How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (2023)

If you are in a foreign country like Korea, you must do thiscultural mistakes and other common mistakes. Learning to say "I'm sorry" in Korean can come in handy! As long as you know how to apologize for these mistakes, that's fine.

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (1)

Not only does it help you clear up mistakes and misunderstandings, but it also shows you the good manners Mom taught you. if you planspend any amount of time in Korea, better to know this phrase just in case!

We've also included a free PDF guide on how to say "I'm sorry" in Korean to take with you on the go. Check it out below:

Get Free PDF How to Say I'm Sorry in Korean

Here we go!


  • 1 "I'm sorry" in Korean
    • 1.1 Formal "I'm sorry" in Korean
      • 1.1.1 Association for formal "I'm sorry" in Korean
    • 1.2 Standard "I'm sorry" in Korean
      • 1.2.1 Associations for standard "I'm sorry" in Korean
    • 1.3 Informal "I'm sorry" in Korean
      • 1.3.1 Try it yourself for an informal “sorry”
  • 2 other ways to say "I'm sorry" in Korean
  • 3 Use of "I'm sorry" in a sentence
  • 4 How to say "I'm so sorry" in Korean
  • 5 other words related to "sorry" in Korean
    • 5.1 "Sorry" in Korean
    • 5.2 "Sorry" in Korean
  • 6 closing

"I'm sorry" in Korean

There are several ways to say "I'm sorry" in Korean. We've added them below in Korean alphabet and romanization. Not only can you apologize, you can hear the apologies. If you still can't read the Korean alphabet known as 한글 (Hangul),We recommend you learn that first. It will help everyonefuture Korean Studies.

To get you started, here's a video on how to say "sorry" in Korean.

How to say SORRY in Korean | Korean 90 days

Although the title of this article is "how to say 'sorry' in Korean".when speaking, the "I" part is omitted. In Korean, it is obvious that the one who is sorry is you. Therefore, all you have to do is say the word "sorry".

Formal "I'm sorry" in Korean

I like thisSay "thank you" in Korean, in its formal version there are two different words for the apology.

First,I'm sorry (joesonghamnida), is a bit more respectful, and we recommend this word if you just want to learn a word for "sorry."

Remember to use your body language and tone of voice to get your message across. Look at the person you are apologizing to and bow your head slightly as you apologize to acknowledge that you made a mistake.

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (2)

The second one, 미안합니다 (mianhamnida), will also work well, so choose which one you like best!

Still can't read Korean?click herelearn for free in about 60 minutes!

Club for formal "I'm sorry" in Korean

We will use someAssociations that help us remember these Korean phrases. Associations are useful tools that help you remember thingsvocabularyÖPhraseUse a story or picture that is easier to remember. You can use our associations or take them as an example to create your own.

Do you know the American cartoons and films G.I. Joseph? It was popular in the 1980s and 1990s and we will use them to help us remember 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida).

on caricatureThe intro song was very memorablethat's how you imagine itJoe songesnecessaryformally apologize in Korea. Imagine saying to yourself: "Joe song, I need it.This expression is not exactly the same as 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida), but it is not always necessary. Most importantly, it helps you remember 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida).

Standard "I'm sorry" in Korean

The following is the standard version, which also has two ways of putting it. This is the usual level of politeness. In this case both words can be used interchangeably.

is the first wordI'm sorry (joesonghaeyo).

But remember that when people make apologies, such as saying thank you, they often use a higher level of politeness than normal. Therefore, it is often better to say 죄송합니다 (joesonghamnida) than 죄송해요 (joesonghaeyo).

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (3)

The second way isEs tut mir leid (mianhaeyo).

Associations for the "Sorry" standardin Korean

This can have the same association of G.I. Joe again, except that -합니다 (-hamnida) becomes -해요 (-haeyo), but it's that simple!

G.I. Joe's catchphrase was "C'mon, Joe!" that looks very much like it"Hey you!” -해요 (-say). So imagineJoe song"Usos"Hey you!' was his catchphrase in standard situations.

Informal "I'm sorry" in Korean

When talking to people your own age who are close to you, useI'm sorry (mianhae). You can also use it when talking to young children.

If you are in a relationship with a Korean, learn this word now as it can save your relationship! Note that 죄송해 (joesonghae) is not used.

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (4)

Try your own for informal "sorry".

By now you can see that creating associations can be fun and easy. Better still, they help you remember the phrase much better (especially if the association is weird or unique). Can you create your own association for 미안해 (Mianhae)? We're starting, it sounds like "I” and “Hey”.What story could you come up with to connect those words to the informal "I'm sorry"?

Other ways to say "I'm sorry" in Korean

You can use "I'm sorry" in Korean to say sorry. However, there are alternative phrases that you should use in specific cases where you would use "sorry" in English.

1.Wait a minute (jamsimanyo)

This phrase means "just a moment" or "wait a second.” You would use this phrase when trying to get through a crowded Seoul subway. Instead of saying "I'm sorry," you would say 잠시만요 (jamsimanyo).

You can also use this phrase when you're on the phone or in the middle of a conversation and someone is trying to get your attention. This is useful for telling the other person to wait a moment.

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (5)

2.sorry (sillyehamnida)

This phrase means "forgiveness', as in 'Sorry for the interruption'. You can use this when you want to interrupt someone. The word 실례 (Sillie) means 'rudeness or bad manners', so the phrase means 'I have bad manners'.

How to Say "I'm Sorry" in Korean - Ways to Apologize (6)

Use of "I'm sorry" in a sentence

If you want to be more specific about what you're apologizing for, you can add it to your sentence. Here is a guide on how you should do it.

At the end of a sentence:

1. -Ah/It's too late (a/eoseo joesonghamnida)

If you want to say sorry, sorry, you can use the structure above.


sorry for the delay (neujeoseo joesonghamnida)

I'm sorry I'm late.

At the beginning of a sentence:

Alternatively, you can put the word "sorry" at the beginning of the sentence.

1.I'm sorry... (joesonghajiman)


I'm sorry but I can't go (joesonghajiman mot gayo)

I'm sorry but I can't go.

This can also be used when asking for a favor.

2.I'm sorry... (joesonghande)


Excuse me, may I take a photo? (joesonghande sajin jom jjigeo jusigesseoyo)

Excuse me, but could you take a picture of me, please?

How to say "I'm so sorry" in Korean

If you have a little more regret and want to say, "I'm so sorry," there are several ways to say it in Korean.

We have listed them below.


I'm so sorry (jeongmal joesonghamnida)

I'm sorry (myanhamnida)


sorry (joesonghaeyo)

Es tut mir leid (mianhaeyo)


We feel the harassment very much. (Bulpyeoneul deuryeoseo jeongmal joesonghamnida.)

I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

I am really sorry. (geu munjee daehaeseoneun jeongmal mianhaeyo.)

I am really sorry.

Here are more Korean words related to "sorry" to add to your vocabulary.

"Sorry" in Korean

The word for "sorry" in Korean is 사과 (sagwa). Same word means"apple" in Korean, but it will be easy to distinguish them depending on the context of the sentence.


Please accept my apologies (Je sagwareul badajuseyo.)

I beg you to accept my apologies.

I don't need an apology (sagwaneun piryo eopseoyo.)

I don't need an apology

"Sorry" in Korean

For himVerb Formfrom "sorry" 하다 (fairy), meaning "to do", is added to 사과 (sagwa). This forms 사과하다 (sagwahada) which means to apologize.


I apologize to you in a moment. (jigeum dangjang geuege sagwahaeyo.)

Apologize to him right away.

I have to apologize for my rudeness. (Nae muryehame daehae sagwahaeyagesseoyo.)

I should apologize for the rudeness.

To involve

Now that you know how to say "I'm sorry" in Korean, you can start using it with other simple phrases like egHallojgoodbye. Keep in mind that it's used a little differently than the word "sorry" in English, so listen to the Koreans,start watching korean movies, and try to see how the word "sorry" is used naturally in everyday Korean.

If you want to learn Korean and communicate, we havea structured online Korean course that teaches you how to have a 3-minute conversation with your Korean loved ones in the first 90 days.

Get Free PDF How to Say I'm Sorry in Korean


How do Koreans apologize? ›

There's the formal or extra polite language that you use for elders, and there's a casual tone that's the language of close friends. There are two main stems for apologizing in Korean, as well. One is 미안 (mi-ahn), and the other is 죄송 (joe-song). They both mean “sorry,” though the latter is considered more formal.

How do you say I'm sorry in Korean casual? ›

* 먄 (myan) is a shorter word to say sorry, and it's a Korean slang. This Korean slang is used frequently in written context among young people. A more polite Korean slang to say sorry is 죄송 (joeson), which is another casual way for people of the same age to apologize to each other.

What are 5 ways to say sorry? ›

6 Unique Ways to Say “Sorry” When You Make a Mistake
  • 1 My apologies.
  • 2 Pardon/pardon me/I beg your pardon.
  • 3 Excuse me.
  • 4 Mea culpa.
  • 5 Oops/whoops.
  • 6 My bad.
May 22, 2019

How do you say sorry in a cute way? ›

Carry heart shaped balloons, saying “I am sorry”, some chocolates and knock on the door. When your partner opens the door, bend down on your knees, look over at them with puppy dog eyes and ask for his/her apology. You just can't go wrong with this one.

What is biyane in Korean? ›

The former two phrases are polite/informal formal and the very latter is 'sorry' in a very informal way. Hope this was of help! KBT. SUNDAY AT 12:58 AM. Before, I think have heard the word "sorry" to be "biane" in Korean.

How do you respond to Mianhae? ›

Meanwhile, you can say in informal (banmal) way like 미안해 (mianhae) or just 미안 (mian) to your close friends. What if someone says sorry to you? You can reply 괜찮습니다 (gwaenchanseumnida), or 괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo), or 괜찮아 (gwaenchanha).

Is Annyeonghi Gaseyo formal? ›

Hello - 안녕하세요 [annyeong-haseyo]

안녕하세요 [a-nyeong-ha-se-yo] is the formal, polite way to say hello in Korean and is the most important for you to know when you are just beginning learning Korean or if you are in need of some simple travel Korean. A fun fact about this word: it has the literal meaning of 'be in peace'.

What is Mianhada? ›

The meaning of 미안해 (mianhae) in Korean comes from the word 미안하다( mianhada) which literally means “to be sorry”(add해 (hae) to the 미안 stem). This is the commonly used informal way to say sorry in Korean.

What does Hamnida mean in Korean? ›

To apologize for something you have done, or for causing someone pain or inconvenience, say Jwesong hamnida (I apologize.) In an informal context, Mian hamnida (I'm sorry) is just fine. 죄송합니다.

What is jamsiManyo in Korean? ›

잠시만요. ― jamsiManyo. ― Wait a minute.

What are the 3 R's in an apology? ›

He remembered the three R's – regret, react, reassure.

How do you say extremely sorry? ›

I'm very/truly/terribly/deeply sorry. Use when you're aware that you've hurt someone and want to genuinely apologize. I'm so sorry about that. Same as above.

How do you apologize for hurtful words? ›

How to apologize genuinely
  1. Acknowledge the offense. Take responsibility for the offense, whether it was a physical or psychological harm, and confirm that your behavior was not acceptable. ...
  2. Explain what happened. ...
  3. Express remorse. ...
  4. Offer to make amends.
Apr 13, 2021

How do you apologize for hurting someone you love? ›

How to Apologize to Someone You Hurt
  1. Understand the Situation. An often overlooked step in the process of apologizing is figuring out what needs to be apologized for. ...
  2. Say Sorry. A simple “sorry” likely won't do the situation justice, but it's a good start! ...
  3. Acknowledge your Actions. ...
  4. Express Remorse. ...
  5. Make it Right.

How do you apologize to someone you love deeply? ›

How to Say Sorry: 8 Ways to Apologize to the One You Love
  1. Put yourself in your partner's shoes. ...
  2. Be genuine. ...
  3. Take ownership of your role. ...
  4. Use the right words. ...
  5. Gifts are welcome. ...
  6. Give space for your partner to respond. ...
  7. Think beyond today. ...
  8. Actions DO speak louder than words.

How do I say I'm sorry for my love? ›

33 Sweet & Romantic Apology Messages for Your Love
  1. 1 “I'm so sorry.”
  2. 2 “I'm really sorry, my love.”
  3. 3 “I can't express to you how sorry I am.”
  4. 4 “I owe you an apology baby.”
  5. 5 “I made a huge mistake.”
  6. 6 “Can you forgive me?”
  7. 7 “I promise to be better.”
  8. 8 “You deserve a good partner. I know I can be that person.”
Mar 14, 2022

What is Gaseyo in Korean? ›

#4 가세요 (gaseyo) - “Go” in Korean

It's like saying “please go”. (The regular form of go is 가요.) This particular expression is used by older speakers, typically when they're saying goodbye to younger people.

What is Sekki in Korean? ›

새끼 (sae-kki, --): A noun used to derogatorily refer to any general person. The word, when not used as a profanity, is used to describe a young of an animal. Note it can also be used affectionately too.

What is Maseyo Korean? ›

To change from this to 'don't worry' or 'not to worry', the imperative conjugation –지 마세요 (-ji maseyo), meaning 'to not do something' or it's less formal alternatives are used.

What does jeogiyo mean in Korean? ›

여기 means 'here' and 요 is an end particle to be polite. However, 여기요 is more used in almost the same way as 'excuse me', to get attention.

What does sorry for being Mia mean? ›

/ˌem.aɪˈeɪ/ uk. /ˌem.aɪˈeɪ/ abbreviation for missing in action: used for saying that a member of the armed forces has not returned from fighting in a war but is not known for certain to be dead : High numbers of military were still listed as MIA.

What is Jeongmal in English? ›

정말 (jeongmal) means “really” or “truly.” So this means, “I'm truly grateful.”

What does Chingu mean? ›

The Korean word 친구 (chingu) translates to “friend,” but usage is a little bit different in Korean than it is in English. This is because Koreans generally only use the word for people of the same age or to refer to their close friends.

How do you respond to Gwenchana? ›

괜찮다 (gwaenchanta) can be used to say that something is 'good', 'alright', or 'fine'. It can also be used to ask about somebody's feelings. To answer such a question, rather than saying yes, you should respond with '괜찮아요 (gwaenchanayo)' or '안괜찮아요 (angwaenchanayo).

What is Cheonmaneyo in Korean? ›

3. 천만에요 (Cheonmaneyo) English Translation: Ten Million.

What is Mollayo in Korean? ›

I don't know” in Korean – 몰라요 (mollayo)

What does Jaljinaeyo mean? ›

The proper response 99% of the time is 'Jaljinaeyo (잘지내요)', which means 'I'm fine'. You can also say 'Jal jinaeseyo (잘 지내세요)', which means either 'How are you? ' if spoken as a question, or 'Take care' if said as a statement.

What is Nekoya Korean? ›

"Nekkoya (Pick Me)" (Korean: 내꺼야 (Pick Me); RR: Naekkeoya (Pick Me); The word 'Naekkeoya' translates to 'You're mine' in Korean ) is a song performed by the contestants of the competition show Produce 48 and serves as the show's theme song.

What is Ma Sul in Korean? ›

Noun. 마술 • (masul) (hanja 魔術) magic.

What is Shipeo? ›

Seulpeo (슬퍼): This term is used to imply that one is sad. Bogoshipeo (보고싶어): I miss you – Bogo means seeing, and shipeo means wanting to. The term literally means that you want to see somebody or something.

What is Jumuseyo in Korean? ›

To construct the formal form of the word “sleep” in Korean, you should use the word 주무세요 (jumuseyo). This is the formal version of 자다 (jada | to sleep). This is the most common way to say Good Night in Korean formally.

What does Miguk Saram mean? ›

American” in Korean

To say “American”, as in an American person, add 사람 (saram) after the Korean word 미국 (miguk). In other words 미국 (miguk)+ 사람 (saram) = 미국사람 (miguksaram).

What is Joahaeyo? ›

좋아해 (joahae) = I like you (casual) 좋아해요 (joahaeyo) = I like you (polite) 좋아합니다 (joahamnida) = I like you (formal) Say these to the friends, girlfriends, or boyfriends you make speaking in Korea!

What is jogiyo in Korean? ›

I know 'jogiyo' can be used to mean 'excuse me' in restaurants when you're trying to get the attention of the waitress/waiter but I'm not sure if I can also use this phrase when getting someone on the street's attention?

What is Chukahaeyo Korean? ›

축하해요 (Chukahaeyo) – Standard Form

So, if you don't want to sound rude, you can learn the standard form or the polite form to say Congratulations in Korean language. Koreans use the word 축하해요 (Chukahaeyo).

What is a humble apology? ›

A humble apology is one in which you admit wrongdoing—“I'm sorry I lost my temper”—showing that you're not above reflecting on your own flaws.

What is a good apology text? ›

I'm so sorry that I hurt you and I'm going to work hard to never be so careless again. You are such an incredible partner and I love you so much. I feel awful that I ever let you down like this. I'm asking for your forgiveness and I promise to do better going forward.

What are 10 ways to say sorry? ›

So, let's go!
  • I'm sorry! The first word is I'm sorry, I'm sorry. ...
  • Sorry about that. The next word or the next phrase is sorry about that. ...
  • I'm sorry to hear… The next expression is I'm sorry to hear blah, blah, blah. ...
  • I apologize. ...
  • I'm terribly sorry about… ...
  • Oops. ...
  • Deepest apologies for… ...
  • My condolences.
Sep 23, 2019

How to say sorry to a girl? ›

6 elements of an apology
  1. Acknowledge the Wrongful Act.
  2. Acknowledge That You Hurt her Feelings.
  3. Express Your Remorse.
  4. State Your Intention Not to Repeat It.
  5. Offer to Make Amends.
  6. Seek Forgiveness.
Mar 11, 2009

How do you say sorry to someone you hurt? ›

Tips to give a genuine apology:
  1. Directly express your apology.
  2. Be mindful of your tone.
  3. Be genuine.
  4. Explain why you are apologizing, but don't justify your mistake.
  5. Focus on the impact on the person affected.
  6. Take responsibility.
  7. Use "I" statements.
  8. Learn and use this person's apology language.
Jul 29, 2022

How do you apologize without being toxic? ›

Recognize the Reasons to Apologize
  1. Acknowledge that you were wrong.
  2. Discuss what is allowed and not allowed in your relationship.
  3. Express your regret and remorse.
  4. Learn from your mistakes and find new ways of dealing with difficult situations.
  5. Open up a line of communication with the other person.
Sep 8, 2022

What is a manipulative apology? ›

To keep their victims nearby, then, they'll make apologies left and right without taking any real actions to improve themselves or make amends. These are not real apologies—they are manipulation tactics. Any counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist in the world will attest that an apology without change is manipulation.

What is a true apology? ›

A genuine apology shows that you feel sorry for your actions and want to do better. It also gives the other person a chance to process their own feelings. You've taken the first step to fix the damage.

How do Koreans express sadness? ›

Saying “슬퍼요. (Seulpeoyo.)” or “I'm sad.” is the most common expression Koreans use to express an extremely sad mood. You can also hear them say “아이구 (Aigoo) when comforting someone, but this expression can be used in different ways.

How do you apologize to a Korean girl? ›

Say the phrase "미안해요". It means "I am sorry" and is pronounced "Mi-ahn-hae-yo". It is formal, and can be used with someone you don't know well, someone who is older, and someone in a higher position than you.

What is considered most respectful in Korea? ›

Respect should always be shown to those that are older than you. This involves deferring to their opinion, waiting for their input and lowering your gaze if they are an elder. Objects, gifts and food should be offered and received with two hands.

How do you write cry in Korean? ›

ㅜㅜ = tears streaming down. Korean keyboard, use OOH vowel.

What is joahaeyo in Korean? ›

Specifically, 좋아합니다 (joahamnida), 좋아요( joayo), or 좋아해요 (joahaeyo) can be used to say “I like it” in Korean.

What is Korean heartbroken? ›

(hɑrtbroʊkən ) adjective. Someone who is heartbroken is very sad and emotionally upset. 비탄에 젖은상심한

What not to wear in Seoul? ›

While short-shorts and skirts are commonplace for women in Korea's major cities, exposed shoulders and low-cut tops are still considered taboo most places. Summers get hot in South Korea, so loose-fitting t-shirts are a good alternative to tank tops.

What should I avoid in Korea? ›

Here are 10 things you should never do in South Korea.
  • Speak Loudly in Public. ...
  • Sit Randomly When Using Public Transportation. ...
  • Wear Revealing Clothes. ...
  • Leave Your Chopsticks Stuck in Rice. ...
  • Use One Hand to Receive or Give Things. ...
  • Don't Drink While Front-Facing The Elders. ...
  • Don't Start Eating Before the Elders.
Nov 18, 2019

Is it rude to cross your legs in Korea? ›

Do not cross your legs or stretch your legs out straight in front of you. Keep your feet on the floor, never on a desk or chair. Always pass and receive objects with your right hand (supported by the left hand at the wrist or forearm) or with two hands.

What is Hamnida in English? ›

To apologize for something you have done, or for causing someone pain or inconvenience, say Jwesong hamnida (I apologize.) In an informal context, Mian hamnida (I'm sorry) is just fine. 죄송합니다.

What does chogi mean in Korean? ›

/chogi/ beginning. singular noun. The beginning of a period of time is the time at which it starts. The wedding will be at the beginning of March.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated: 09/08/2023

Views: 6173

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.