How to Say Sorry in French

How do you say I’m sorry in French? It depends on the situation. Here we’ll go into all of them.


You friend tells you that a family member dies. You’re sad, so naturally you’d say, “I’m sorry.”

If you’re a guy, you would say je suis désolé [juh swee day-so-lay]

If you’re a girl you’ll say je suis désolée, it’s pronounced the same way but written with the extra “e” because adjectives have to agree in French.

You can also just say désolé as a one word type of condolence. It’s less formal that way.

je suis désolé(e) = I’m sorry

désolé = sorry

Sorry – for a mishap

You’re on a crowded metro and you accidentally bump into someone. We’d use a different saying for that:

Pardon [par-dun] is the most common. Simply utter that and you’re a-ok.

Pardonnez-moi [par-dun-ay mwa] is a polite way of saying “forgive me.”

Sorry – interruption

You want to politely interrupt somebody from their speech or task?

Excusez-moi (formal)

Excuse-moi (informal)

If you want to say sorry to bother you:

Excusez-moi de vous déranger

Excuse-moi de te déranger

There we go. That covers how to say sorry in French!

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