Most Common Ways and Phrases to Say Sorry in Vietnamese

In this short lesson, I am going to go over all the different ways to say “Sorry” in Vietnamese!

In addition to that, we will also learn some common "Sorry" phrases that you can use for different situations, such as:

  • apologizing for your mistake
  • declining someone politely
  • expressing feeling sorry for someone or something
  • expressing condolences for someone's loss

8 Ways to Say Sorry in Vietnamese

Here are some different ways that Vietnamese people commonly use to say sorry.

You can use one of these phrases, depending on different levels of apology, and who you're talking to.

Xin lỗi

As a beginner, this is probably one of the first words that you learn!

Xin lỗi is the most basic way to express “sorry” in Vietnamese.

It can also be used as "Excuse me" when you want to get someone's attention, or when you want someone to move aside so you can pass.

Dạ xin lỗi

When speaking to someone who seems older than you, to make it more polite, you should add the polite particle dạ at the beginning.

Rất xin lỗi

If you want to emphasize your apology, you can say “I’m very sorry”, which translates to Mình rất xin lỗi in Vietnamese.

Cho mình xin lỗi

This phrase translates to "Please let me apologize". People often use it to express their apologies sincerely.

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Thật sự xin lỗi

If you want to sound even more sincere because you feel really bad for you you did, you could say Mình thật sự xin lỗi, which translates to “I’m truly sorry”.

Thành thật xin lỗi

This phrases is similar to the previous one, but a bit more formal! It translates to "sincerely sorry".

To say “I’m sincerely sorry” is Mình thành thật xin lỗi.

Xin lỗi nha

This is a casual way to say sorry to a friend or someone that you are close with.

You can say Mình xin lỗi nha which translates to “I’m sorry ok!”

Xin lỗi mà

This phrase translates to something like "I’m sorry please!”.

Use it when you want to ask your friend or someone close for forgiveness, in a cute, playful way.

The word as a final particle is used to emphasize on the persuasion.

How to say "Thank you" in Vietnamese formal and informal ways

Common "Sorry" Phrases in Vietnamese

Below are some common situations that you would use the word "Sorry" or express feeling sorry for someone or something.

Apologize for your mistakes

Here are 4 example sentences that you can use to apologize for what you have done.

  • Xin lỗi, mình không có ý đó!
    Sorry, I didn’t mean that

  • Xin lỗi, mình không để ý!
    Sorry I didn’t notice / Sorry I didn't pay attention

  • Xin lỗi, mình tới trễ
    Sorry, I’m late

  • Xin lỗi mà! Đừng giận nha!
    Sorry please! Don’t be mad ok!

Apologize when you didn't catch someone

When you didn't quite hear or understand what someone said, you can say:

  • Xin lỗi, bạn mới nói gì?
    Sorry, what did you just say?

  • Xin lỗi, bạn nói lại được không?
    Sorry, can you say again?

Refuse someone politely

When you don't have time for someone, you can decline them politely by saying:

  • Xin lỗi, mình đang bận
    Sorry, I’m busy

  • Xin lỗi, mình đang vội
    Sorry, I’m in a hurry

Easy Phrases to Introduce Yourself in Vietnamese for Beginners

Feeling sorry for someone

To say “I’m very sorry” for something bad that has happened, you can use the phrase:

  • Mình rất lấy làm tiếc
    I’m very sorry

When someone misses out on an opportunity or didn’t achieve something, you can say:

  • Mình thấy tiếc cho bạn
    I feel sorry for you (that you didn't achieve it/get to do it)

When you want to say “I feel sorry/pity" for someone or their situations, you can say:

  • Mình thấy tội nghiệp cho cổ
    I feel sorry/pity for her

When you want to show sympathy for someone or their actions, you can say:

  • Mình rất thông cảm cho ảnh
    I really sympathize with him

Saying Sorry for Someone’s Loss

To express your feeling after hearing about someone's loss, in Vietnamese you would literally say "I want to share the sadness with you/your family", just like:

  • Xin chia buồn cùng bạn
    Share my condolences with you

  • Xin chia buồn cùng gia đình bạn
    Share my condolences with your family

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