Don’t say lo siento in Spanish: 6 alternatives to say sorry in Spanish

Don’t Say LO SIENTO, say THIS instead (6 Alternatives)!

If you want to sound like a native Spanish speaker, please don’t just say lo siento in Spanish! Yeah, it does the job, but if you really want to blend in and speak Spanish at a high level, better use the following 6 alternatives instead! 


Lo siento” in Spanish directly translates to “I am sorry” in English. This phrase is commonly used to express apologies or regret in various situations, similar to how “I’m sorry” is used in English.

I’m Spring Spanish Paulísima, your favorite Spanish teacher and THIS is your first alternative:

1. Another Spanish phrase for sorry: Perdón

It literally means pardon. I love this word because it serves multiple purposes. You can use it to say: Excuse me. Like when you’re walking and someone is in the way.

Perdón, voy a pasar
(Excuse me, I’m going to pass.) 

It is also used when it is necessary to interrupt a person in a conversation.

The best teacher in the world and also the prettiest is Paulina from Spring Spanish…

Perdón, es Paulísima, no Paulina. 
(Sorry, it’s Paulísima, not Paulina.)

Or when you want to clarify something you didn’t entirely understand.)

Entonces ¿qué prefieres salsa salsa roja o verde? 
(So what do you prefer, red sauce or green sauce?)

¿Perdón?
(Pardon?)

¿Que si quieres salsa verde o salsa roja?
(I asked if you wanted green sauce or red sauce?) 

To say I’m sorry in a more heartfelt way, you can say perdóname (pardon me) instead of perdón (sorry).

Think of pardon me. PerdonaME.

Perdón por haber llegado tarde. 
(I’m sorry for having arrived late.)

Olvidé por completo que ayer fue tu cumpleaños. Perdoname. 
(I completely forgot that it was your birthday yesterday. Forgive me.)

You can also say): “Me perdonas” (forgive me). 

Amiga, perdí el vestido que me prestaste. ¿Me perdonas? 
(Girlfriend, I lost the dress that you lent me. Can you forgive me?) 

2. A way to apologize in Spanish: Disculpa

It’s very common for people to say: Te pido una disculpa. (I ask for an apology.) 

But here’s a fun fact for you: the “correct” way to apologize in Spanish is: Te ofrezco una disculpa. (I offer an apology to you.) 

¿Qué crees? ¡Perdí el cable que me prestaste! Te ofrezco una disculpa.
(What do you think? I lost the cable you lent me! I offer you an apology.)

¡Ay no te preocupes amiga! No pasa nada. 
(Oh, don’t worry my friend! No problem.)

You can also say: Disculpame (excuse me). 

Te había dicho que estaría libre el viernes, pero tengo una junta, no voy a poder salir contigo. Disculpame. 
(I had told you that I would be free on Friday, but I have a meeting, I will not be able to go out with you. Excuse me.)

3. When you are very sorry in Spanish: Estoy muy apenada (-o)

This is like saying that you feel very sorry about something. And it kind of has a sense of embarrassment as well.

Amiga, estoy muy apenada, mi perro se hizo pipí en tu sofá.
(Friend, I’m very sorry, my dog ​​peed on your couch.)

Estoy muy apenada pero voy a tener que cancelar la reservación.  
(I am very sorry, but I am going to have to cancel the reservation.)

By the way, do stay until the end of the lesson to find out which of these phrases I use too much!

4. An apology in Spanish: Me equivoque 

I was wrong. Well, this isn’t really an apology, it’s more of a preamble to an apology.

But it’s equally important to be said. Admitting that we made a mistake is the first step.

So, learn it just like this: Me equivoque (I was wrong). This construction is quite different from its English cousin “I was wrong”. So don’t try to make sense of it. It’s a chunk of Spanish, a pre-made phrase that native speakers use all the time. 

Learning by chunks is a great way to speed your way into fluency, to learn more about how to do just that, click on the link in the description. There, you can also get a free copy of our essential Spanish chunking kit with the most important Spanish chunks that you will need all the time! 

✔️ Cheat Sheet with 54 essential Spanish Chunks you’ll hear and use yourself in ANY Spanish conversation (and example sentences). Taken from our YouTube Teacher’s most popular videos!

✔️ 2 Bonus Cheat Sheets with Travel Chunks and Dating/Relationship Chunks

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Ya compré mi boleto para el festival Corona Capital. 
(I already bought our tickets for the Corona Capital festival.)

Compraste el mío también, como te había pedido?
(Did you buy mine too, as I requested?)

Oops, no, me equivoque. Disculpame. Ahorita lo hago. 
(Oops, no, I was wrong. Excuse me. I’ll do it now.)

5. Alternative to lo siento in Spanish: Lo lamento 

This literally translates as I lament it. To lament has a connotation of great sadness and regret.

Me enteré de que se murió tu perrito. Lo lamento mucho.
(I found out that your puppy died. I’m so sorry.) 

6. How to say sorry in Spanish when it’s your fault: Fue mi culpa 

It was my fault. I use this phrase because when bad things happen in my group of friends it’s usually my fault, hehe! No but really. We all should use this phrase more often! 

Oigan, me están diciendo que no hay ninguna reservación a nuestro nombre.
(Hey, you’re telling me there’s no reservation in our name.)

Oh, oh. Fue mi culpa, se me olvidó llamar para hacerla.
(Oh, oh. It was my fault, I forgot to call to do it.)

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