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.


  • christina hoxha

    나는

  • christina hoxha

    나는이 어를사랑

  • christina hoxha

    하지만난돔이필요삽니다

  • Malayfhil Jagmoc

    안녕하세요 선생님들. 전는 말래이예요.
    제 나이는 23 살이에요 ^^
    한국어로 공부하고 있어요…그래서
    ttmik을 정말 감사해요 ^^

    안녕히계세요^^-^^

  • Geni

    I am korean american trying to learn better korean…
    I could understand general korean but i have trouble speaking in correct grammar and I sometimes do not understand things in a korean conversation (I have to use english subtitles in kdrama and variety shows)

    around what lessons should i start on? (for grammar and vocab?)

  • Kyla Lee 이재미

    shilyehamnida is also “excuse me” right?

    • JooyeonPark

      Yes, that’s correct :)

    • Kyla Lee 이재미

      so.. when do you use it?

    • JooyeonPark

      It’s like ‘excuse me’. but i think there’s a little different usage like how often people use it.
      I think it’s not used as often as ‘Excuse me’ In English.
      For example, You can say ‘실례합니다’ when you address some strangers when you stop them to ask directions, but ‘저기요’ is used a lot more.
      When you are in a hurry and you are walking fast so you pass by people on a narrow road, then you can say “실례합니다” as you pass by people. But, i think i would say ‘죄송합니다’ which is ‘I’m sorry’.

      What i am saying is that i dont really use it very much compared to ‘excuse me’ in English (by the way, I am native Korean )

      Here’s an example case i would use it, i guess
      You have to pee and you can’t find any restroom (you are outside now) but there was a friend of my friend whose house is just around the corner. You ran to the house and you finished your urgent problem, but then you faced your friend of friend’s mother. At that moment, I would say “실례했습니다”.

      Hope you like the answer :)

  • Noora Siltari

    Why isn’t 위-syllable in 쥐송합니다 pronounced more like ‘wi’? For me it sounds so much like 어-syllable. Why is it like that or am i just hearing wrong

  • The Young Wolf.

    Do we say 저기요 when we’re having a fight with someone and we want to say “Excuse me; who do you think you are ?” ? I was just wondering :)

    • JooyeonPark

      I think you can if you say it with your angry face and tone! haha :)

  • http://forums.allkpop.com/members/simonve.316547/ Simon Vermeulen

    안녕하세요. I was wondering if there is a list of the Hangul letters and their pronunciation. I find it hard to pronounce some of the words, because I misread them, for example: 죄송합니다 is spelled as joe-song-ham-hap-ni-da, but I seem to understand jee-song-hab-ni-da. This could be just me, but it can be annoying, especially since I’ll be going to Korea in September, and I don’t want people to misunderstand me.

    • Seokjin Jin

      Because the ㅂ of 합 is nasalized by the following nasal sound ㄴ, the expression sounds like 죄송함니다.

  • Vicky

    I’m starting to learn Korean and teach myself it. I can find it easier to speak and hear it I just find the hangul a bit difficult. If I teach myself at least half an hour each day do you think I would be able to have at least basic conversation in Korean? I just want to be able to speak good Korean when I live there when I’m older :) love these lessons

    • Andrea

      You can use learnlangs.com it makes it really easy to learn hangul :)

    • Vicky

      Thankyou :) I’ll check it out

    • Hannaa

      I would love to practice with you! learning it myself. kakao??

    • Vicky

      Sure :) my KakaoTalk is vickterminator

  • Zahra

    안녕하세요 ^^
    This lesson 정말 재미있어요 ^^
    고맙습니다 선생님 .

  • yourippehdees

    I’ve heard you can express sympathy by saying 어떻게 하지요. Is this true and if so, when do you say this?

  • Jhouella

    I was wondering,where can we say the mianhe? for older than you or younger than you?

    • Kelsey

      usually we use 미안해 with people younger. 미안 is the most casual way to say sorry, but 미안해 is also very informal. saying 미안해요 is usually the go-to for people older than you (but not significantly older).

  • Dara

    Annyeonghaseyo! could you please put here all the hangul and romanized words that are heard in this lesson? :) Thank you!

  • Nawal

    wow your lessons are so useful ^^ 감사합니다

  • Nandhinis824

    Lessons are awesome..감사합니다.. could u plz put the romanized words which are taught in this lesson?

  • p.gouri.

    What’s difference between yo n pnida

    • JooyeonPark

      “입니다” is more formal than “이에요”. So, it’s used in relatively formal and conservative situation like in the office or military.
      and also it is usually (not always) used when you speak to many people,
      Plus, you will see “입니다” a lot in written Korean like in Korean books. :)

  • geethu

    sorry means -> miYAnaee or miANaee???? i am confused :(

  • https://www.facebook.com/yinara94 Noor M. Ahmed

    안녕하세요,
    Short story by me about using “저기요” & “죄송합니다” ㅋㅋㅋ => A was walking and saw his friend B, he wanted to get his attention so he tapped on his shoulder and said: “저기요” , B turned around to the voice and hit his head by accident so he said: “Oh, 죄송합니다”
    (and they lived happily ever after ㅋㅋㅋ)
    감사합니다 our great teachers ^_^

  • Jettum

    What does “cool mah wah” mean. My friend told me it was thank you but I can’t find the correct spelling or the exact translation so when would I use that phrase instead of “comsa hamnida”?