Saying sorry is probably the hardest thing to say because it implies that someone has been hurt or offended by our behavior or words, so as soon as we understand that we have probably made a mistake, we just want to find a solution and smooth things over. Don’t we?  

Thus, as the situation is difficult in and of itself, why don’t we try to be at least original? Today I am going to show you 7 ways to say sorry in Italian that may come in handy in both formal and informal situations. 

1. Mi dispiace (I’m sorry) 

When you say Mi dispiace, you are not just saying to your interlocutor that you are sorry, but rather that you regret hurting them in a certain way. 

e.g. «Mi dispiace Carmen, non volevo rompere il vaso di tua nonna.» 

On the same wavelength, you can also say:  

2. Sono mortificato/-a (I’m mortified) 

e.g. «Sono mortificato per aver perso l’anello di tua nonna, Silvia.» 

As per our previous example, also in this way you will show that you feel regret for your action and want to try to fix the problem. 

3. Sono desolato/-a (I’m terribly sorry) 

e.g. «Sono desolato ma non riuscirò ad esserci domani all’evento di beneficienza.» This is a nice one! 

If you apologize to someone in this way, you will definitely sound posh and also elegant. Indeed, it is a nice way to say the same thing, but differently.

4. Perdonami (informal) / Mi perdoni (formal) (Forgive me) 

e.g. «Perdonami per non essere riuscito a venire al tuo compleanno.» 

e.g. «Mi perdoni, ma non può entrare, non vedo il suo nome in lista.» 

This way of apologizing differs depending on your interlocutor 

You want to place the pronoun –mi at the beginning or at the end of the verb based on who you are talking to. 

An informal situation could be with your friends, family, and people close to you. On the other hand, a formal situation could be with your boss, in a conversation with someone older than you, and in general in all the situations where you want to show respect. 

The same is applicable with no. 5: 

5. Ti chiedo perdono (informal) / Le chiedo perdono) (formal) (I beg your pardon) 

e.g. «Ti chiedo perdono per quello che ho fatto. Non volevo ferire i tuoi sentimenti.» e.g. «Le chiedo scusa, non volevo pestarle il piede.» 

6. Chiedo venia (I apologise) 

For those who are wondering, venia means pardon, mercy

I find this option a bit old-fashioned, and nowadays it is generally used in jest.e.g. «Chiedo venia ragazzi, ma è arrivata l’ora di andare a casa per me.» 

7. Sono spiacente (di) (I’m sorry) 

You can make this expression be followed by the preposition di + the infinitive form of the verb. 

e.g. «Sono spiacente di informarla che il suo abbonamento è scaduto.» Or simply say it indipendently: 

e.g. «Sono spiacente, devo lasciarti perché ho un appuntamento tra 10 minuti.» 

And what about you?  

What option would you choose to apologize to someone in Italian? 

Let me know in the comments below! 

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