Level 1 Lesson 4 / I’m sorry, Excuse me / 죄송합니다, 저기요

After listening to this lesson, you can say “I’m sorry.” or “Excuse me.” in Korean. You will also learn how to say “Excuse me. Let me pass.” when you have to walk through a crowd of people. While it is simple to memorize just one phrase for each case, it is not so simple after all because even the same expression cannot always be applied to the same situation between English and Korean. Want to find out why? Listen in now!

You can download both the PDF lesson notes and the MP3 audio track for this lesson below, and if you want to learn with our various textbooks and workbooks, you can get them on our online bookstore at MyKoreanStore.com. If you have any questions about this lesson, please leave us comments below!

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Level 1 Lesson 4 / I’m sorry, Excuse me / 죄송합니다, 저기요
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  • Aisha Mask

    …question. For “죄송합니다” is it “tray song” or “chay song” in the pronunciation of the first words? 감사합니다

    • Kenny Lau

      죄 is “tray” but people often contract it to “chay” as if it were spelt 재. Both are valid pronunciations of the word when spoken out loud.

  • Κωνσταντινα Μπαξεβανη

    why This document has been removed from Scribd ? i can’t can download the PDF for this lesson here

  • Ross Ramsay

    In beginning lesson 9, you say “igo nun” to say (topic) this. I have heard “igo sun” is this is connected to the fact that in hangul, there is am “s” sound under “igot”. I mean the “s” character is pronounced “T” under the vowel and consonant letters.

    so: the sentence “igosun ahnigi” “is this not it?’ is correct isn’t it?

    • Kenny Lau

      There are two ways to say “this” as a pronoun: 이것/igeot or 이거/igeo.

      The latter is a contraction of the former, but both are valid.

      Remember that there are two topic markers, 은 and 는. The former is used when the topic ends in a consonant, and the latter when the topic ends in a vowel.

      If you add the topic marker to the former, you get 이것+은 > 이것은/igoseun.

      If you add the topic marker to the latter, you get 이거+는 > 이거는/igoneun.

      So, as you see, both igoseun and igoneun are valid ways to say “this(topic)”.

    • Ross Ramsay

      thank you very much for the reply



      Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

      ——– Original message ——–

    • Kenny Lau


    • Kenny Lau

      My pleasure.

  • HelenG.

    So how do you write them in Korean the correct way?

  • Posh

    Can you write the “excuse me ” korean words? Thankyou

    • Seokjin Jin

      As you may learn from the lesson pdf, according to the situation, we say “저기요”, “죄송합니다” or “실례합니다”.

  • Maria Eduarda Cortina Bartolom

    jeo in jeogiyo is pronounced like to?

    • Kenny Lau

      “j” at the beginning of words are pronounced “ch” by some speakers.
      Other examples include g>k (initial “g” pronounced “k”), m>b,
      n>d, b>p, d>t.

      So, 저기요/jeogiyo is pronounced like cheogiyo when spoken.

      Maybe “cheo” sounds like “to” in your accent, this I am not sure.

  • Miya Alcivar

    i love your audio lessons! your lessons are very entertaining (ex: -we are good friends right? -oh really? do you think we are good friends? -yeah, sometimes.) LOL!! thank you for your hard work and for making this language easier to learn. =D

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks for enjoying our lessons! We are so happy to know that!

  • LtWheat

    So the written form for “I’m sorry” is 죄 공 합 니 다 –the first syllable is like “joe.” But in the audio it sounds more like “jae” (rhymes with “bake”). Is it a dialect or am I just imagining the “a” sound? Great stuff so far though!

    • Seokjin Jin

      Thanks for your comment. Because the person said it fast, you might heard it like “jae”. It is correct to say “joe” for 죄 of 죄송합니다.

    • Brooks Kaminski

      “Joe” as a pronunciation seems a bit confusing here. 죄 being ㅈ and 외 is often how they romanize the surname “Choi” isn’t it? From my studies it seems this should be pronounced more like “Chweh”. Is “Joe” just an attempt to simplify the pronunciation during fast speaking, or is this actually how it should be pronounced, even slowly?

  • shai f.

    So let’s say I wanted to use the pamal way of saying “I’m sorry” would that be considered as rude or the wrong thing to say?

  • Kiki Fikriyah

    What about 실례합니다?? When we can use it? I love the lesson since it’s so entertaining and I about to geussing something going on before with this two people LOL or maybe they just don’t really know each other (business partner only).

    • Thea Pham

      실례합니다 = Excuse me

    • Kiki Fikriyah

      I know the meaning of that word. What I was asking is when we said it because they don’t say it in the lesson. Is it for when we passing by, is it for when we coming late to class, or what?

    • https://www.italki.com/question/207446 실례합니다 vs 저기요 ^^

  • Thea Pham

    Oh now I know why 합니다 pronounce with an “m”. My teacher said because it’s has to be that way lol Thank you so much teachers!

  • yuuki heart

    my little review,,, ㅋㅋㅋ
    커히 좋아해요

  • mo_says_hello

    저기요… “죄송하다” 존댓말이면 “미안하다” 뭐예요? 반말이에요? 그리고 언제 “실례하다” 말할 수 있어요? 감사합니다!

  • Selena

    Hey guys,
    I have a very specific question haha
    say you’re looking after a child
    and this child steps on someone else’s foot
    how do you apologise on behalf of that child?
    do you use 죄송합니다 nonetheless? I’m just confused because you did stress we use 죄송합니다 when we are the sole responsible for the mistake
    anyways, thank you very much!!

    • Mitchell

      When I was in Korea, my korean friend used 죄송합니다 to apologies on behalf of his younger cousin who wandered into the wrong room interrupting a conversation. So yes it can be used on the behalf of others.

  • weesie

    In the Kdramas I watch, I hear a word that is used to say “I’m sorry” that sounds like “bi ah ni oh” quite often. Is this just a more informal way of saying “I’m sorry”?

    • Katie Hart

      미안해요 (bi an hae yo) im sorry. its somewhat polite, but its not formal. you can use it with people your same age ^.^ drop the yo to make it friendly (for friends, siblings and those yonger)

    • weesie

      Thank you, Katie…that helped a lot!

    • Jacob Don Kim

      미안해요 (Mi an hae yo)

    • weesie

      Thanks, Jacob…I have found this out. And in one of the latest lessons I listened to, Hyun Woo explains why an ‘m’ many times sounds like a ‘b’ when Koreans speak it…because they keep their lips closed more closely than an English speaking person does when they say it….so it just sounds different. I’ve noticed this in quite a few instances.

  • Katie Hart

    In 죄송합니다 the first grouping 죄, it sounds like “chay” to me. why is it pronounced like that? when i break it up in to peaces ….ㅈ(ch) ㅗ (o)ㅣ (e) … should’t it be pronounced choe . Can you help me? 감사합니다 !

    • kathcel negrillo

      죄송합니다 is like jwi-song-hap-ni-da (ㅂ pronounce as ‘m’ when it is final consonant) 죄 – is ㅈ-is “J” and ㅚ- is “wi”.. ㅊ this is the “ch” 🙂 hopefully this help 🙂 I’m also beginner 🙂

    • becka halsall

      This is just how ㅚ (we/way) is pronounced! As the two vowels have been put together, the first takes a ‘w’ sound and the second is pronounced. However, with this particular combination, the ㅣ sounds more like ‘ay’. I’m not sure why, but it’s just something you have to learn when it comes to hangul pronunciation! It’s helpful, at least, when trying to hear the difference between ㅚ, ㅟ and ㅢ. Hope this helps! Good luck with your studies~

  • Neco_Coneco

    In dramas I usually hear people say 저기여, and sometimes almost 저기야. Is it natural to pronounce it that way?

    • 윤기

      I’m not sure if that’s the case but perhaps you’re mistaking 저기요 with 자기야.

      저기요 (jeo-gi-yo) = over here, excuse me (calling for attention).
      자기야 (ja-gi-ya) = darling, honey (talking to your beloved one).

      I hope it helped. ^^

    • Neco_Coneco

      Yes, that’s it!! Thank you.

  • Angela Ochotorena

    can you also say 죄송합니다 when you are passing through a crowd of people like if you bump into people?

    • Jacob Don Kim

      Yes, you can. But you’ll find that most people won’t say anything.

  • Sonia Sarkar

    When i listened to the audio, the word ‘ne’, which means yes in english sounded like ‘de’..
    I often hear it in k dramas as well…is there any difference? Im a little confused..

    • Mari

      There is no difference, it’s just that when they say “ne” they put their tongue on their palate and it sounds a bit like a “d”, but it’s still “ne”. 🙂

    • Sonia Sarkar

      Thank you 🙂

  • Nele

    Hi there! Is the ‘j’ pronounced as a ‘t’ in Korean? For me, it sounded like that (for example in jeosonghamnida) but maybe I misheard?

    • NicoleTheEggRoll

      you need to learn batchim. then youll understand it

    • Nele

      Okay, thank you!! I do my best learning it 🙂

    • Urek


  • zhjlmay

    what can I say when iam in reastaurant with somebody and I need to excuse myself to go to toilet?

    • 오렌지

      You can say 잠시만요 which means ‘just a second’ to excuse yourself. If someone asked why, that’s the time you say you’re going to use the toilet.

  • pqq830

    죄송합니다 always sounded like susomida to me. Anyways, my confusion is not with the ㅂㄴ sounding like m, that has always made sense to me. But where does the ㅎ go in 합니다 go, I can’t hear it at all.

  • Kaven Chanthaphy

    Great lessons, I am working in Korea and studying every day. Y’all make it really fun to learn. 🙂 gamsahamnida