15 Ways to Say Sorry in Spanish – Lo Siento & More Chunks + How to Answer

Apologizing in Spanish is not only about the words; it’s also about the sincerity and sentiment behind those words. There are many nuances to saying sorry in Spanish – and there are many situations where you might want to express an apology! Spring Spanish, a project I co-founded, has created a video exploring alternatives to ‘lo siento,’ offering various ways to say sorry in Spanish. Here it is!

Whether you’ve bumped into someone on the street or you’ve done something to hurt a friend, knowing the right way to say sorry in Spanish is always a good thing to have up your sleeves.

In this blog post, you’ll discover 15 different ways to apologize in Spanish: each of these examples has its own context, and of course, level of formality. A bonus at the end is how you can respond to an apology. Click on any of these Spanish chunks and jump to their own sections!

SpanishEnglishUse Case
Lo sientoI’m sorryGeneral use, good for most situations.
PerdónSorryDaily situations, like interrupting someone or moving through a crowd.
Disculpa / DisculpeSorry / Excuse meDisculpa” for informal settings; “Disculpe” is formal.
Mis disculpasMy apologiesMore formal, when acknowledging a mistake.
Mil disculpasA thousand apologiesEmphasizing the depth of the apology.
Te pido disculpasI apologize to youA personal way to express genuine remorse.
Lamento [algo]I regret [something]Expressing regret for something.
Lo lamento muchoI’m very sorryTo emphasize how sorry you are.
Perdóname / PerdónemeForgive mePerdóname” for close relationships; “Perdóneme” is formal.
Siento [algo]I feel [something]Expressing a personal feeling of regret for an action.
Me sabe mal [algo]I feel bad about [something]Regional use to express that something upsets you negatively.
Lo siento muchoI am very sorryAnother way to strongly emphasize how sorry you are.
Siento mucho lo ocurridoI am very sorry for what happenedGood for apologizing for specific events – especially in written form.
No fue mi intención [hacer algo]It was not my intention [to do something]Explaining there was no harmful intent behind your actions.
Espero que puedas perdonarmeI hope you can forgive meExpressing a desire for forgiveness.

1. Lo siento – I’m sorry (in Spanish)

Effortless Answers

Lo siento” is perhaps the most common way to say sorry in Spanish. It’s an all-in-one phrase that can be used in both formal and informal settings. When you say “Lo siento” (I’m sorry), it’s understood that you regret something you’ve done or a situation you’re involved in.

For example, if you step on someone’s foot by accident, you can quickly say, “¡Ay, lo siento!” (Oh, I’m sorry!). If you’re expressing condolences, you might say, “Lo siento mucho por tu pérdida” (I’m very sorry for your loss).

In response to “Lo siento,” a person might say, “Está bien, no pasa nada” (It’s okay, don’t worry about it) to express forgiveness.

2. Perdón – Sorry

Perdón is an informal and common way to say sorry, and it is often used to get someone’s attention or to interrupt someone when they’re talking. This way of apologizing in Spanish is typically used in less serious situations or when you need to ask for forgiveness quickly.

If you need to pass someone in a crowded space, you could say “Perdón, ¿puedo pasar?” (Sorry, can I get through?). If you accidentally bump into someone, a simple “Perdón” will suffice.

If someone says “Perdón” to you, an appropriate response could be “No te preocupes” (Don’t worry about it).

expressing sorry in spanish with emoji

3. Disculpa – Sorry/Excuse me

Disculpa” is used in situations that are informal and where you have a familiar relationship with the other person. It’s a way to apologize for minor offenses or to say excuse me in Spanish in anticipation of an interruption.

Imagine you are late to a meeting with a friend; you might say, “Disculpa la tardanza” (Sorry for being late). Or, if you need to interrupt a conversation, you can say “Disculpa, ¿puedo decir algo?” (Excuse me, can I say something?).

When you apologize with “Disculpa,” someone might reply, “No hay problema” (No problem).

4. Mis disculpas – My apologies

Mis disculpas” is a slightly more formal apology that shows a sense of being heartfelt. It’s used when you recognize that you’ve done something wrong, and you want to explicitly express that you know you made a mistake.

You might use this phrase in a work environment after making a mistake. For example: “Mis disculpas por el error en el reporte” (My apologies for the mistake in the report).

In response to “Mis disculpas,” it’s good to reply, “Te agradezco la disculpa” (I appreciate the apology).

5. Mil disculpas – Thousand apologies

When you want to emphasize your regret significantly, saying “Mil disculpas” expresses that you are deeply sorry. It’s a more dramatic form of apology and conveys strong remorse.

An example could be after accidentally revealing a surprise: “¡Mil disculpas! No quise arruinar la sorpresa” (A thousand apologies! I didn’t mean to ruin the surprise).

To understand this heartfelt regret, a response could be, “Está bien, sé que no fue a propósito” (It’s okay, I know it wasn’t on purpose).

6. Te pido disculpas – I apologize to you

Te pido disculpas” is a personal and direct way to apologize to someone. This phrase is often used when you want to take full responsibility for your actions.

Like, if you’ve missed an important event, you might say, “Te pido disculpas por no asistir a tu celebración” (I apologize for not attending your celebration).

A kind way to respond would be “Te perdono, gracias por pedir disculpas” (I forgive you, thank you for apologizing).

Te pido disculpas is an example of a ‘chunk,’ a naturally occurring building block of language. Lexical chunks allow native speakers to communicate fluently without memorizing grammar rules or extensive vocabulary. If you want to incorporate these chunks into Spanish, sign up now and receive our Chunking Starter Pack along with access to our Full Practice Worksheet Library!

7. Lamento (algo) – I regret (something)

Using “Lamento” is a more formal way to say you’re sorry and is often used to express regret over a situation that has happened, rather than a personal wrongdoing. It’s also a verb that can be very powerful when apologizing.

You might run into this when discussing unfortunate news: “Lamento oír que estás enfermo” (I regret to hear that you are sick).

A person might respond to this expression of sympathy by saying, “Gracias por tus palabras” (Thank you for your words).

8. Lo lamento mucho – I’m very sorry

Lo lamento mucho” is a stronger version of “Lo lamento,” adding emphasis to your sentiment. It’s heartfelt and shows that you deeply regret something.

If a friend’s pet passes away, you could say, “Lo lamento mucho, sé lo mucho que significaba para ti” (I’m very sorry, I know how much it meant to you).

In response, the grieving person might say, “Gracias, valoro tu apoyo” (Thank you, I value your support).

9. Perdóname – Forgive me

Perdóname” is a direct request for forgiveness and is used to ask someone to formally forgive you for a wrong action. This is less about regret for the situation and more about looking for personal reconciliation.

If you’ve said something hurtful, you could express, “Perdóname por mis comentarios de ayer” (Forgive me for my comments yesterday).

A possible response could be, “Te perdono, pero tratemos de evitar que vuelva a suceder” (I forgive you, but let’s try to prevent it from happening again).

10. Siento (algo) – I feel (something)

The verb “siento” is used to express feelings, and when used in the context of an apology, it shows a sense of empathy and understanding towards someone’s situation or feelings.

For example, in expressing empathy for a friend’s bad day, you could say, “Siento que hayas tenido un día difícil” (I feel sorry that you had a tough day).

A friend might respond with “Gracias, mejorará” (Thank you, it will get better).

11. Me sabe mal (algo) – I feel bad about (something)

When you want to emphasize your own discomfort or sadness about a situation, rather than just offering an apology, “Me sabe mal” is an expression that reveals your personal distress about what happened.

You might use it in a sentence like, “Me sabe mal que las cosas no hayan salido como esperabas” (I feel bad that things didn’t go as you expected).

You can reply, “Gracias por preocuparte” (Thank you for caring).

12. Lo siento mucho – I am very sorry

Lo siento mucho” is another way to say you’re extremely sorry in Spanish. This phrase reinforces the strength of your apology and shows that you understand the gravity of the situation.

After a significant mistake, you might say, “Lo siento mucho, no fue mi intención herir tus sentimientos” (I am very sorry, it was not my intention to hurt your feelings).

The person who is hurt might respond with, “Acepto tu disculpa, pero necesito algo de tiempo” (I accept your apology, but I need some time).

13. Siento mucho lo ocurrido – I am very sorry for what happened

This apology is used when referring to specific events or outcomes – often things that were out of your control but still warrant an expression of sorrow.

In the case of an accident, for example, you could say, “Siento mucho lo ocurrido en el accidente” (I am very sorry for what happened in the accident).

Someone affected might reply, “Gracias, agradezco tu preocupación” (Thank you, I appreciate your concern).

14. No fue mi intención (hacer algo) – It was not my intention (to do something)

When you want to make it clear that the outcome was not what you intended, “No fue mi intención” is a way to say that you are sorry for the unintended consequences of your actions.

If your words were misconstrued, you can clarify, “No fue mi intención ofenderte con mis palabras” (It was not my intention to offend you with my words).

To show that you understand, you can respond, “Entiendo, gracias por aclararlo” (I understand, thank you for clarifying).

15. Espero que puedas perdonarme – I hope you can forgive me

This is a humble request for forgiveness in Spanish and expresses that you are hopeful for reconciliation. It’s typically used after you’ve fully explained your apology and are waiting for the other person’s response.

At the conclusion of an apology for a betrayal of trust, you might say, “Espero que puedas perdonarme por haber roto tu confianza” (I hope you can forgive me for breaking your trust).

In response, showing a willingness to move forward, you could say, “Es difícil, pero trabajaré en perdonarte” (It’s hard, but I will work on forgiving you).

How to respond to saying sorry in Spanish – 15 answers on apologies in Spanish

We already listed possible answers in the previous paragraphs but it’s always good to have everything in one place. Let’s check the following table with Spanish chunks and English translations.

Está bien, no pasa nadaIt’s okay, don’t worry about it
No te preocupesDon’t worry about it
No hay problemaNo problem
Te agradezco la disculpaI appreciate the apology
Está bien, sé que no fue a propósitoIt’s okay, I know it wasn’t on purpose
Te perdono, gracias por pedir disculpasI forgive you, thank you for apologizing
Gracias por tus palabrasThank you for your words
Gracias, valoro tu apoyoThank you, I value your support
Te perdono, pero tratemos de evitar que vuelva a sucederI forgive you, but let’s try to prevent it from happening again
Gracias, mejoraráThank you, it will get better
Gracias por preocuparteThank you for caring
Acepto tu disculpa, pero necesito algo de tiempoI accept your apology, but I need some time
Gracias, agradezco tu preocupaciónThank you, I appreciate your concern
Entiendo, gracias por aclararloI understand, thank you for clarifying
Es difícil, pero trabajaré en perdonarteIt’s hard, but I will work on forgiving you

Translate sentences with excuse me in Spanish – Practice Worksheet

Translate the following English phrases into Spanish using the most appropriate apology phrase from the list provided.

This is just part of the exercise for this specific blog post. If you click the button below and sign up now, you won’t only get access to this full exercise but also our Full Practice Worksheet Library!

Learn different ways to say sorry and apologize in Spanish with Conversation Based Chunking

No matter how much you learn these words, you shouldn’t do it the typical, ‘textbook-style’. Instead, use Conversation Based Chunking. A method which I introduced in my Effortless Conversation book where I explain everything about lexical chunks and how you can leverage this knowledge to learn any language!

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