"Xin lỗi"


June 14, 2016



My guess is that, if you wanted to say "I'm sorry," and since you drop "là" for adjectives, you'd say ""Tôi xin lỗi."


If "Xin chao" means "hello" in a formal way, than would "Xin loi" be formal too, so if you wanted to say sorry to a friend, could you just say "loi?" Or is that not the case?


No sorry, that's not the case. "Lỗi" means "fault" or "mistake". I get this all the time when I was a kid.

My parents would ask me "con (parent referring to child) biết lỗi không?" which basically means "do you know what you did wrong?". To which, I say yes ("dạ Ba Mẹ"), and ask for their forgiveness:

"Con xin lỗi. Ba Mẹ tha lỗi cho con không?" = "I'm sorry. Do you (my parents) forgive me?"

By saying "xin lỗi", you're practically asking someone to excuse your faults. That's also why "excuse me" is a good translation too, depending on the context.

Please keep in mind that I speak with a southern dialect. I can't confirm what a northerner would say. I hope that helps!


Despite the conversation above, "xin lỗi" is in no way an adjective. "Sorry" is an adjective but it is English and is not a literal translation. "Pardon me" or "excuse me" are as valid as "sorry" as translation for "xin lỗi."

Learn Vietnamese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.