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How do I use these words correctly?

I'm not sure I understand the difference in Lo Siento, perdon and disculpe. Can you help me?

3 years ago


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As a new learner, I'd love to know too. I read that disculpe is more formal, but don't know the subtleties of which gets used in what context.

3 years ago

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Lo siento means I'm sorry, always, is when you want to say sorry for something. Perdon, is when you want to apologize, but you also can say: Disculpeme. Disculpe means, excuse me.

3 years ago

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Sorry but I hate links, this is what I can summarize:

From what I have learned from my spanish speaking friends, and possibly contrary to what DL may teach, the following uses are common.

  • Lo Siento is for apologizing and expressing sorrow. It is used as "I am sorry", but literally it means "I feel it"
  • Permiso/Con Permiso is used for saying "excuse me" like if you want to pass by someone in the store aisle, and they don't yet see you. The literal translation is "permission/with permission" and is basically a request/question.
  • Perdón is also "excuse me" (literal Pardon) but is used more in the event that two people accidentally bump into each other in a crowded space. Its basically an apology in essence.
  • Disculpe is also a form of "excuse me" but more in an exclamatory form: "Excuse me!" Implying shock or surprise at something said or done. You wouldn't use this to replace Perdon or Permiso forms.

Again, this is what native speakers from various countries have told me, but there are always regional variations. Hope that helps. Buena suerte.

Depending the context may have the same significance or not.

  • "Lo siento", "perdón", "perdóname", "disculpe"
    1) It can be used as a show of repentance for causing harm (physical or emotional) to someone else.
    Perdón por haberte golpeado. -Perdón por haberte mentido. -Disculpe por haberlo hecho esperar. -Perdóname por llegar tarde. -Perdón por hacer ruido molesto
  • "Lo siento"
    2) It can also be used to show compassion to another person for any bad event that has occurred
    (lo)Siento por la muerte de tu padre, (lo)Siento que hayas quedado sin trabajo. Me enteré que te robaron. Lo siento!
    In case 1) Just depends on who is the person and the level of confidence.
  • "Disculpe": is used when you refer an unknown, an older person, a boss at work, the school teacher. "Perdón" or "Perdóname": is used in other cases: between friends, lovers, relatives, et

I hope have helped you understand a little better (And "perdón" for my English. I am also learning.)

3 years ago


Take a look around Word Reference, http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp , an on-line bilingual dictionary with options for 15 languages. In addition to definitions, conjugations, and usage, it gives example sentences, idioms using the word, and best of all, links to discussion forum posts relevant to the word you looked up. For example, if you look up "perdon," the list of forum posts includes at least four threads on the topic of Lo Siento, perdon and disculpe. It's an awesome resource for your Spanish studies.

3 years ago


lo siento= I'm sorry perdóname- forgive me disculpame- excuse me. coming from a non native speaker but I'm pretty sure that's the difference

3 years ago


i was confused too ;D

3 years ago