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Saying "sorry" in Russian - 10 phrases

saying "sorry" in Russian

Let's learn all the ways to say "sorry" in Russian. We will go from the most basic phrases and words to something more native-like!

1. Извини

The first one is "извини", which means "forgive me", and it's the most common word that we use to apologize to someone. "Извини" is informal, for us to make it formal we say "извините". We add "-те" for it to become formal. Also, can be used to say "excuse me" to get someone's attention.

  • Извини, я опоздаю? - Sorry, I'll be late

2. Прости

A very similar word in nature is "прости". it's usde the same exact way, just like "извини". It also means "forgive me". A formal version is "простите", again adding an ending "-те".

  • Прости меня пожалуйста! - Forgive me please!

3. Прошу прощения

This one is less apologetic, it's closer to "excuse me". Literally, it's translated as "I am asking for forgiveness". Natives use it to get a stranger's attention whenever they need help with something. It's a very polite and useful prhase to use!

  • Прошу прощения, вы можете мне помочь? - Excuse me, can you help me?

4. Я извиняюсь

Another way to say "excuse me" to get someone's attention! Natives use it ALL.THE.TIME! And you should too. Need help finding a store at a mall?

  • Я извиняюсь, где находится магазин? - Excuse me, where is the store located?

5. Приношу свои извинения

This is a very formal way to apologize. You may hear a hotel receptionist use this phrase, airline company representative may use it, etc. It's used to highly formal settings! Literally it means "I'm offering my apologies".

  • Приношу свои извинения, но у нас нет мест - I apologize, we don't have any more spaces.

Now, let's move on to some phrases we can say after apologizing!

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6. Я не хотел

Now, this is a phrase that we use to say "I didn't mean to". It's translation is "I didn't want to...", but in English we say "I didn't mean to".

  • Я не хотел тебя обидеть - I didn't mean to offend you

7. Я не специально

Similar to the previous phrase, this one means "it wasn't intentional" or "I wasn't intentional". It's when we do things that we're sorry for, but we didn't mean to do them.

  • Ой, извините, я не специально - Oops, I'm sorry, it wasn't intentional

8. Я больше не буду

This one means "I won't (do it) anymore". When we regret doing something, we use this phrase.

  • Я всё понял, я больше не буду - I understood everything, I won't do it anymore

9. Мне жаль

This phrase means "I am sorry", but only when we want to empathize with someone. When something tragic happens, or when we want to empathize with them, but we didn't do anything wrong.

  • Мне жаль, но я вынужден отказаться - I am sorry, but I have to say no

10. Сори and сорян

These last two are borrowed from English "sorry". "Сорян" is a bit more common, though it's changed a bit. Both are used by people below 35 years old (approximately) and you can use it too!

  • Сорян, я не увидел твоё сообщение - Sorry, I didn't see your message

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