Are you wondering what the best ways to apologize in French are? In the French culture, etiquette is essential. Therefore, if you find yourself with friends and you have to say sorry in French, it is better to have different phrases at your disposal that you can use in different situations.
In the French language, there are many ways to say sorry. There are refined phrases to use in situations that require elegance, and there are less formal phrases to use with friends. But you will soon discover that even the most casual apologies have a note of elegance. Keep reading below!
Best Ways To Apologize In French
Are you planning to travel for the first time to France? As a traveler, you must be prepared for whatever will happen. If you need to apologize, you can use the expressions on this part of the post. Keep scrolling below!
In French, you can apologize in so many ways that you should memorize a few you can use with friends and a few in a formal relationship or formal events. However, the most important thing to know is that you can apologize on almost all occasions just by saying:
“Je suis désolé” (I am sorry)
This sentence can be used in various situations ranging from expressing sympathy to others or when you did something wrong. So even if you do not learn anything else and if you remember only these few words, you can still show your good manners.
Here are some ways to say sorry in french with their casual and formal variants:
- Je suis désolé (Je suis désolée for female) – I am sorry
- Pardon! – I am sorry or excuse me
- Pardonnez moi – Excuse me
- Toutes mes excuses! – My apologies!
- Toutes mes excuses – All my excuses
- Je vous prie de bien vouloir m’excuser – Please excuse me (formal expression)
- C’est ma faute – It’s my fault
- Je suis navré(e) – I am sorry (used in formal situations)
- Je regrette – I’m sorry (it literally translates of “I regret it”)
- Désolé, c’est ma faute, j’aurais dû y penser – Sorry, it’s my fault, I should’ve thought of that
- Je suis sincèrement désolé(e) – I’m sincerely sorry
- “Je suis tellement désolé(e) – I am so sorry
- Je regrette profondément ce que j’ai fait – I sincerely regret what I did
- Je regrette ce que j’ai dit – I regret what I said.
- Je ne le ferai plus – I won’t do it again
How To Apologize In French In Case Of Accidents
If you bump into someone, drop an object, break something accidentally, the best apology to use is:
If you get in someone’s way, “Pardon” is a perfect word to use. Here are examples of use:
- Je vous (te) demande pardon – I beg your pardon ( used with strangers or in formal situations)
- Pardon, je n’ai pas comprise – Excuse me, I did not understand that
How To Ask For Attention In French
When wanting to get someone’s attention politely, using “excuse me” in English is common. However, it is not different in the French language. It translates into the French words:
You can use it to notify people that you want to get past a person or that you want to alert someone that something is about to happen and they should pay attention. It can be considered an apology for disturbing the other person but at the same time a polite demand to another person to pay attention or do something.
If French, excuse me is “Excusez moi.”
Here are some examples:
- Excusez moi – Vous avez l’heure?
- Excuse-moi, je dois raccrocher maintenant – Sorry, I have to hang up now
- Excusez-moi, est-ce que je peux passer? – Excuse me, could you let me pass please?
How To Express Great Regret
If you want to express great regret for something that has happened or something you have done you can use specific sentences, such as:
- Je suis tellement désolé(e) – I’m so sorry
- Je suis navré de vous avoir fait de la peine – I’m so sorry to have hurt you
- Je suis désolée pour ta perte – I’m sorry for your loss
- J’espère sincèrement que vous pourrez me pardonner – I sincerely hope you will be able to forgive me
- Ce que j’ai fait est impardonnable – What I did is unforgivable
How To Answer When Someone Is Apologizing To You
If someone apologizes to you, it is good manners to answer and let the other person know that the apologies are accepted.
You can do that with the following phrases and words:
- Ne t’en fais pas – Don’t worry
- C’est pas grave – It’s not serious
- Ne t’inquiète pas – Don’t worry
- Je te pardonne – I forgive you (it is used on formal occasions)
- Pas de soucis – No worries.
- C’est rien – It’s nothing
- Je comprends – I understand
- Merci de t’être excusé – Thank you for apologizing
While it is a sign of good manners to apologize when something is wrong, it is also true that constantly saying sorry or over-apologizing can be interpreted as insincere. Apologies should be used when necessary and when meant.
In addition, when apologizing, the apology needs to be appropriate to the situation. If you overdo it, it could seem that you are not really apologizing.
Would you like to learn more French expressions?
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Now that you’ve learned so much about how to apologize in French, take your French to the next level and improve your French skills! Check out our great blog posts: Thank You In French and Basic French Pronouns. There is no time to waste! Download it from App Store and Play Store for free