How Do You Say Excuse Me In Spanish
“Excuse me” happens to be one of the most common things that you need to learn to say properly in different languages. If you want to know how to say EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH accurately and without sounding boring or stuffy, then you should stay away from 1:1 translation. A 1:1 translation for the most common expression is not useful without context.
The way you will use this expression will depend on the situation. Do you need to get past on the bus? Do you need attention? Bumped into someone on the street? Is the other person of the same age or older or younger than you? Each situation demands a different way to use the expression “excuse me”. Next we will discuss some scenarios where you can use different forms of this expression to establish your point correctly. So, read on to know more.
A QUICK CULTURAL OVERVIEW
In most beginners’ Spanish textbooks you will find the expression EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH can be said as “lo siento”. It is one of the first expressions that you will learn in such a textbook. Compared to British-derived, Western colonial culture in general, the Spanish language culture always tends to be a bit more formal, especially in Latin America and some different regions of Spain.
As there is this tendency towards formality, so in most cases you will not be wrong to use an “Usted” conjugation. You will be using a polite expression with everyone which will ensure you come off as a very polite person, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Many people and non-Spanish speakers thus use different styles to say this expression as they want to sound right and be accurate in expressing themselves. Imagine being this formal with a toddler. People might look at you differently and judge you for not knowing the correct form.
SITUATION 1: WHEN YOU NEED TO GET PAST SOMEONE IN THE STREET/BUS/SUBWAY
There is a high probability that you need to say EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH mainly for this situation. In such a case you can use the word “permiso” which literally means “permission”. So if you want to get past someone try saying permiso, and you can get past anyone.
However, you should know that it is slightly informal to just utter this word alone. So, if you want to add a bit of politeness when saying this to someone who is older than you, you can say:
* Permiso, por favor.
* Con permiso.
* Con su permiso.
SITUATION 2: WHEN GETTING ATTENTION FROM SOMEONE ON THE STREET OR AN ATTENDANT OR SERVER
To get anyone’s attention happens to be another situation where you need to use the word “excuse me” when travelling or visiting a place. You can use many different ways to express that you need attention. In Spanish, oftentimes just addressing the person as Señor/Señora will do the trick. You can also use:
Disculpe happens to sound formal and stuffy. However, it will get the job done. If you are speaking to someone who is of the same age as you or younger than you, then use the “Tú” conjugations like perdona or disculpa. Whatever you do, do not use “oye” as it happens to be very informal in any setting except amongst friends.
SITUATION 3: GETTING UP FROM THE TABLE OR LEAVING THE GROUP TO GO TO THE BATHROOM
Suppose you are having dinner at someone’s house and you need to leave the table for a while to go to the bathroom or take a cigarette break. In such a scenario you need to use EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH to inform the group and to be polite at the same time. If you do not want to sound way too formal and explain your action accurately to your Spanish acquaintances then use con permiso or con su permiso.
SITUATION 4: WHEN YOU NEED TO SOUND EMPATHIC AFTER BUMPING INTO SOMEONE
If you are out and about exploring the city and you happen to bump into someone, then you usually do not want to apologize formally yet want to acknowledge the situation. Same goes when you bump into a friend and your relationship is not that formal to demand a direct “I am sorry”. In such situations you can use Perdón or Perdóneme.
If you accidentally bumped or touched a stranger then you can use the “usted” conjugation like Perdóneme to diffuse the situation. It acts as a form of saying excuse me when you bump into someone. If you want to add more Spanish flavor to this expression, try saying ¡Uy, perdóneme!
SITUATION 5: WHEN YOU NEED TO GET SOMEONE’S ATTENTION TO ENQUIRE ABOUT SOMETHING
Usually in the English language you can say something like “Excuse me” or “Sorry to bother you, but…” to get someone’s undivided attention in order to state any fact or enquire about something. If you do not correctly use the expression EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH in such a scenario then you might not get the help you needed. You won’t be able to tackle the situation effectively.
In such a scenario, you can use lamento or me apena which roughly translate to “I’m sorry to bother you”, “I’m sorry to” and “I regret”. It will help you to express that you regret that you are bothering this person, however you need his/her undivided attention.
You can say something like “Lamento incomodarte nuevamente pero…” or “Me apena molestarte de nuevo pero…”. However, these expressions are considered as way too formal. So, instead you can also use “Perdone, no quiero molestarte, pero…”. It will provide the same effect and is kind of informal in nature. So, you can use this amongst friends if you want to express something while they are in the middle of doing or saying something.
Suppose, you are in the middle of a conversation and you did not agree or like anything a person has said and you want to grab the room’s attention while being polite to express your idea on the subject, in such scenarios you cannot use these. You have to use Espere (wait) or Un momento (one moment) instead. These expressions will make everyone understand that you have something to say.
There you have it; these were some situations where you needed to use the expression EXCUSE ME IN SPANISH. As you can see, each type of situation demands a different way to voice this expression. The information provided here will definitely get you by as some common situations have been discussed here. If you want to be a pro at this, then definitely research more on this or take Spanish lessons.