5 Ways to Say Sorry in Chinese

5 ways to say sorry in Chinese with tutormandarin 1-on1 online Chinese lesssons

5 ways to say sorry in Chinese with tutormandarin 1-on1 online Chinese lesssons

Have you ever bumped into someone and not knowing how to say sorry in Mandarin? Or have you ever heard people saying these phrases throughout your travel in China? Certainly, “Please, thank you, and sorry” are the most useful magic phrases in all around the world. Knowing how to apologize is important and a way of showing politeness.

Do you know how to say “thank you” in Chinese? Check here for our post about “ways to say thank you in Chinese”. Don’t forget to check out our last post about Chinese Family Tree and Leftover Women. What’s more, sign up for our free trial with a 1-on-1 professional tutor and download our app on Google Play to learn Chinese language!


对不起(Duìbùqǐ)is the sorry that more used in day to day life when you’ve made mistakes, causing trouble or asking for forgiveness.

Nǐ gāng cǎi dào wǒ de jiǎole!
You just stepped on my foot!

A! Duìbùqǐ duìbùqǐ, wǒ bùshì gùyì de
啊! 对不起对不起,我不是故意的
Ahh, sorry sorry. I didn’t mean to.

2. 抱歉(bàoqiàn)

抱歉(bàoqiàn)is another way of saying sorry to show your condolence or sorry for something that happened to someone.

Duìyú shān shān de shì, wǒ hěn bàoqiàn
I’m sorry for the things that happened to Shannon.

Zěnme huì cái yī dà zǎo jiù qīngcài jiù mài guāngle ne?
How is it possible that all the vegetables are sold out this early morning?

Zhēn de hěn bàoqiàn, wǒmen qīngcài jīntiān liàng bǐjiào shǎo
I’m really sorry, we didn’t have many vegetables today.

3. 不好意思(bù hǎoyìsi)

不好意思(bù hǎoyìsi)is more like excuse me or when you feel embarrassed about something.

Bù hǎoyìsi, jièguò yīxiaˋ
Excuse me, excuse me.

Wǒmen lǎobǎn túrán yǒushì bùnéng chūxí, zhēn de hěn bù hǎoyìsi
I’m really sorry. Our boss can’t make it, something emergency came up.

4. 拍谢(pāi sè)

拍谢(pāi sè)is only used in Taiwan. It’s the Taiwanese of sorry and a more casual way of saying sorry.

Pāi sè, wǒ gāng zài máng, méi kōng jiē diànhuaˋ
Sorry, I didn’t get your call. I was busy.

5. 搜哩(sōu li)

搜哩(sōu li)is a transliteration from English “sorry”. It’s mainly a slang online but you could also use it in day to day life to your close friends.

Sōu li sōu li, ràng nǐmen jiǔ děngle
Sorry to kept you guys waiting for so long.


Still get a bit confused about how to use all the sorry? Don’t worry just try to use it whenever you need to say sorry or excuse me. Of course, don’t be shy to say “不好意思(bù hǎoyìsi)” to ask whether you’re saying them correctly or not.

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