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Video:Learn Japanese: Useful Expressions to Apologize

with Ayaka Hills

Learn some common ways to apologize in Japanese, so that you can be respectful and polite while speaking. Here are useful expressions to apologize in Japanese, in formal and informal occasions.See Transcript

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Transcript:Learn Japanese: Useful Expressions to Apologize

Hi, I'm Ayaka Hills of Hills Learning in New York for About.com. In this video, I'll be going over some common ways to apologize in Japanese.

There are many ways to apologize in Japanese. The Japanese typically apologize to one another far more frequently than Westerners do. Nuances can be subtle.

Most Common Expression to Apologize

A simple way to apologize, which can be used in a broad range of situations, is by saying: すみません (sumimasen). すみません (sumimasen) means "sorry."

If you are apologizing for something that was done in the past, you can say: すみませんでした (sumimasendeshita)

Useful Expressions to Apologize Informally

ごめんなさい (gomenasai) can also be used to apologize in more informal situations. ごめんなさい (gomenasai)

ごめんなさい (gomenasai) is a little more casual than すみません (sumimasen).

Most Casual Way to Apologize

ごめん (gomen) is even more casual than ごめんなさい (gomenasai). ごめん (gomen)

This phrase should only be used among close friends and family.

Formal Expressions to Apologize

A formal way to apologize is 申し訳ありません (moshiwake arimasen). 申し訳ありません (moshiwake arimasen)

If you're apologizing for something that was done in the past, you can say: 申し訳ありませんでした (moushiwake arimasendeshita)

Useful Expressions to Apologize or Say Excuse Me

失礼しました (shitsurei shimashita) is also formal, though it doesn't show as strong a feeling as 申し訳ありません (moushiwake arimasen). It's more like "excuse me" in English. 失礼しました (shitsurei shimashita)

A more informal way to apologize in this manner is: 失礼 (shitsurei), although 失礼 (shitsurei) is used mostly by men.

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