"すみません!"

Translation:Excuse me!

June 9, 2017

52 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Grey_3

ごめんなさい is more ,,I'm sorry,'' and すみません is more ,,Excuse me.'' すみません can also me used as a more formal ごめんなさい at times.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/polyluxus

すみません can also be used as a kind of thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bloobed

Does it have a specific meaning when used as a "thank you"? Is it an apolotegic thank you, one would use if someone else was e.g. forced to help with one's work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bownly

Yeah, that's pretty much the context that I often see it used in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tabi185471

as a native speaker i see it more polite than apologetic. as for a specific meaning, it refers to the troubles the person took to help you, however trivial.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_IX

Idk why you're getting downvotes. It's true that すみません can mean "thanks".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnonymousDratini

Yeah it's like a "thank-you, sorry for the trouble."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GlaucoAbil

"Night" can mean "Good Night", but if you are learning/teaching you will use the correct form. They wont correct that, because すみません is "Excuse me" and not "I'm sorry". Probabilidade because of that he got so many dislikes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimoneRupert

Sumimasen and Gomennasai both mean sorry. Sumimasen is more formal however and can also be used as an Excuse me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackBeatti1

The ん character often sounds like an M sound to me. Like a soft hum at the end of a word. Is this right, or am I just hearing it incorrectly? Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnZiolkowski

I read that theres an "-N" sound, "-M" sound, or "-NG" depending on different things like what sound comes next.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mommarigo

It should be more a nasal sound than a hum.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chaos_Hawk

I thought humming is a nasal sound though?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/geekns

It can be used in katakana versions of forein words as an m.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannaha70093

"Sumimasen" is more formal, a way of apologizing to a stranger.If you use "gomenasai", it either sounds like you're being very childish or that you just did something that requires a sincere apology. "Gomen" on the other hand is more natural when speaking with a friend or family member. (^‿^✿)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vivalaashutosh

What's the difference between this and "gommennasai"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tc3KDQp5

gomennasai is used in more casual situations, while sumimasen is used in either casual or formal situations. Sumimasen can also be used to mean "excuse me".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DonteAllen

すめません means excuse me, and I'm sorry, it's literal translation is, "forgive me im am being rude."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

It's "すません" and the literal translation is "(I) haven't finished." This is a bit like "Oh, I did something very rude, and now I feel so regret, I must do something to compensate, but I didn't, so I cannot calm down!!!" Well, kind of like this XDD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilippSpa4

That seems very Japanese indeed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Seattle_Scott

すみません is also used to get someone’s attention, as in a store or boutique when you have a question or need help. You can use this to initiate contact. “すみません。。。” and you ask your question. Like すみません、これはいくらですか。You’ll generally do it with a bow, and even if they don’t understand or hear your “すみません”, a Japanese will always bow back out of reflex, and you can continue with your question or interruption.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/futaritoella

Okay so at school someone bumped into me and I just screamed. 's u m i m a s e n' and now I'm dying


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MollieBurc

honestly, I would do something like that- (ノωヽ)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Djinmyr

Sort of like "pardon me"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaydenHavok

Is more excuse me. While ごめんなさい is sorry.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TakenNatasha

I also saw "suimasen" as "excuse me" in other learning app. Whats the difference?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaminoTakamaru

Suimasen is colloquial, according to wadoku.de.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaVern4

So it seems like in many cases (and as I've read in comments here) that ません is used for a negative connotation while ます is used for a positive. Does this mean that there is a positive version of すみません? Would you ever say すみます? And if so, what is the translation for すみ in this context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bownly

I found this while searching for an answer: "The etymology of "sumimasen" is interesting. During the Edo period, there was a lot of trouble over money among people; purchasing and paying, loaning and returning, and so forth and so on.

When everything was paid back and cleared, it was expressed by the verb "sumu" (done 済む). In other words it was finished, cleared.

When something remained in debt, it was "sumanu" or "sumanai", which became "sumimasen". Now, however, most situations involving sumimasen are not related to money trouble. Money trouble today cannot be remedied by merely saying "sumimasen"." source: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=9155

TL;DR: There is not a positive version of phrase すみません (sorry), but there is a positive version of the verb すみません (to not finish), that is to say, すみます (to finish).

Bonus: すみます, when spelled 住みます, means to reside in [a country, city, etc]. Ex. アメリカに住みます (I live in America)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nerve547722

So at the root, 'sumimasen' means something like 'I'm in your debt' or 'I owe you one'?

Or 'forgive me' in the sense of 'forgive my debt,' sorta...

Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nerve547722

You're likewise helped me remember すみます (to finish)!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SLY.Fet

Very interesting! What about "gomennasai"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nxL3
  • 1550

The root of ごめんなさい is 御免. Please forgive me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bruno_Rezende

I've also heard すまなかた (I'm not 100% sure its written this way but it at least sounded like this for me). It is also a kind of "pardon me", but does anyone have a clue what is the difference between this and すみません ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alphaf

[10/01/18] I don't have any clue about that, but it's written すまなかった. The sound is almost the same, but with a double "t".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaminoTakamaru

Going off of たのしかった(tanoshikatta), it might denote that the apology is for something in the past. So, something along the lines of "I'm sorry about that", when talking about something that was in the past. Japanese tends to be context-bound anyway, afaik. Don't take me up a 100% on this through, since this is just going off of one thing to the other and thus might be wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/infinityglitches

Sumimasen and Gomennasai - They mean sorry, but Sumimasen is more formal and can mean excuse me. Sumimasen can also mean Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CactusQueen101

I noticed that there a capital excuse (Excuse) and a lowercase excuse (excuse). Does anyone know if you pick the lowercase, does that count as wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ryan675177

So when using どうもすみません , it is used as a "Please excuse me". But どうも means "Thanks" as well? Sorry, but I'm confused...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorili_ch

Could this also be used in the context of getting someone's attention while they're busy?

Like say you need an employee's help when shopping. Can it be used the same way we use "excuse me"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrielODoherty

What is the difference between this and gomensai?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sam355991

the question right before this one translates "please excuse me" to sumimasen. and this one just lists it as 'SORRY!' please maybe be more flexible with what is correct or multiple meanings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lordhokage

It's somewhat of an apologetic 'Thank you!' for something that another has gone to the trouble of doing for you. If somebody helps you find something you lost for example, you can use it. Saying どうもすみません pretty much intensifies the phrase and also, from the native usage I've seen, conveys explicitly that 'Thank you' nuance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/B.K.W
  • 1687

Duolingo, this is not accurate in the way that Japanese people use this word. Sumimasen is much more, excuse my interruption or excuse some slight offense that is necessary. Gomenasai is "Sorry!" much more aligned with Japanese. PLEASE fix ro remove. It is teaching the wrong usage!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YemiJohn

But most times sumimasen can be used for SORRY


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SeanToimasu

This is closer to "excuse me" I believe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fruitcake13

Can this also be used like the English "Excuse me" where it can be antagonizing, a question or an exclaim? Like "Excuse me?!" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brieezy1

If すみません exists, does すみます? If so what is the meaning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Swisidniak

Yes, 済む・すむ is the verb "to be finished" as well as "to feel at ease"
すみません is then the negative "I do not feel at ease (for having inconvenienced you)" and "It is not finished (my apologies)", used in the same ways as we use expressions like "Excuse me" or "I'm sorry". When used as an expression the negative is typically written in kana alone.

済む is a common verb (part of the JLPT N4). You can see some example sentences of it in use on Jisho
https://jisho.org/search/%E6%B8%88%E3%82%80%20%23sentences

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