ThaiPod101.com Blog
Learn Thai with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Best Guide on How to Say Sorry in the Thai Language

When you do something wrong, you apologize. When you accidentally hurt someone, you say sorry. When you want to get a waitress’ attention, you say “Excuse me.” When you see someone who’s feeling sad because of a bad situation they face, you say you’re sorry for them.

“Sorry” is one of the basic words you use in daily life and is one of the first words you learn when you start learning any language. And this article will teach you how to say sorry in Thai (because to learn sorry when living in Thailand would be tough!).

How do I say sorry in Thai? Well, this topic is easy. In Thai, when you want to show your empathy, give your condolences, or show that you feel bad or sorry for what you did, there are a few words Thai people use which will be explained below. Also, to help you say “I’m sorry” in Thai like a native, ThaiPod101.com will also show you various phrases you can use in numerous situations you may face, including “sorry” from Thai to English. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Thai Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. The Most Important Apologizing Word
  2. Phrases for Sorry in Thai
  3. Phrases for Condolences in Thai
  4. Sentences to Use with “Sorry”
  5. Reply Phrases for When Someone Says Sorry to You
  6. Tips on How to Say Sorry in Thai
  7. Conclusion

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai


1. The Most Important Apologizing Word

3 Ways to Say Sorry

As mentioned above, there are only a few words used for apologies in Thai. First, Thaipod101.com will teach you the words you need to know in order to say “I’m sorry” in Thai. ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) means “sorry,” “apology,” and “excuse me” in Thai. ขออภัย (khǎaw à-phai) has similar meanings, which are “sorry” and “apology” in Thai.

The way to use these two words is slightly different; we’ll explain this below. Another word you should know is เสียใจ (sǐia-jai) which is used to show your condolences in Thai.

1- How Do You Say Sorry in Thai?

Now, for the most important part of this lesson: How to say “I am sorry” in Thai. Here, we’ll also show you some examples of “sorry” in Thai written in English.

For spoken language, the main word used to say sorry, apology, or excuse me in Thai is as follows:

ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) — “Sorry” in Thai translates to this word, and this is the main word for “sorry” in Thailand. You can use this word in every situation, both formal and informal. Make sure you remember this word well.

โทดที (thôot thii) — This is a slang word for “sorry” in Thai. It’s an informal word so you should use this with friends or other people you’re close with. Don’t use this in business situations since it’s too casual.

ซอรี่ (saaw-rîi) — This is another slang word for “sorry” in Thai. As you can guess, this is an informal way to say sorry, so only use this word with friends or other people you’re close with. Actually, this word is “sorry” in Thai pronunciation. To put it simply, Thai people just say sorry in English when using this word.

Examples

  • When you accidentally step on someone’s foot, you can say ขอโทษค่ะ (khǎaw-thôot khâ) meaning “sorry” to apologize.
  • When you want to go to another part of the room but your group of friends is blocking your way, you can tell them โทดที ขอเดินหน่อย (thôot thii khǎaw dooen nàauy) which means, “Excuse me, I want to get through.”
  • When your sister finds out that you ate her chocolate cake, you can say ซอรี่ (saaw-rîi) meaning “sorry” to her.

2- How Do You Write “Sorry” in Thai?

For written language, these are the words and phrase Thai people use:

ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) — As mentioned before, this is the main word for “sorry.” Thus, it’s used in written language as well. It can be used for both formal and informal documents.

ขออภัย (khǎaw à-phai) — The difference between ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) and ขออภัย (khǎaw à-phai) is that ขออภัย (khǎaw à-phai) is mainly used in written language and rarely used in spoken language. It’s a formal language for apologies in Thailand. Another phrase that’s used is ขออภัยเป็นอย่างสูง (khǎaw à-phai bpen yàang sǔung) which means “very sorry” in Thai written language.

ขอโทด (khǎaw-thôot) — This is a slang word in written language. The reason Thai people use this a lot is that it’s easier to type. The pronunciation of ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) and ขอโทด (khǎaw-thôot) is the same.

โทดที (thôot thii) — This is a slang word for both written and spoken language, and gives a more informal feeling than ขอโทด (khǎaw-thôot) does.

Example

  • You sent your report to your boss later than the deadline, so in the email you write ขอโทษครับ (khǎaw-thôot khráp) to apologize for your lateness.
  • The toilet in the department store is now being fixed. To ask customers to use the toilet on the third floor instead and apologize for inconvenience, they put a label that reads ขออภัยในความไม่สะดวก กรุณาไปใช้ห้องน้ำที่ชั้น 3 แทน (khǎaw à-phai nai kwaam mâi sà-dùuak gà-rú-naa bpai chái hâawng nám thîi chán săam thaaen).
  • You forgot to buy the book your friend asked you to buy for them today, so you text her that you’re sorry you forgot and that you’ll buy it for her tomorrow instead: โทดที เราลืมซื้อหนังสือให้ จะซื้อให้พรุ่งนี้แทนนะ (thôot thii rao luuem súue năng-sǔue hâi · jà súue hâi phrûng-níi thaaen ná). In this case, you can use ขอโทด (khǎaw-thôot) instead of โทดที (thôot thii) as well.

3- Body Language

Apart from spoken and written language, you should also know how Thai people act when they want to convey that they’re sorry. Here’s some body language to use when you want to convey “I’m sorry” in Thailand.

ไหว้ (wâi) — In addition to greeting, Thai people also ไหว้ (wâi) when saying ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) to older people. To ไหว้ (wâi), you put your hands together at chest level and bend down your head until the tip of your nose touches your thumb.

Sincere and polite tone of voice — When saying sorry, Thai people use a sincere and polite tone of voice. If your tone of voice is disrespectful or too annoying, it indicates that you’re not really sorry for what you did.

Now that you essentially understand how to say sorry in Thai language, let’s delve a little deeper and learn some useful phrases.


2. Phrases for Sorry in Thai

Say Sorry

In Thai, you can use ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) in every situation. However, sometimes you may want to be more specific to the situation. In that case, you should know how to say sorry to a Thai girl, how to say “Sorry I am late” in Thai, and how to say “Excuse me” in Thai language. So ThaiPod101.com presents you with sorry quotes in Thai that you can use in various situations.

1- ขอโทษมาก ๆ

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot mâak mâak
  • Meaning: “I’m very sorry.”
  • Example: ขอโทษมาก ๆ ที่ทำหนังสือเธอเปียก.
    • Khǎaw-thôot mâak mâak thîi tham năng-sǔue thooe bpìiak.
    • “I’m very sorry for wetting your book.”

2- ขอโทษจริง ๆ

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot jing-jing
  • Meaning: “I’m really sorry.”
  • Example: ขอโทษจริง ๆ ที่ลืมนัดของเรา.
    • Khǎaw-thôot jing jing thîi luuem nát khǎawng rao.
    • “I’m really sorry I forgot our appointment.”

3- ขอโทษ เป็นอะไรมั๊ย / ขอโทษ เป็นอะไรรึเปล่า

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot bpen à-rai mái / khǎaw-thôot bpen à-rai rúe bplào
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
  • Example: (You accidentally hit your friend’s chin.)
    • ขอโทษ เป็นอะไรมั๊ย.
    • khǎaw-thôot bpen à-rai mái.
    • “I’m sorry. Are you okay?”

4- ขอโทษแทน…ด้วย

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thaaen … dûuai
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry on … behalf.”
  • Example: ผมต้องขอโทษแทนลูกน้องของผมด้วย.
    • Phŏm dtâawng khǎaw-thôot thaaen lûuk náawng khǎawng phŏm dûuai.
    • “I’m sorry on my staff’s behalf.”

5- ขอโทษที่มาสาย

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi maa sǎai
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for being late.”
  • Example: ต้องขอโทษที่มาสายด้วย วันนี้รถติดมากเพราะฝนตก.
    • Dtâawng khǎaw-thôot thîi maa sǎai dûuai wan níi rót dtìt mâak phráw fŏn dtòk.
    • “I’m sorry for being late. Today, the traffic is very bad because of the rain.”

Sorry, I’m late

6- ขอโทษที่ให้รอ

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi hâi raaw
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่ให้รอนะคะ ได้ผลตรวจแล้วค่ะ.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi hâi raaw ná khá dâai phŏn dtrùuat láaeo khâ.
    • “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. I already got your result.”

7- ขอโทษที่ทำผิดพลาด

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi tham phìt phlâat
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for my mistake.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่ทำผิดพลาดค่ะ จะไม่ให้เกิดเรื่องแบบนี้อีกแล้วค่ะ.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi tham phìt phlâat khâ jà mâi hâi gòoet rûueang bàaep níi ìik láaeo khâ.
    • “I’m sorry for my mistake. This won’t happen again.”

8- ขออภัยในความไม่สะดวก

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw à-phai nai khwaam mâi sà-dùuak
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for this inconvenience.”
  • Example: ขณะนี้เกิดเหตุขัดข้องทำให้ไม่สามารถใช้งานลิฟท์ได้ชั่วคราว ต้องขออภัยในความไม่สะดวกด้วยค่ะ.
    • Khà-nà níi gòoet hèet khàt khâawng tham hâi mâi săa-mâat chái ngaan líp dâi chûua khraao dtâawng khǎaw à-phai nai khwaam mâi sà-dùuak dûuai khâ.
    • “Elevator can’t be used now because of some issue. I’m sorry for this inconvenience.”
  • Additional note: This phrase is special. In Thai, when apologizing for an inconvenience, Thai people use ขออภัย (khǎaw à-phai) in both spoken and written language. Thai people don’t use ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) in this case.

9- ขอโทษที่แจ้งกระทันหัน

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi jâaeng grà-than-hăn
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for the short notice.”
  • Example: ผมต้องขอยกเลิกบริการวันพรุ่งนี้ เพราะ ติดงานกระทันหัน ต้องขอโทษด้วยที่แจ้งกระทันหัน.
    • Phŏm dtâawng khǎaw yók lôoek baaw-rí-gaan wan phrûng-níi phráw dtìt ngaan grà-than-hăn dtâawng khǎaw thôot dûuai thîi jâaeng grà-than-hăn.
    • “I have to cancel service tomorrow because of sudden word. I’m sorry for the short notice.”

10- ขอโทษที่รบกวน

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi róp-guuan
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for disturbing.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่รบกวนนะคะ ขออนุญาตเข้ามาทำความสะอาดค่ะ.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi róp-guuan ná khá · khǎaw à-nú-yâat khâo maa tham khwaam sà-àat khâ.
    • “I’m sorry for disturbing you. May I come in to clean?”

11- ขอโทษที่ตอบช้า

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot thîi dtàawp cháa
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for the late reply.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่ตอบช้านะคะ ช่วงนี้งานยุ่งมากค่ะ.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi dtàawp cháa ná khá chûuang níi ngaan yûng mâak khâ.
    • “I’m sorry for the late reply. I’m very busy recently.”

12- ขอโทษ ขอทางหน่อย

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot khǎaw thaang nàauy?
  • Meaning: “Excuse me, can I get through?”
  • Example: (There are a lot of people in the room, making it hard to walk to the other side)
    • ขอโทษค่ะ ขอทางหน่อยค่ะ?
    • Khǎaw-thôot khà khǎaw thaang nàauy khâ?
    • “Excuse me, can I get through?”

13- ขอโทษ ขอ…หน่อย

  • Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-thôot khǎaw … nàauy
  • Meaning: “Excuse me, can I get …?”
  • Example: ขอโทษค่ะ ขอพริกน้ำปลาหน่อยค่ะ?
    • Khǎaw-thôot khâ kkhǎaw phrík nám-bplaa nàauy khâ?
    • “Excuse me, can you give me chilli in fish sauce?”
  • Additional Note: พริกน้ำปลา (phrík nám-bplaa) is a Thai-style sauce made from fish sauce, chilli, and garlic. Thai people eat พริกน้ำปลา (phrík nám-bplaa) together with fried rice and fried egg.

Excuse Me, Can I Get พริกน้ำปลา [phrík nám-bplaa] Please?


3. Phrases for Condolences in Thai

Now, you may wonder how Thai people share condolences, such as how to say “Sorry for your loss,” in Thai. การแสดงความเสียใจ (gaan sà-daaeng khwaam sĭia-jai) is “condolence” in Thai. In English, you say “I’m sorry for ….” But it’s slightly different in Thai. Thai people don’t say what they’re sorry for, they just feel sorry with you. So there’s only one phrase Thai people use for this.

1- เสียใจด้วย

  • Thai pronunciation: sĭia-jai dûuai
  • Meaning: “I’m sorry for you.”
  • Example: (Your friend knows that you just lost your beloved one)
    • เสียใจด้วยนะ.
    • sĭia-jai dûuain á.
    • “I’m sorry for you.”


4. Sentences to Use with “Sorry”

Sometimes, you don’t say sorry alone. You may want to say other things to convey that you’re really sorry and that you want to make up for what happened. Here’s a list of sentences you can use:

1- ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจ

  • Thai pronunciation: chǎn mâi dâi dtâng-jai
  • Meaning: “I didn’t mean to do this.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่ทำเธอเจ็บตัว ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจ.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi tham hâi thoow jèp dtuua chǎn mâi dâi dtâng-jai.
    • “I didn’t mean to hurt you. I am sorry.”

I’m Sorry. I Didn’t Mean To

2- ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจจะให้เป็นแบบนี้

  • Thai pronunciation: chăn mâi dâi dtâng jai jà hâi bpen bàaep níi
  • Meaning: “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
  • Example: ขอโทษที่ทำให้ลำบาก ฉันไม่ได้ตั้งใจจะให้เป็นแบบนี้.
    • Khǎaw-thôot thîi tham hâi lam-bàak chăn mâi dâi dtâng jai jà hâi bpen bàaep níie.
    • “I’m sorry for causing trouble. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

3- ฉันจะไม่ทำแบบนี้อีกแล้ว

  • Thai pronunciation: chăn jà mâi tham bàaep níi ìik láaeo
  • Meaning: “I won’t do this again.”
  • Example: ขอโทษจริง ๆ ฉันจำไม่ทำแบบนี้อีกแล้ว.
    • Khǎaw-thôot jing jing chăn jà mâi tham bàaep níi ìik láaeo.
    • “I’m really sorry. I won’t do this again.”

4- ดีกันนะ

  • Thai pronunciation: dii gan ná
  • Meaning: “Let’s reconcile.”
  • Example: ขอโทษ ดีกันนะ.
    • khǎaw-thôot dii gan ná.
    • “I’m sorry. Let’s reconcile.”
  • Additional note: This is an informal phrase. Thai people only say this to friends, family members, or people who they’re close with.

5- อย่าโกรธเลยนะ

  • Thai pronunciation: yàa gròot looei ná
  • Meaning: “Please don’t be mad at me.”
  • Example: ขอโทษค่ะ อย่าโกรธหนูเลยนะ.
    • khǎaw-thôot yàa gròot nǔu looei ná.
    • “I’m sorry, please don’t be mad at me.”
  • Additional note: This is also an informal phrase. Thai people only say this to friends, family members, or people who they’re close with.

6- ยกโทษให้ฉันเถอะ

  • Thai pronunciation: yók thôot hâi chăn thòe
  • Meaning: “Please forgive me.”
  • Example: ขอโทษ ยกโทษให้เราเถอะนะ.
    • khǎaw-thôot yók thôot hâi rao thòe ná.
    • “I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

7- มันเป็นความผิดของฉันเอง

  • Thai pronunciation: man bpen khwaam phìt khǎawng chăn eeng
  • Meaning: “It is my fault.”
  • Example: มันเป็นความผิดของฉันเอง ขอโทษนะ.
    • man bpen khwaam phìt khǎawng chăn eeng khǎaw-thôot ná.
    • “This is my fault. I’m sorry.”


5. Reply Phrases for When Someone Says Sorry to You

Now that we’ve gone over various ways to say sorry, we’ll now go over what to say when someone says sorry to us. The list below shows some of the phrases you can use.

1- ไม่เป็นไร

  • Thai pronunciation: mâi bpen rai
  • Meaning: “It is okay.” / “It is alright.”
  • How to use: This is the main way to reply when you’re okay or no longer angry. This can be used in every situation, both formal and informal.

2- ฉันยกโทษให้

  • Thai pronunciation: chǎn yók thôot hâi
  • Meaning: “I forgive you.”
  • How to use: You say this to show that you forgive the other party or parties.

3- ช่างมันเถอะ

  • Thai pronunciation: châng man thòe
  • Meaning: “Never mind.”
  • How to use: This is another way you can say that you’re no longer angry. However, this is quite informal. Thai people only say this to friends, family members, or people who they’re close with.

4- ลืม ๆ มันไปเหอะ

  • Thai pronunciation: luuem luuem man bpai hòe
  • Meaning: “Just forget it.”
  • How to use: This phrase also shows that you’re no longer angry and forgive them. It’s an informal phrase, so don’t use it in a business situation.

5- ฉันไม่ยกโทษให้

  • Thai pronunciation: chǎn mâi yók thôot hâi
  • Meaning: “I don’t forgive you.”
  • How to use: You say this to show that you’re still mad for what the other party or parties did and don’t forgive them yet.

I’m Still Mad at You


6. Tips on How to Say Sorry in Thai

If you’ve reached this part of the article, you’ll find that if you want to be able to say sorry like Thai people, there’s quite a lot to practice and remember. Here are some tips that will help you make your apology sound either formal or informal. To make the sentence sound formal or informal in the Thai language, it depends on pronouns and the word you put at the end of a sentence.

1- Pronoun

There are many Thai pronouns you can use to call yourself. Each one can be used in a different situation depending on the level of formality and the gender of the speaker. Here’s the list of Thai pronouns you can use, ordered by level of formality from the most formal to least formal.

  • Male: ผม (phǒm); เรา (rao)
  • Female: ดิฉัน (dì-chǎn); ฉัน (chǎn); เรา (rao); หนู (nǔu) [Nǔu is only used when talking to older people.]

Still, please note that in Thai, sometimes people cut off the subject if the speaker is the one who did the action. So, you may hear Thai people say ขอโทษนะ (khǎaw-thôot ná) instead of ฉันขอโทษนะ (chǎn khǎaw-thôot ná) when saying “I’m sorry.”

2- Khráp and Khâ

To make a sentence sound formal in Thai, Thai people put the word ครับ (khráp) or ค่ะ (khâ) at the end of a sentence when speaking. ครับ (khráp) is used when the speaker is male, while ค่ะ (khâ) is used when the speaker is female. If you want to say sorry informally, there’s no need to put ครับ (khráp) or ค่ะ (khâ) at the end of the sentence.

Apart from ครับ (khráp) and ค่ะ (khâ), Thai people sometimes put นะ (ná) at the end of an informal sentence to make it sound more friendly. These words are คำลงท้าย (kham long tháai) in Thai.


7. Conclusion

By now, you should know some basic words for how to say sorry in Thai. We hope you now have a better idea of the importance of “sorry” in learning Thai.

If nothing else, work on memorizing ขอโทษ (khǎaw-thôot) and ไม่เป็นไร (mâi bpen rai). You can use them in almost any situation. However, if you know many phrases, you can express your feelings better, so keep practicing. Once you know them all, don’t forget to learn other interesting and fun Thai lessons at ThaiPod101.com.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai