When living in a foreign country, you are bound to make cultural faux pas, mistakes, and other general errors.
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It’s OK, though, as long as you know how to apologize for those mistakes. Therefore, learning how to say “I’m sorry” in Korean will be very useful to know if you plan on spending any amount of time in Korea.
At the end of a sentence:
1. -아/어서 죄송합니다 (a/eoseo joesonghamnida)
If you want to say I’m sorry that I am … then you can use the above structure.
늦어서 죄송합니다 (neujeoseo joesonghamnida)
I’m sorry that I am late.
At the start of a sentence:
1. 죄송하지만… (joesonghajiman)
2. 죄송한데… (joesonghande)
Alternatively, you can put the word “sorry” at the start of the sentence.
죄송하지만 못 가요 (joesonghajiman mot gayo)
I’m sorry but I can’t go.
This can also be used when asking for a favor.
죄송한데 사진 좀 찍어 주시겠어요? (joesonghande sajin jom jjigeo jusigesseoyo)
I’m sorry but could you take a picture for me please?
Now that you know how to say sorry in Korean, you can start using it with other basic phrases like hello and goodbye. Remember that its usage is slightly different from how the word “sorry” is used in English, so listen to Koreans, watch Korean dramas, and try to see how the word “sorry” is used naturally in everyday Korean.
If you want to learn and communicate in Korean, we have a structured online Korean course that will teach you how to have a 3-minute conversation with your Korean loved ones in the first 90 days.