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. And after you learn the basics, try writing your own Korean sentences and get corrections from native speakers through HaruKorean, our 1:1 correction service.


  • sally

    woow sooo good think you ^^

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  • Rhodii

    저기요. I have a couple questions. 죄 in 죄송합니다 looks like it would be Romanized ‘joi; and sound like the English word ‘joy’, you Romanize it as ‘joe’ but what I hear sounds like ‘che’. Am I hearing this correctly and does this vowel combination always have this sound? Also, I hear 잠시만요 a lot in k-dramas but I don’t know if I’ve heard 잠깐만요. Is one more common than the other? 감사합니다!

    • Anonymous

      In response to the first question, “죄” has a romanised form of “joe”, pronounced somewhat like “jwe” (the romanised “oe” is pronounced similarly to “we” in “west”). However, when said fluently or quickly, it tends to come across as “chwe” since, in Korean, the “j” and “ch” sounds are similar, it is easy for a non-native or foreigner to get the two confused. Also, in many cases, the “w” sound seems as though it is skipped over especially when saying the word quickly. So instead of “chwe” it might end up as “che” to an untrained ear.

    • http://batman-news.com Jangmi

      Thank you!

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  • Carmen Cristoloveanu

    Hello! Thanks for all the great lessons and explanations. I am only at the beginning of the journey towards speaking Korean, and the lessons here have proved to be gold so far. They match perfectly my style of learning/studying. Great job!

    I have a question though:

    when would I use 실례합니다 instead of 저기요 ? Is the first one a more polite form?

    • Carmen Cristoloveanu

      I just noticed the same question was asked by someone else, so I got the answer I was looking for.

  • Ki Hyo

    Aww you two are so cute together

  • Su。R

    why can’t download the PDF?

  • user

    what is the korean of excuse me and im sorry??

  • user

    what is the korean word of excuse me?

  • user

    gamsahapnida

  • http://www.no.com Precious

    In the PDF has been written down gam-sa-ham-ni-da in romanization, but also as gam-sa-hap-ni-da. Are there 2 ways to romanize 감사합니다 ?
    Also the same question for 죄송합니다 .
    Hope you can help me out.
    By the way, I love this site! Now I can learn Korean FREE on a funny way and move to Korea one day :)

    • Tanner Westman

      They explained this during the lesson. When they say the p sound, they don’t open their mouths again to make the full sound like English-speakers do, so it ends up sounding like an m when they open their mouths again for the next part of the word. So it would sound like gam-sa-ham-ni-da instead.

  • Steve

    I have a question on this topic after the last (very sad) month in Korea. Before the wreck of the Sewol, I don’t remember ever hearing anyone say 미안 합니다, nor 죄송 합니다 to mean “I’m sorry” for anything they were not responsible for. This is consistent with what appears in this lesson. However; this last month, I have definitely seen, and continue to see 미안 합니다 on banners, signs, and ribbons in expressing regret for what happened with the wreck of the Sewol. I’m trying to remember for sure if I’ve seen 죄송 합니다. I’m not 100% sure, but it seems like I have (I have some trouble remembering which expression was used especially early on because honestly, I was so heartsick from the whole thing myself, and my eyes usually teared up anytime I saw such an expression. Now I’m trying to remember which of those I saw on some of the signs. I don’t have to remember with 미안 합니다, because I continue to see that on signs, banners, and ribbons both in 서울 and in my home in 부산.)

    Can you please clarify here, and compare/contrast the expressions I’m seeing on the signs with the lesson here. I’ve tried asking at home, and my wife has tried to explain it to me, but it hasn’t been as clear as this engineer’s mind likes things to be.

  • Ian Galamiton

    Waht is the korean word of Im sorry. ??

  • Ian Galamiton

    What is the korean word of im sorry and exucse me. ??

  • Tara

    안녕하세요! I really enjoyed hearing the audio! Be sure that you are great teachers! <3
    I think that in this lesson everything is said clearly about the subject and I can just say : 감사합니다!
    Btw, could I ask you please to write your names in Korean for me?
    Have a great evening!

  • Eazzypeezzy

    Laughing so hard because hyunwoo stepped on Kyung-hwas foot.

    • Seokjin Jin

      :D

  • Eazzypeezzy

    Doesn’t 실례합니다 mean excuse me also? When would I use this version?

    • Seokjin Jin

      실례합니다 also means “excuse me” in English. It sounds more formal than 저기요.

    • Eazzypeezzy

      Of course! I should of realized that because it is 합니다 style as opposed to 해요 style. Thanks.

    • Anon57

      Can you use it in all 4 situations or only for 저기요 uses?

  • Gisselle Garcia

    감사합니다

  • Syrine Karoui

    저기요! I have a question: when do we use 오 and 어

    • Seokjin Jin

      Hm… I am sorry. The question is like “when do you use “a” and “b”?” to me.
      Please let me know the situation you think.

    • Syrine Karoui

      I meant the two characters sound the same but when I hear th sound “o” I don’t know when to write 오 and 어

    • Seokjin Jin

      Yes. It can be hard to differentiate them but when we say the two letters, the shape of mouth is different. We make our lips circular form when we say “오” and the chin move lower when we say “어”. The sound will be similar to the “u” sound of “gun”.

    • Syrine Karoui

      aah thank you! I understand! then I guess it need much practice!

  • 애슐이

    does 미안해 and 미안하다 exist?

  • Louis Chu

    Hello! :)
    I was wondering that if i am leaving the room for a second~ I should say 잠깐만요. right?

  • Juanis

    How do you say “You’re Welcome!” ?

  • baihu8813

    What situation would I use Siilyhamnida? Would it be the same as jeogiyo?

  • miko chan

    Why will i listen 죄송니다 in some tv shows?(죄송합니다 without합 )

    • Samala

      They probably are saying 죄송합니다. If you say it fast enough, it sounds like 죄송니다 or even 죄송다.

  • Suzanne

    Can you also use “미안합니다” for I’m sorry or I apologize, or is “죄송힙니다” more common?

    • Emil Wickenhagen

      i’ve never heard someone say mianhabnida :/

    • http://www.weibo.com/u/3560364960 Suzanne

      Okay, 감사합니다! The Korean book I have is probably outdated.

  • max

    No clue how to pronounce “joe” … :(
    I’m from germany and it’s very hard currently ^^

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks a lot!

  • ^LOL

    안녕하세요 여러분

    first i want to think you for the hard work :) than i have Q.s is 죄 ..like jwei or jea or jo how can i spell it in right way ……….. 감사합니다!

  • Sona Malumyan

    TTMIK team 감사합니다!!! You are the best!!!! Fighting!!!!!!! You are so good))))))

  • Robin

    저 in “저기요” sounds like “toh” to me :d Is it right ?

  • bellewylee

    annhyeonghaseyo,

    what is the right way to pronounce jam-kan-man-yo?
    i always hear the pronounciation from korean dramas and shows as ja-ka-man-yo instead of jam-kan-man-yo.
    which is the correct pronounciation?

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