To say sorry in Italian

How do you translate the expression to say sorry in Italian?

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at this very expression, also known as collocation, and we will even talk about what kind of different “sorry” there are in Italian.

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To say sorry in Italian

First of all, let’s translate to say sorry in Italian.

Chiedere scusa
To say sorry

three men apologizing

To say sorry in Italian – Let’s break it down!

Chiedere scusa could literally be translated as to ask sorry.

To ask

Sorry; excuse

Chiedere scusa can also be translated into English as to apologize, although this is more commonly rendered in Italian with the reflexive verb scusarsi.

Chiedi subito scusa per quello che hai detto!
Apologize immediately for what you said!

Chiedere is a verb of the second -ere group. Its indicativo presente conjugation is as follows.

lui, leichiede

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

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Chiedere is a very versatile verb in Italian and you will find it in other collocations with “to ask”. Here are a few:

Chiedere aiuto
To call for help

Chiedere un consiglio
To ask for advice

Chiedere un favore
To ask for a favor

Chiedere l’ora
To ask what time it is

For example, you can say:

Posso chiederti un consiglio su come verniciare il muro?
Can I ask your advice on how to paint the wall?

Veronica mi ha appena chiesto un favore.
Veronica just asked me for a favor.

A chi potrei chiedere aiuto?
Who could I ask for help?

kids throwing oranges to each other


We said that the translation for to say sorry in Italian is chiedere scusa. Scusa is a feminine noun. It can mean “sorry, apology” and “excuse, justification”.

Una scusa
An excuse

Delle scuse
Some excuses

La scusa
The excuse

Le scuse
The excuses

boy with an orange shirt on

Accampare scuse is a very common expression that means “making excuses”. You use this when you need to clutch at straws to find justifications for your behavior.

Smettila di accampare scuse e assumiti le tue responsabilità!
Stop making excuses and take responsibility!

When an important person or public institution slips up, saying sorry is not enough. You need scuse formali or scuse ufficiali, a “formal apology” or “official apology”.

For example, you can say…

Siamo in attesa di scuse formali da parte del primo ministro.
We are waiting for a formal apology from the prime minister.

three people formally apologizing

To say sorry in Italian – Examples

Chiedo scusa per l’intrusione, signor Rossi.
I apologize for the intrusion, Mr. Rossi.

Hai chiesto scusa a Valerio per averlo spinto?
Did you say sorry to Valerio for pushing him?

Vorrei chiederti scusa per come mi sono comportato ieri.
I would like to say sorry for the way I acted yesterday.

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