In this post we will learn the three main ways of saying I'm sorry in Brazilian Portuguese, as well as some key phrases to express forgiveness.
The main way to say I'm sorry in Brazilian Portuguese is:
This is the conjugation of the verb desculpar in the imperative with tu. In other words it's a command to the other person to forgive you. In full it would be 'Desculpa-me' / 'Forgive me' However, the chances are you will never hear a Brazilian saying 'Desculpa-me' - it sounds quite formal using the verb in its reflexive form. When Brazilians use the reflexive pronoun it's usually placed before the verb - so you're more likely to hear Brazilians say 'Me desculpa', instead of 'Desculpa-me'.
A slight variation is 'Desculpe', which is the conjugation with você, but it's a bit more formal than 'Desculpa'.
Normally you would add the reason why you're saying sorry after 'Desculpa'.
Desculpa a demora! or Desculpa pela demora! / (Sorry the delay / Sorry for the delay)
Desculpa o atraso! or Desculpa pelo atraso! / (Sorry the lateness / Sorry for the lateness)
Another way of saying I'm sorry in Brazilian Portuguese is:
Here we have the verb sentir (to feel). So the literal translation here would be something like 'I feel a lot'! It sounds more formal than 'Desculpa'.
If you want to specify the reason here you would need the preposition por.
Sinto muito pela demora. / I'm sorry for the delay.
pela is the contraction of the preposition por (for) with the definite article a (the) (a demora / the lateness).
Sinto muito pelo atraso./ I'm sorry for the lateness.
pelo is the contraction of the preposition por (for) with the definite article o (the) (o atraso / the lateness).
The third way of saying sorry in Brazilian Portuguese is:
Here we have the noun perdão, which means pardon, forgiveness. More formal than desculpa and sinto muito.
Tudo bem. / It's fine. It's alright.
Não foi nada! / It was nothing.
Não tem problema! / No problem. (Literally: There is no problem.)