Level 1 Lesson 4 / I’m sorry, Excuse me / 죄송합니다, 저기요

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After listening to this lesson, you can say “I’m sorry.” or “Excuse me.” in Korean. You will also learn how to say “Excuse me. Let me pass.” when you have to walk through a crowd of people. While it is simple to memorize just one phrase for each case, it is not so simple after all because even the same expression cannot always be applied to the same situation between English and Korean. Want to find out why? Listen in now!

You can download a free PDF for this lesson here, or if you want to study with our TalkToMeInKorean textbooks, you can get them here.


  • Boonrod Lasubua

    I’m not understand about 죄송합니다. It’s never mean ‘I’m sorry to hear that’. What’s word in korean means that?

    • Hoàng Anh Lê

      진짜,어떻게? I hear that they say these words. Right?

    • 친구가 아니야

      죄송합니다 means I am sorry or excuse me

  • nonik

    what about “excuse me” when you are in class room and wanna get attention to your teacher and ask something?

    • Cecille Mekitpekit

      Sanshimanyo..

  • Lexi

    What about “mian hamnida”/ 미안 합니다 ?? That is how I learned to say I’m sorry.

    • Xxxx

      i think mian is an informal sorry that comes from the informal word “mianhe” and hamnida means i do or i’m

    • Varvino

      미아하다 = to be sorry (informal like you said, aswell as in the podcast).
      합니다 = uttermost polite (conjugated) version of 하다 = to do

  • Gita Prima

    what is the different between biyane, biyanata, gumawo, and gumampta? (i do not know how to write it in hangeul, i just heard it for many times in korean drama)

    • Alma Johansson

      biyane- I think you mean mianhae, means sorry (informal way of saying sorry)

      biyanata- mianhada? it’s the root word for I’m sorry, and it’s formal (i think)

      gomawo and gomapta are both informal ways of saying thank you.

      The most formal way to say thank you would be gamsahamnida and gomapseumnida.

      Less formal (still formal tho) would be to add “yo” : gamsahaeyo and gomaweoyo.

  • Naomi

    Gamsahapnida for the lessons! They’ re so helpful! Thank you so much!

  • Baruna Riotama

    Thank you very much for the lessons! I’m a newbie and I find this very helpful.
    I have a question, however. what does siillyeseumnida mean? can we take that as ‘excuse me’ too?

  • Yeo Wool

    So you were talking about how the last consonant was dropped. Does that mean that korea hangug would actually be pronounced ha gu? Or ham gu?

    • J. Lee

      no, I don’t know the reason why but I do know the answer to your question is no.

  • BrazilianELFIsa

    I don’t know if you already answered this, but what do we say to mean “I’m sorry” when someone loses a person?

  • Shane Whitley

    I am wondering if jam-si-man-yo can also be used literally. For example, if I am busy doing something and someone else says to me “jeo-gi-yo”, can I respond with jam-si-man-yo to mean wait a second, or I’ll be with you in a moment?

    • mjchoi

      Yeah! Exactly. Someone can use 잠시만요 (jam-si-man-yo) as a response to 저기요 (jeo-gi-yo). Happens a lot in Korean restaurants.

  • Chun Shuo

    regarding the pronunciation of hap-ni-da and ham-ni-da which is the most correct one?

    • Lois Williams

      because the “B” sound is not aspirated (breath out air out after saying the letter), it sounds more like an “M” sound than a “B”, so it is closer to ham-ni-da pronunciation-wise.

    • adam

      죄송합니다

  • Marine

    Hi ! Thanks for the lessons !
    I just wanted to be sure, in this lesson on the PDF page 2, for the 1st sentence and the 2nd one: “When you are passing through a crowd of people” and “when you are leaving the room for a second”. You can say : joe-song-hap-ni-da, jam-si-man-yo and jam-kkan-man-yo? Can’t I ??
    Thank you very much !!!

  • liam

    anyong assao

  • Rebeca Pereira

    Wooooow! Esse é mais dificil! =D

  • Bruna Boaes

    What means 실례합니다? When can I use it?

    • Seokjin Jin

      When you walk through a crowd of people.

      When you ask something to a stranger.

      Well, I think I use the expression on those cases. :)

    • 이나나

      Can you use 실레지만?
      Thank you

    • JooyeonPark

      “실례합니다” means “Excuse me”.

  • 이나나

    To get someone’s attention can you use “이봐”?

    • 이나나

      (감사합니다!)

    • JooyeonPark

      You can use it, but that’s not polite. Usually between friends or someone who is older than another says it.

  • Jacki Skottki

    And when do I use “sillyehajima” ?

  • Sharina Hernandez

    What about “shilehamnidad”? Is it differenet from using “chogiyo” or are they interchangeable?

    • Dodi Z

      same Question!

  • Dodi Z

    hi would you plz give me an example when you add 이에
    요 or 예요 and then it means I am XYZ

  • dannyR

    The comparison of Korean ‘p’ and English ‘p’ is not entirely satisfactory. The Korean ‘p’ is a bit of a hybrid ‘p/b’ sound (which leads to the usual arguments and confusion about how to pronounce it). With:

       “I got a cap.”

    the English speaker with commonly have a slight release on the final ‘p’.

    Whereas in:

       “I called a cab.”

    the English ‘b’-final will rather more closely conform to Korean pronunciation. No release; the lips will usually stay closed.

    The reason for this is to maintain as much phonemic distinction in the ‘b’ sound as possible, and this is possible by both keeping the lips closed, and maintaining vocalization in the glottis as long as possible. This latter can be achieved by allowing the mouth to act as a reservoir of air while airflow continues to keep the vocal cords in motion.

  • Şeymanur

    wonderful lesson

  • Crystal lora

    What if the person on the desk is a friend do u still stay chogiyo or something else

  • hehehe

    Is chogiyo is still jon-daet-ma?

  • Susanna

    What would you say when you have to leave the room for a moment? Would it be jamshimanyo/jamkkanmanyo or jwesonghapnida?

    • JooyeonPark

      Yes, you can say 잠시만요/잠깐만요. Or 잠시만 나갔다 올게요.

  • Suga Swag

    When you want to get someone’s attention to ask where the restroom is, do you still say 저기요?

    • metal_samurai

      yes 저기요 works there

  • Carmen Cristoloveanu

    I heard another way of saying “excuse me” and that is 실례합니다? What is the difference between this one and the one recommended by the lesson?
    Thanks!

    • metal_samurai

      실례 means discourtesy, and i think it’s more common if you’re about to say something that might offend the other person. for example 실례하지만 연세가 어떻게 되세요? excuse me for asking, but how old are you? something like that

    • Carmen Cristoloveanu

      네, 이해해요. 감사합니다!

  • Kara

    What is the differnce between “mi-ahn-hab-ni-da” and “joe-song-hab-ni-da”? Also, like “mi-ahn-hae-yo”, can you say “Joe-song-hae-yo”?

    • Seokjin Jin

      They have a same meaning and in many cases, they are interchangeable.

      But, 죄송합니다 sounds more formal so people use that term when they want to say sorry to public.

      미안해요 and 죄송해요 are interchangeable, too.

  • Kayle Scooby

    Are both excuse me and sorry “joe-song-hab-ni-da”? And how do you spell the other version for excuse me? The podcast helps alot, but not having the spelling makes it a bit hard to understand.

  • yato

    Why would you say “잠시만요/잔깐만요/just a second” if you’re trying to pass through a crowd? Wouldn’t you say “just a second” if you’re trying to tell someone to wait?