How To Say Sorry In Korean

죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da) is the basic and formal way to say sorry in Korean. You can also use 미안해요 (mi-an-hae-yo)  or 죄송해요 (jwe-song-he-yo) to apologize in Korean politely. However, while apologizing to friends/ casual situations, just use 미안해 (mi-an-he) or 미안(mi-an).

죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da) and 미안해요 (mi-an-hae-yo) are nearly same.

Here is How to Say ‘I’m Sorry’ in Korean ( informal, formal, and polite ways) and phrases you need to know in order to apologize in Korean like a native Korean speaker.

  • Standard ‘Sorry’ in Korean -죄송해요 (jwesonghaeyo) or 미안해요(mianhaeyo)
  • Sorry in Korean informal -미안해 (mianhae) or just 미안 (mian)
  • Sorry in Korean formal -미안합니다 (mi-an-ham-ni-da) / 죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da)


미안해요(mianhaeyo) is the commonly use polite and slightly less formal way to say I’m sorry in comes from the verb 미안하다 and ends with 해요 (hae-yo) ending to the 미안 stem. Koreans use this phrase for elders, strangers, coworkers, or people who rank higher than you at work.

You can adverbs like namu /정말 (jeong-mal) at the beginning of the phase(means “very /truly”) to really express your feelings with words. 


  • I’m sorry I lied to you.

거짓말해서 미안해요-gojinmalhaeso mianhaeyo

  • I’m sorry for being so rude.

제가 너무 무례해서 미안해요 – jega nomu muryehaeso mianhaeyo

  • I’m sorry for being late

늦어서 미안해요 – [neujeoseo mianheyo]

Sorry In Korean Formal 

미안합니다 (mi-an-ham-ni-da) is the most formal way to express I’m sorry in Korean language using the of the 미안 stem (just add 합니다 (ham-ni-da) to 미안). You can use this phrase when you apologize to elders in your family or your seniors at work or someone you don’t know well.


  • Sorry for making a mistake.

실수해서 미안합니다 – silsuhaeso mianhamnida

  • Sorry to trouble you.

폐를 끼쳐 미안합니다 – pyereul kkicho mianhamnida

  • I’m sorry. I have the wrong number.

미안합니다. 잘못 걸었습니다 – mianhamnida jalmot gorotsseumnida


미안해 (Mianhae)

The meaning of 미안해 (mianhae) in Korean comes from the word 미안하다( mianhada) which literally means “to be sorry”(add해 (hae) to the 미안 stem). This is the commonly used informal way to say sorry in Korean

When to use 

You can use this phrase with young children, close friends, close family members of the same age (e.g. siblings and cousins), or in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships to apologize in Korean.


  • Sorry for the mess.

지저분하게 해서 미안해.-jijobunhage haeso mianhae

  • I’m sorry for everything.

모든게 미안해.-modeunge mianhae.

  • I’m sorry for eating chicken alone

혼자 치킨을 먹어서 미안해.- honja chikineul mogoso mianhae


미안[mi-an]  literally means sorry in Korean. It is the most informal and playful way of apologizing in Korean. If you want to say “I am sorry in Korean” to children or people younger than you for minor mistakes, just simply say 미안 casually.

미안 (mian) can also mean “no” in some situations. For example, when you’re invited to a party organized by your friend and want to politely decline, you can simply say 미안 (mian).

How To Say Sorry In Korean Using미안하다 [Mianhada]

The verb 미안하다 [mianhada] seems to be used by older people who need to apologize to younger people especially their children, they might say sorry using the word 미안하다 (which is not conjugated) 

In Korea, the older generation doesn’t find it comfortable to apologize to their children, if they have to, Korean use the verb 미안하다 without conjugating it.

Let me explain with an example

  • I am sorry , kiddo

미안하다 얘야  – mianhada yaeya

  • Mommy is sorry

엄마가 미안하다 – ommaga mianhada

How To Say Sorry In Korean - 죄송하다 (Jwe-Song-Ha-Da)

Here is How to Say Sorry in Korean in a formal way using The Honorific form 죄송하다 (jwe-song-ha-da) and phrases you need to know in order to apologize in Korean like a native Korean speaker.

  • The Polite ‘Sorry’ in Korean (using 죄송)-죄송해요 (jwe-song-he-yo)
  • The formal Sorry in Korean (using 죄송) -죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da)

죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da) is the commonly used and formal way to say sorry in comes from a Chinese word 죄송 [jwe-song] (literally means ‘sorry ) and sounds more respectful while you apologize in Korean. 

If you want to be really formal and show respect, it’s safer to use 죄송합니다 (Joe-song-ham-ni-da) or 미안해요 (mi-an-hae-yo).

When to use 

You can use this in situations like apologizing to your professor or older people, seniors at work, in job interviews, or strangers you met on the street.

죄송해요 (Joe-song-hae-yo) is a polite way to say sorry in Korean language but sounds less formal than 죄송합니다 (jwe-song-ham-ni-da). Just use it while apologizing to your colleagues, elders( like parents or grandparents ), and people who are older than you. 

How To Say“Please Apologize” In Korean- 사과해요. (Sa-Gwa-He-Yo)

사과 (sa-gwa) literally means apology in Korean.  Apple’ in Korean is also called as 사과. The verb 사과하다(sagwahada)is means “to apologize “ and honorific form is 사과드리다. 

Here is how you can ask someone to apologize in Korean (i.e. to say “please apologize”) in a formal, informal and polite way.

  • Formal (Please apologize) – 사과하세요. (sa-gwa-ha-se-yo)
  • Polite (Please apologize) – 사과해요. (sa-gwa-he-yo)
  • Casual (Apologize) – 사과해. (sa-gwa-