How to Apologize in Chinese

This month, let's take a quick look at how to apologize in Chinese. Under different circumstances, it might be better to use different words to express the idea of "Sorry". 

Let's look at some examples.

1. "抱歉/对不起" (bao4 qian4/ dui4 bu4 qi3)-Sorry
This is the simplest way to say sorry. 

ex. -你撞到我了 (ni3 zhuang4 dao4 wo3 le) -You hit me.
     -抱歉 / 对不起(bao4 qian4/ dui4 bu4 qi3)-Sorry.


2. “不好意思” (bu4 hao3 yi4 si1)-Sorry/ excuse me. 
You could use this phrase to express "sorry". You can also use it at the beginning of a sentence to raise other people's attention, under that circumstances, it means "excuse me". 

ex. 不好意思,请让一下。(bu4 hao3 yi4 si1, qing3 rang4 yi2 xia4)
     Excuse me, please let me pass.

     -你撞到我了 (ni3 zhuang4 dao4 wo3 le) -You hit me.
     -不好意思 (bu4 hao3 yi4 si1)-Sorry.


3. "不好意思打扰一下" (bu4 hao3 yi4 si1 da3 rao3 yi2 xia4)-Sorry to interrupt.

ex. 不好意思打扰一下,麦当劳在哪里?
bu4 hao3 yi4 si1 da3 rao3 yi2 xia4, mai4 dang1 lao2 zai4 na3 li3?
Sorry to interrupt, where is McDonald? 

4. If you want to express "I'm very/so very sorry", you could say:
很/非常抱歉。(wo2 hen3/ fei1 chang2 bao4 qian4)
实在太抱歉/对不起了。(wo3 shi2 zai4 tai4 bao4 qian4/ dui4 bu4 qi3 le). 

     
Sign In to comment.