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"Yes, I am sorry."

Translation:Ja, het spijt me.

July 17, 2014



This one confused me as spijt came out of nowhere after we are taught sorry.


I'm a bit rusty with my Dutch but I'm pretty sure "het spijt me" translates a bit more like "it pains me" in English. The Dutch have borrowed "sorry" from English, so you can say "sorry" in Dutch by itself (e.g. to apologise or excuse yourself), but I think it's incorrect to say "I am sorry" (i.e. "ik ben sorry"). I don't think I've explained this well but, basically, you can SAY "sorry" in Dutch but it's not used the same as in English. In Dutch you can't BE "sorry". Can someone who's more articulate help me out here?


Got it, so sorry is only used as an interjection and het spijt me can be used as like I apologise?


Basically, yeah. Rule of thumb: "sorry" = "sorry" and "I am sorry" = "het spijt me".


It sounds like spijt and the English spite could be related.


Nee! Spijt is "Regret" in het Engels. Spite is Ondanks in het Nederlands.


No ondanks is despite or in spite of.

N2fole is actualy correct. Spijt ánd spite both come from despicere.

Spijt used to be despijt the "de" got dropped (possibly mistaken for an article). It comes from Latin despicere which means looking down upon (spectacle also comes from spicere). Think of english despicable.

English spite comes from the same word. Think of despicable and despise, they too ultimately come from despicere.

Earliest usage of dutch despijt I can find is 1298 when it still meant contempt. It coexisted with spijt for a while which shows up a little after 1400 still meaning contempt. I can't clearly find when it started to mean remorse but it seems not before 1550

Here are some sources but they are quite difficult to navigate and unscramble if you are used to them (even if you speak dutch, if you don't it's worse. Then again most of it is middle or old dutch which english is much closer to than to modern dutch)

https://gtb.ivdnt.org/search/ (Type spijt in the first box or despijt in the 2nd) https://etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/spijt1


Thanks. Great post!


In English: i am sorry In Dutch: het spijt me Or: sorry


Het spijt me isn't "it pains me" but "I'm sorry". (But that indeed originally comes from it does me sorrow. And sorrow itself is actually related to dutch zeer which means pain. So the evolution of sorry is physical pain-mental pain-remorse)

You are right in saying that you can't say ik ben sorry. Actually lot of of times in english you can say I am ... while in dutch you can't because it doesn't descrive a feature of you. But indeed in this case it is likely because it is loaned and in both language sorow and it's ancestors took a different path)


I agree spijt is a new word And I noticed sometimes we get to pronunce complicated sentences before we even learn the new words that the sentence involves


what's the difference between "het spijt me" and "het spijt mij"?


Nothing, really :) 'mij' sounds a bit more formal/posh, though.


You can say 'sorry' but not 'ik ben sorry' in Dutch. 'Het spijt me' means 'I feel sorry' or like you said 'I regret that'


Wasn't "I" represented by "Ik"? Where did "het" come from?


The Dutch literally means something like "It sorrows me/does me sorrow", so there is no "I/ik" in the actual Dutch sentence.

The "het" here is "it" (rather than "the").


I'm guessing my answer of "Ja ik ben sorry" is unacceptable because I'm kinda declaring myself as being the actual word rather than the concept? Or should my answer have been acceptable?


i was tempted to try "ja, ik ben jammer" but i realized that translates more to "yes, my bad". not exactly a genuine apology


No it sort of translates to I'm pityfull


No and in Dutch nobody would ever say 'ik ben jammer'.


yeah Its because sorry can only be used on its own


I tried "Ja, sorry." and it also wasn't accepted.


Should "Yes, I regret that" be accepted, and if not, why not? It seems like a closer translation than "Yes, I am sorry" and is perfectly valid English.


How do you pronounce "spijt"? Is it similar to saying "Spite" in English, or more of an 'eh' sound...like saying "bet"?


It is like english spite. Interestingly enough english has a j sound but no j in the spelling and dutch doesn't have a seperate j sound but you can see a j in the word.

It's like in between spit and spite.

Well just spite withou the j sound in it. But I have no idea english speakers even realise they make that sound let alone if the can manage to drop it. Without actually being there to show them

[deactivated user]

    Why not, ik ben sorry?


    EdpYFs, The Dutch use the Engish word "Sorry" only as an interjection. For example, if you bump into somebody. It is like saying "Excuse me". So, saying "ik ben sorry" would be like saying "I am excuse me" in English.

    When they do wish to say that they are sorry, the Dutch have the expressions "het spijt mij" and "ik heb spijt van X".


    That question was already asked and answered.

    We (Dutch speaking people) will never say 'I am sorry'. Sorry is something you are not in Dutch but you have it. I am sorry = Het spijt me. If you want to say you are sorry about something you can say: 'Ik heb spijt van ...'


    Is "het spijt me," a more serious form of apology than "sorry?" Eg: I dropped your bag, "Sorry." But, I hurt your feelings, "Het spijt me."


    They can sort of be used interchangeably but sorry is easy and quick to say like oops and ouch so you would be more likely use that when bumping into someone, at least in the heat of the moment. If you have time see what you caused you might say het spijt me.

    So indeed sorry is often an interjection and het spijt me more sincere.

    But you can say het spijt me when you bump into someone and sorry for something very very bad. Though when really bad you usually have the construction ; sorry dat ik..

    So dutch sorry is basicly I apologise and het spijt me is im sorry. Sorry dat... is I apologise for/I regret that. Sorry for


    Would ik ben sorry be incorrect? Why so?


    No, it would not. We (Dutch speaking people) will never say 'I am sorry'. Sorry is something you are not in Dutch but you have it. I am sorry = Het spijt me


    Then if sorry is something you have, is "Ik heb sorry voor dat doen." a valid sentence?


    No, we do not use sorry in that way. We say 'het spijt me' or 'ik heb spijt'.

    The first one (het spijt me) is used to apologize, like saying 'I am sorry' to somebody when you did something wrong.

    'Ik heb spijt' is used to describe the feeling of being sorry. (I am sorry that I did not work harder = Ik heb spijt dat ik dat ik niet harder heb gewerkt..)

    Sorry does also exist and can be used to apologize, but without an other verb.

    Sorry, ik zal het niet meer doen = Sorry, I wil not do that again. You can use it on itself just to apologize in the same way as in English. sorry = sorry

    Sorry, i can not explain it better. (Sorry, ik kan het niet beter uitleggen.)


    Sorry isn't some you have.

    Sorry is something you feel. You dont literally own it and it's not something you literally are.

    Unlike ik ben groot en ik ben een appel. ;)

    It is like saying I am regret in english.


    Yes it would! Sorry is not something you can be in dutch. It's like saying I am regret.


    Haven't come across het spijt me yet, bit unfair


    I am confused spiji


    I wrote "Ja het spit me" but it wasn't accepted because of a missing "," . that is kinda annoying.


    Dittemor, you misspelled "spijt". That is why your answer was not accepted!


    Spijt, hence it was not wrong because you were missing a ",". Punctuation is generally ignored.

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