Categories: French Vocabulary

To apologize in French

To apologize: s’excuser

The verb is not reflexive in French but reciprocal as you can’t “excuse” yourself but someone can “excuse” you or you can “excuse” someone else. Even if French people use the expression “je m’excuse” it is not correct French.

You want to “excuse” someone:

Je t’excuse
Je l’excuse (he or she)
Je vous excuse (formal or plural)
Je les excuse (them)

Somebody else wants to “excuse” someone:

Tu m’excuses
Tu nous excuses
Tu les excuses

But not: tu t’excuses! (however it is common to hear that in France, even in newspapers)

You want to “excuse” yourself:

I apologize

Excuse-moi (you ask to someone to “excuse” you)
Veuillez m’excusez

We also use these expression to say: I am sorry or I beg you pardon.

But not: je m’excuse (however it is common to hear that in France)

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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