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Русский Язык

How to say...Excuse me!

Whereas in English, this phrase works universally in all the situations below, the (overused by the English speaker) ‘Извините’, is not always appropriate. In Russian you need 3 different phrases to convey the message ‘Excuse me’, depending on the context:

To say Excuse me in the sense ‘Sorry!’:

Прошу прощения! Sorry. (Literally: “I ask forgiveness”).

Прошу прощения, я вас не заметил. Sorry, I didn’t notice you.

Прошу прощения, я вас не расслышал. Sorry, I didn’t hear you.

Прошу прощения, я вас не узнал. Sorry, I didn’t recognize you.

Прошу прощение, я не специально! Sorry, I didn’t do it on purpose.

To say Excuse me in the sense ‘You’re in my way’:

Разрешите, пожалуйста! Excuse me. (Literally: allow me).

Разрешите пройти. (Excuse me), let me through, please.

Разрешите выйти. Let me out, please.

Разрешите войти. Let me in, please.

To say Excuse me to preface a request:

Извините, пожалуйста! Excuse me. (Literally: forgive me).

Извините, пожалуйста, время не подскажете? Excuse me, do you have the time, please?

Извините, пожалуйста, у вас нет ручки на секунду? Excuse me, could I borrow your pen a sec?

Извините, пожалуйста, где ближайшее метро? Excuse me, where’s the nearest metro?

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