Do you know how to say ‘excuse me’ in German? If not, don’t worry. We will make you learn 8 easy yet amazing expressions to say ‘excuse me’. These expressions can be used in various situations, making it easy for you to converse like native speakers.

Do you know how to say “excuse me” in German? If not, keep reading for nine expressions that can be used in a variety of situations.

You might need to get someone’s attention in order to ask for a small favor. You may step on someone’s toes and need to apologize. What about any misunderstandings or bad decisions you may make? In that case, you must ask for forgiveness. You may even feel sorry for someone else on occasion.

There are a number of different circumstances where these expressions can help you get through the situation. Knowing how to say “excuse me” or even “sorry” in any situation can be extremely useful. Let’s look at a few different ways to ask for forgiveness in German.

8 ways to express excuse me in German

Entschuldigung (Excuse me/ Pardon/ Sorry)

You can use this expression whenever you are in doubt. This useful phrase can be used to get someone’s attention (for example, to ask for directions), to excuse a minor blunder, or to indicate that you need someone to repeat something.

You can even use Entschuldigung to challenge someone’s rude behavior and warn them not to try it again if you add a warning tone and a question mark. Use Entschuldige bitte (informal you) or Entschuldigen Sie bitte (formal you) if you want to be extra polite. You can also express your regret: Entschuldige die Verspätung (I apologize for being late).

Now, you can analyze the importance of bitte in German. This word is used in a variety of situations and you need to know its contextual use in order to avoid any embarrassing situation.

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Verzeihung (Excuse me)

Someone is in your way, or you ran into them while trying to pass? Entschuldigung is more formal and old-fashioned than Verzeihung, but it is still used occasionally. If you want to become fluent in German, you need to understand the nature of different expressions. Some expressions are used in formal situations and can create a sense of awkwardness when used in informal situations.

Tut mir Leid. (I am sorry)

Did you trip over someone while running for the bus? A simple Entschuldigung will not suffice. You must pause and apologize in German: Tut mir leid. You can express your regret by saying “Das tut mir wirklich sehr leid” (I am truly sorry).

Tut mir leid or Es/Das tut mir leid (I am sorry for that) are also common ways to express regret after doing something wrong.

Ich möchte mich entschuldigen. (I want to apologize.)

Sometimes saying I’m sorry is not enough. Following a major blunder, you want to accept responsibility by formally apologizing. You can also include Mein Fehler! or Das war allein meine Schuld (that was entirely my fault).

Kannst du mir verzeihen? (Can you forgive me?)

If a relationship appears to be compromised as a result of what you have done, you can ask for forgiveness directly. Bitte verzeih mir (Please forgive me) is another option. You need to use such expressions by analyzing the severity of your situation.

Nicht so gemeint (I didn’t mean it that way)

How do you express regret in German without actually saying it? If you see the person you are talking to getting it all wrong, add a quick Nicht so gemeint to what you have just said. Or begin your explanation with Das habe ich nicht so gemeint or Das war nicht so gemeint, all of which mean “I didn’t mean it that way.”

Schade (too bad)

You can use Schade to express your regret for something bad that has happened to someone else. Be mindful of your tone of voice, because an exaggerated Schade can convey that you are not sorry at all, just as “too bad” can. Schade would be used for a missed opportunity rather than something more serious such as an accident or loss.

Mein Beileid (my condolences)

We are always at a loss for words when a loved one dies. In fact, expressing your condolences in a foreign language is not always easy. In these situations, the standard phrase to say or write on a card is Mein Beileid (my condolences) or Mein aufrichtiges Beileid (my heartfelt condolences). You could also say: Es tut mir so leid (I am deeply sorry).

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How to handle situations where sorry is not enough

– Who can be upset when their favorite meal is delivered to them? If you want to apologize to a friend or loved one, prepare or cook a meal that they will enjoy and demonstrate that you are serious about making compensation. Remember that Germans adore vegetables. So, you can cook some delicious vegetables to compensate for your mistake.

– Finding the right words, especially in a foreign language, can be difficult. Take the time to sit down and say everything you want to say. Describe your intentions and where you went wrong. Then accept accountability. This will demonstrate to the other person that you are sincere in your apology.


There are numerous occasions to seek forgiveness. Grabbing someone’s attention, requiring someone to repeat what they have just said, causing minor inconveniences, or making a significant mistake.

All of these situations can be navigated by beginners using only two expressions: Entschuldigung can be used for anything except expressing sympathy. Tut mir leid is a phrase that expresses regret for something you have done or something that has happened to someone. The other ways are used by advanced learners as they move up the German language levels. Keep learning and keep growing!

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