseumnida.)You: “Excuse me. (I would choose to walk through.)”

* that not essential to speak 지나가겠습니다. (jinagagetseumnida.); generally 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.) is adequate sufficient to discern her message. If you want to be an ext expressive, just add 지나가겠습니다. (jinagagetseumnida.), and you’re guarantee to have actually enough an are to go with the crowd.

Situation 2:

You obtained an urgent phone call from a customer and you need to pass the blog post to the manager, who chatting with someone.

You: 실례합니다. 급한 전화가 와서 그러는데요…You: sillyehamnida. Geupan jeonhwaga waseo geureoneundeyo…You: “I am sorry because that interrupting. Over there is an immediate phone call….”


9. 진심으로 사과드립니다. (jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.) – Formal

The straight translation the 진심으로 사과드립니다. (jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.) is “I would favor to sincerely apologize,” which is a company Korean phrase. Therefore, if you planning to job-related in south Korea, this expression will come in handy. You’ll view this expression a lot in composed context, such as in an email, and a human being who says this expression will bow, generally ninety degrees, to show an excellent respect to the human they’re speak to.

Situation 1:

You job-related in a customer service department and also received a complaint email.

You: 폐를 끼친 데 대해 진심으로 사과드립니다.You: pyereul kkichin de daehae jinsimeuro sagwadeurimnida.You: “Please expropriate our apology for any inconvenience caused.”The customer: 죄송하지만 바로 환불 부탁드립니다.The customer: joesonghajiman baro hwanbul butakdeurimnida.The customer: “I apologize, ns would prefer to return the product.”

Situation 2:

There was a technical issue with the firm website, and you desire to apologize come its users.

You: 불편을 끼쳐드려 대단히 죄송합니다.You: bulpyeoneul kkichyeodeuryeo daedanhi joesonghamnida.You: “We sincerely apologize for any kind of inconvenience us may have caused.”The customer: 괜찮습니다. 해당 부분에 대해 보고해 주셔서 감사합니다.The customer: gwaenchanseumnida. Haedang bubune daehae bogohae jusyeoseo gamsahamnida.The customer: “It is okay. Say thanks to you because that reporting the problem to us.”

10. 용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.) – Formal

용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.) has actually the same meaning as 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.). To recognize the differences between these expressions, 잘못했습니다. (jalmothaetseumnida.) is offered to apologize, while indirectly requesting someone’s forgiveness (and acknowledge that girlfriend made a mistake). 용서해주세요. (yongseohaejuseyo.), on the various other hand, is directly asking because that forgiveness.

잘못 (jalmot) way “mistake,” and also 했습니다 way “I did ~,” so together it means: “I did do a mistake (morally).” 용서 (yongseo) means “forgiveness,” and also 해주세요 method “Please execute ~,” so together, it way “Please pardon me.”

To some extent, this is similar to the English “I’m really sorry,” in Korean, yet is an ext sincere.

Situation 1:

You damaged a promise friend made through your parents and also you desire to ask for forgiveness.

You: 제가 잘못했어요. 한번만 용서해주세요.*You: jega jalmothaesseoyo. Hanbeonman yongseohaejuseyo.You: “I make a mistake. Please forgive me.”Parents: 알겠다. 이번 한번만 용서해주마.Parents: algetda. Ibeon hanbeonman yongseohaejuma.Parents: “Understood. We will certainly forgive friend this time.”

* you can incorporate the two apology phrases, as follows: 잘못했습니다. 용서해주세요. (jalmothaetseumnida. Yongseohaejuseyo.), in order to admit your mistake and ask straight for forgiveness.

Situation 2:

You got caught by the police for speeding.

You: 잘못했습니다. 용서해주세요.You: jalmothaetseumnida. Yongseohaejuseyo.You: “I make a mistake. Please forgive me.”Police officer: 면허증 주십시오.Police officer: myeonheojeung jusipsio.Police officer: “Please present your driver’s license.”

11. 저기요 (jeogiyo) – Informal

We’ve introduced a number of ways to say “excuse me” in Korean, and you’ve learned the 실례합니다. (sillyehamnida.), 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida) have the exact same meaning. Return the translate in of 저기요 (jeogiyo) is “excuse me,” you should be cautious to usage this expression in the appropriate context. 저기요 (jeogiyo) has two meanings:

Firstly, this phrase is provided to draw attention indigenous someone, generally in bespeak to directly make a complaint to the person. Therefore, the not provided to excuse you yourself to execute something (e.g. Passing with the crowd). In general, it also gives a an unfavorable feeling to the listener, so unless you desire to complain to someone, simply stick to the formal phrases.

Secondly, this phrase is used to call someone, especially at a restaurant. Note that you can’t say this phrase at a luxurious restaurant, together 저기요 (jeogiyo) is a very informal way to attract attention come yourself.

When you want to contact someone, particularly a employee member at a restaurant, the best method to call them is to do eye call with them and raise your hand. You nothing necessarily should say 저기요 (jeogiyo) if the staff acknowledges you, but adding 저기요 (jeogiyo) will definitely draw attention from every the staff at a restaurant.

Situation 1:

Someone stepped on her foot without speak sorry.

You: 저기요, 발을 밟았으면 사과해야 하는 거 아닌가요?You: jeogiyo, bareul balbasseumyeon sagwahaeya haneun geo aningayo?You: “Excuse me, if friend stepped on mine foot, aren’t you supposed to apologize to me?”Stranger: 아, 몰랐습니다. 죄송합니다.Stranger: a, mollatseumnida. Joesonghamnida.

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Stranger: “Oh, ns did no know. Ns am sorry.”

Situation 2:

You’re in ~ a oriental restaurant and are around to stimulate Ddeukbokki. You do eye call with a waiter and also say:

You: 저기요~You: jeogiyo~You: “Excuse me!”A waiter: 네~ 잠시만요.A waiter: ne~ jamsimanyo.A waiter: “Yes! One sec.”


How dearteassociazione.org Can aid You

In summary, we presented eleven ways to say “I to be sorry” in oriental and noted appropriate scenarios to usage each expression. Learning just how to say i m really sorry in oriental phrases doesn’t have to be hard. ~ above dearteassociazione.org, we have actually a vocabulary list of typical ways come say sorry in Korean, which introduces sixteen various ways come apologize, except what we introduced in this blog, for this reason feel totally free to inspect this web page out too.

We additionally have plenty of other cost-free vocabulary lists, such together “Phrases to Use once You are Angry” and “Negative Emotions,” both the which will certainly certainly assist you understand much more about how civilization express themselves as soon as they’re angry (even ~ an apology!). Feel totally free to examine out dearteassociazione.org and begin studying korean for free. Recognize that with sufficient practice and also dedication, you can come to be a grasp of Korean!

Before friend go, drop united state a comment around what brand-new things girlfriend learned today around Korean apologies. Execute you feel much more confident about apologizing in Korean, or space there some points you’re quiet struggling with? allow us know in the comments!