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Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

Is Your Coffee as Strong as Your German Apologies?

One of the most important things to learn about a language, aside from introductions, is how to apologize in case you find yourself in the unfortunate situation that you need to do so.
In the case of German, the most general word of apology is “Entschuldigung“. This literally means “apology“, and
it’s used in most situations:

  • when you’ve accidentally done something bad
  • when you want somebody’s attention
  • when you want people to make room

Keep in mind though, that you should not use it when somebody tells some sad news about themselves, because that is not something you
should apologize for – unless you had any stake in it.

If you need something stronger than “Entschuldigung”, use “Es tut mir leid“ (literally translates to ‘ it does me
harm’ ).
And you can make it even stronger by adding an adverb before the “ - leid”.
For example,

Es tut mir wirklich leid. - I’m really sorry.
Es tut mir sehr leid. - I’m very sorry.

And what to do in case that a friend is the one that is apologizing to you? In this case, the words used to accept an apology informally are:
Es ist (schon) okay. - It’s okay (now).
Kein Problem. - No problem.

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