5 Classic Ways to Say Sorry in German

Saying sorry is a basic etiquette that you must know when you converse with someone. Just like you have different forms of apologizing in English, saying I am sorry in German is a different story altogether, depending upon the situation at hand. When you don’t know too much German in a country that speaks the language, you may land into some awkward situations, finding it hard to figure a way out. Well, worry not, because you have come to the right window.

Sorry is a word that is on the tip of our tongues every single time. You run into a person, you say sorry. You accidentally step on someone’s foot in the metro, you say sorry. You didn’t hear the other person said, you say sorry. In short, the word has become a part of our lives. Communicating your apologies in German is the best way to avoid embarrassing situations.

Here, we are going to tell you how to say I am sorry in German in five different ways. So pick your situation and apologize!


  • Entschuldigung!

    If you need someone’s attention, just say “excuse me” in German. The literal translation of Entschuldigung  is “un guilt”. If you shout the word un-guilt to get a person’s attention, people will definitely look at you, but they would definitely assume that you’ve gone crazy. The word is used when you need help with something. “Entschuldigung! Können Sie mir bitte helfen?” is what you can say when you need help from a random person. It means “Excuse me, could you help me please?”


  • Wie bitte?

    Didn’t catch up what the other person said? Just say Wie bitte? meaning “I beg your pardon?” The word doesn’t exactly mean sorry, but is used in an apologetical sense as you didn’t get the other person’s statement correctly, and you want him to repeat it again. You can use it when you are not a fluent German speaker, and you need the other person to repeat his words slowly. So say Würden Sie das bitte wiederholen, meaning “I beg your pardon? Would you please repeat that?”.


  • Das tut mir leid

    This German phrase is of great help especially when you want to express your heartfelt feelings for someone’s loss. If your German friend’s kitten passes away, and you don’t know what to say, it would look quite rude, right? So you can say Das tut mir leid dein Katzchen war so lieb.”, which means I am sorry… your kitten was lovely. The phrase expresses to the other person that the negative news does you sorrow. It makes you feel bad about your friend. It is the best way to express sympathy. 


  • Verzeihung

    Accidentally bumped into someone at the station? Say Verzeihung. Touched someone by mistake when the bus halted? Say Verzeihung. This German word can be used during such cases of minor disturbances, and getting your way out with utmost ease.

    Not only Verzeihung, the English word sorry is also being commonly used as slang in Germany, and is understood by almost anybody. So in case you are confused about the German pronunciation of the words, you can simply say sorry to communicate your feelings. Or, we have a better way. You can learn to speak fluent German from the best German language institute in Delhi.


  • Entschuldigen Sie bitte

    This word is different from the word entschuldigen, which is a noun, and entschuldigen is a verb. The verb, entschuldigen can be used when you need to ask for a favor, like direction to the train station or the cinema hall. For example:“Entschuldigen Sie bitte! Können Sie mir bitte sagen, wo ich die Toilette finde?” meaning “Excuse me, can you please tell me where the restroom is?” bothering a stranger for help is okay if you ask politely. So learn the language and speak German like a pro!



When you have the right way to say I am sorry in German, while travelling in Germany, you can easily find your way out of tricky situations. So use these German words that you’ve learnt so far. For more in-depth knowledge about the German language, pick the best German language course in cp.

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