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Es tut mir leid vs tut mir leid.

Hey everyone. I've heard 'tut mir leid' around the place. I learned it 'Es tut mir leid. Is there any difference. Also another question while I'm on the subject of 'sorry' is how would I say 'Why are you sorry' since 'Es tut mir leid' is not how we would say it in Englisch 'Ich bin leid'. Instead it's 'Es tut mir leid' which is not a problem. But how do you say 'Why are you sorry'?? 'Warum tut dir leid?' 'Warum bist du leid?'

October 10, 2017



There's no difference. "Tut mir Leid" is just a short form of "Es tut mir Leid" and even more informal. The "es" is basically implied in that form, so if you asked why it has to be used again. I guess the "es" is referring to the situation itself (never actually thought about it). It's just how we Germans say it...

Fun Fact:
"Ich bin es leid" means something like "I'm tired of it"


It's like "I'm sorry!" vs "Sorry!".



yes, I think that's right. And as Sue said your examples are correct.

Sorry for typing "Schatz" without thinking. It is a "Kosename", I looked up that word and my dictionary told me "pet name" Is that really correct?

Schatz/sweetheart Liebling/darling

best regards Angel

  • 1259

In American English a pet name means an endearing or cute name for a friend, family member, or yes, a sweetheart.


Hi Susan,

thank you for your explanation. I have to admit it sounds weird to me. But on the other hand. When I think about ... Go in a german "Supermarkt" and you can hear so often "Bärchen" "Mausi" "Katerchen" "Hase/i". The term "pet name" is not so weird as it sounds in the first place. :-)

best regards Angel


Other pet names - Maus and Bärchen.


Schatz. A pet name? I'm slightly confused. Good I'm glad my examples are correct and 'Liebling' makes alot of sense. Ich liebe mein Liebling. Thanks :D


Well, some English speaking folks call their significant other "honey". We say "treasure" (it's the literal translation of Schatz).


Hi Cluney,

Sue is right. And "Der Ton macht die Musik" (It's not what you say, but how you say it.)

So you walking on the streets an you bumb into someone (because you looked at your smartphone tz tz tz) "tut mir leid!" and you go on.

Your boyfriend/girlfriend is cross with you because you are late "es tut mir leid, Schatz." more serious

A child broken the window and looks at it's mother with eyes like a beaten puppy "tut mir leid" Very serious!

And again I agree with Sue, "es" refers in my opinion to the event, to the actions that happend.

best regards Angel


Thanks both of you. I have not heard 'Schatz' before. When you're typing it's hard to give expressions so I see your point (It's not what you say, but how you say it. A limited use of symbols such as '? ! *' helps but can never capture it. So it's kind of like: 'Wo ist dein Buch' hat mama gesagt. 'Ahh Ich habe es weider vergessen, Es tut mir leid!' hat Fred gesagt. While if you just bump into someone 'Tut mir leid.'. Do I seem to make sense or am I completely missing everything? Es tut mir leid :P


Yes, you make sense and yes how you describe it works. :)

I guess you could maybe compare it with the use of "I'm sorry" versus just saying "Sorry". It's the same thing, with the same intention and they are sort of interchangeable, but one is just a tad more casual and the other more heartfelt.

Schatz is a common endearment Germans say to their significant other. Literally meaning treasure. :)


I've noticed that no one has yet answered your second question about how you would ask someone why they are sorry. The only way to ask this (at least the only one that I can think of right now is) to say: "Was tut dir leid?" referring to the "es" in "Es tut mir leid", which means "What are you sorry for?". Hope that helps!


Tut mir leid is a short form -- a bit like the difference between "I'm sorry" (full sentence) and "Sorry!" (shortened).

The shorter form, since it's not a full sentence, is a little bit less polite.

For "Why are you sorry", there's not only Was tut dir leid? (What are you sorry for?) but also Warum tut es dir leid? (Why are you sorry about that?).

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