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So far the only way I know to say "I'm sorry" is "lo siento." However, this gets repetitive rather quickly, and sometimes I'm looking for a stronger form of an apology. What other ways are there to apologize in spanish? If you are apologizing for an extremely terrible thing you've done, would you use a different phrase? How do native speakers apologize or convey regret for things they've done?

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You can also say "lo siento" + something big, like "muchísimo". –  fedorqui 7 hours ago
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5 Answers

Well at least in Mexico is not common to say "lo siento" instead we say "perdón" for apologizing. The only part that I've heard "lo siento" is in movies or telenovelas.

A stronger version of "perdón" is "perdóname" or "discúlpame". You can add "por favor" at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.

Here some examples:

Perdóname por haberte mentido.

Por favor perdóname.

Perdón por no haber hecho caso.

Perdón.

Discúlpame por favor.

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All of these sound ok in Argentina. But also "lo siento (mucho)" –  leonbloy Jan 25 '12 at 14:42
    
It works the same way in Spain –  pablomatico Apr 10 at 9:54
    
I think we use "lo siento" when we really make a mess, and "perdon" in every other I'm sorry moment –  Poncho Apr 10 at 15:37
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In Argentina, we just emphasize "Lo siento" (or "lo lamento")

Lo siento mucho

Lo siento muchísimo

Alfredo's alternatives are also ok.

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Yet even another more formal way could be:

Te pido disculpas.

Te pido perdón.

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Other alternative, stronger than just "lo siento":

lo lamento / lo lamento mucho / lo lamento muchsísimo

It's also more formal than "lo siento"

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"Sentir", "perdonar", "disculpar", and even "dispensar" are all used depending on the reason for your apology:

"Lo sentimos, este teléfono ha sido desconectado." or "Lo sentimos, la lluvia ha arruinado el paseo." You're just being polite, it is not really your fault and beyond your control.

"Discúlpame por haber llegado un poco tarde." or "Estamos remodelando, disculpe las molestias" or "Disculpe, ¿sabe a que hora empieza la fiesta?". This is the equivalent of 'excuse me'. You are responsible for the action, but it is a small or easily-justifiable matter.

"Perdóname por no haber ido a nuestra cita." or "Perdón por pisarte la mano." You are responsible for the action, and it is a big deal.

Other words to keep in mind:

"Dispensar" is used by old people in Mexico, it is the equivalent of "disculpar" and it is disappearing but will remain in written works.

"Con permiso" is the active and physical version of 'excuse me'. It always involves physical movement, like when leaving/entering a room or reaching in front of someone to grab something.

"Pesar" is used when something weighs heavily on you and is much deeper. "Me pesa mucho no haberte creído".

Last but not least, "dar el pésame" is what you would say to someone who has lost someone. "Mi más sentido pésame por la pérdida de tu papa".

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Very similar in Spain, but here we also use Lo siento when the action is our fault, apart from the use you have explain. ¡Lo siento! no sabía que estabas detrás de la puerta. ¿Te he hecho daño?. If you really regret what you have done you can also add perdona or perdónameat the end: ¡Lo siento! no sabía que estabas detrás de la puerta. ¿Te he hecho daño? Perdona –  itziki Apr 10 at 8:01
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