HomeReal Life Spanish Podcast

Saying excuse me in Spanish

Saying excuse me in Spanish
Like Tweet Pin it Share Share Email

Welcome to another episode of the Real Life Spanish podcast series where you’ll learn the Spanish you need for real life conversations and situations.

In Spanish there are three different ways you can say excuse me using the words
perdón, con permiso and disculpe, but you can’t always use them interchangeably.

We’re going to look at the differences between them so you can learn how to use
them properly.

But before we get to the podcast, if your goal is to become fluent and improve your conversational Spanish, then be sure to listen to all the episodes of the Real Life Spanish podcast series.  You can find the complete list by clicking here.

Also be sure to listen to the All About Spanish Verbs podcast series where we examine the most essential Spanish verbs and learn the most common uses of them in everyday speech through practical examples.

Now without further delay, posted below is the entire transcript of today’s podcast episode.

¡Que disfruten!

— Start of transcript —

Hola, This is Rodney.  In today’s podcast I’m going to talk about how to say excuse me in Spanish.

It’s not hard, but it’s also not quite as straight-forward as you might think.

In Spanish there are three different ways you can say excuse me using the words
perdón, con permiso and disculpe, but you can’t always use them interchangeably.

We’re going to look at the differences between them so you can learn how to use
them properly.

Let’s get to it.

If you need to get someone’s attention or interrupt them while they’re speaking,
use the verb disculpar which means to excuse, to forgive or to pardon. you can
say:

Discúlpeme or discúlpame.  They both mean excuse me.

Use discúlpeme for more formal situations, when you want to be extra polite or
with people you don’t know

Use discúlpame with friends or in informal situations

Here are some examples

Discúlpeme, ¿puedo hacerle una pregunta?
Excuse me, can I ask you a question?

Discúlpeme, ¿me podría decir qué hora es?
Excuse me, can you tell me what time it is?

I used the formal version discúlpeme in the previous examples

Here’s an example using the informal version

Discúlpame, ¿dónde esta el baño?
Excuse me, where’s the bathroom?

Did you notice the difference?

The informal version is discúlpAme

The formal version is discúlpEme

Listen to the difference one more time

discúlpame, discúlpeme

You can also shorten discúlpeme to disculpe and discúlpame to disculpa

So instead of

Discúlpame, ¿dónde esta el baño?

You can say

Disculpa, ¿dónde esta el baño?

Now let’s talk about perdón

Perdón or perdóname is equivalent to pardon, pardon me, excuse me or even I’m
sorry, depending on the context

By the way, I’m only going to use perdón in my examples, but remember that it’s
interchangable with perdóname

You can use perdón when you didn’t hear or understand something

¿Perdón? No te escuché
Pardon? I didn’t hear you

In that context you could also translate it as excuse me

When you bump into someone or step on their foot

Ay perdón, ¿está bien?
Oh, I’m sorry.  Are you ok?

You can also use disculpe or discúlpeme in this context

Ay disculpe, ¿está bien?
Oh, I’m sorry.  Are you ok?

You can also use perdón when you forget to do something for someone

For example, your sister reminds you that didn’t call her like you promised

Ay, perdón, se me olvidó llamarte
Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to call you

Or you forget to stop by the store and pick up some milk

Perdón, se me olvidó por completo
I’m sorry, I totally forgot

Now let’s talk about the expression con permiso

You can use this when someone is in your way and you need to get by

Like when you’re trying to get off a crowded bus or someone is
blocking the door you’re trying to go through

Now, in English we say pardon me or excuse me for situations like this, but in
Spanish you need to use con permiso

Although it may sound like one word, it’s actually two

Con, meaning with

And permiso, meaning permission

Con permiso, with permission

You simply say con permiso to the person or persons you want to get by

You can also shorten this to permiso

Something that’s rarely discussed is how to respond to con permiso if someone
says it to you.  In other words, when you’re in their way.

Of course you could just simply move out of the way, no response required.  But
here are a few options if you want to reply.

Pase usted

Adelante

Por supuesto

Pase or pásele

Perdón or discúlpe

And finally, you can also use con permiso if you need excuse yourself from the
dinner table or from a conversation in general.

Pues ya, that’s it for today. Chao!

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *