"I am sorry" in German
So "Entschuldigung" is "Sorry" and "Es tut mir leid" is "Sorry" or "I am sorry". The question is can you use either one in any situation, is one more formal than the other, or is one feminine and one masculine?
Entschuldigung is used to apologise when...
- ...you do something (a little thing) wrong. For instance, when you accidentally bump into someone or break a plate.
- ...you bother someone. For instance, when you need to get the attention of a stranger to ask where the railway station is.
Es tut mir leid is used to express empathy. You use it when, for instance, someone has failed a test.
This is a really common question for German speakers. I'll try to explain it, but you'll have to have understood the dative case to know the meaning behind 'Es tut mir leid'.
Now, 'Entschuldigung' can be used as just 'sorry', 'excuse me' etc. 'Es tut mir leid' or 'das tut mir leid' means 'I am sorry', but not literally, since it is a fixed expression.
The literal meaning is something like this:
Es tut mir leid.
It (the thing you talked about) does to me sorrow.
This might seem weird, and it certainly is, but the concept is that it says 'The thing you said right now causes sorrow to me'. Es means it, tut means does, leid means sorrow, and mir means to me, the dative form of ich (I).
The problem regarding the uses of the phrases has already been solved here.
Hope I helped with my explanation!
in germany do they just say shuldigung ? without the "ent" it's something I noticed in zurich.
but they don't pronounce the E on the end of words either so could just be schweizerdeutsch
If you google for the phonetic transcription "Tschuldigung", you'll see that this form is indeed quite common, and not only in Zürich.
Woah. I NEVER heard of Entschuldigung being used without Ent. Although omitting certain syllables is sure common in German. Thanks, though, everyone!
"Entschuldigung" is less formal and can be used if you accidentally bump into someone etc. It can also be used more in a joking form.
Whereas "Es tut mir leid" is more genuine and formal - more like "I am sorry" in English. Because on English if you accidentally bump into someone you'd just say "sorry" but if you did something more serious you'd say "I'm (so) sorry."
Hope this helped! :)
As a side note, the literal translation of 'Es tut mir leid' is 'It does me sorrow'. So yeah, you can see how that is more serious.
Depends on the situation and in what context you're saying it. If you step on someone's toe you would say Ach entschuldigung and you could follow it with Das tut mit wirklich leid.
Here's what I'd like to know: Of course we all know that "Entschuldigung" means "sorry," and "tut mir leid" is supposed to be more formal, or have more emphasis. But what I've come across, from watching German language learning videos from DW, is people saying "Entschuldige." Is that supposed to be a shorter version from saying "Entschuldigung?"