Please and thank you (and sorry), part III: excuse me, pardon me

For situations where a milder form of apology is needed, we might say something like “excuse me” or “pardon me.” In Arabic the usual exclamation for a situation like this is something we’ve already encountered: عَفواً (ʿafwan), which is used as a response to شُكراً (shukran), “thank you,” the way we English speakers might say “you’re welcome” or “don’t mention it.” عَفواً is actually more properly used here, to mean “excuse me” or “pardon me,” given that it comes from a root, عَفا (ʿafā), that means “to excuse” or “to pardon.”

There is, however, a second root that can be employed here: عذر (ʿadhara), which means “to excuse” or “to absolve from guilt.” Instead of عَفواً, you could say مَعذَرةً (maʿadharatan) or اعذَرَني (aʿdharanī); the latter uses the first person objective pronoun ending ني. Someone who is excused would be called مَعذور (maʿdhūr).

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Please and thank you (and sorry), part III: excuse me, pardon me

  1. Pingback: Please and thank you (and sorry), part IV: forgive me | Persian Word a Day
  2. Pingback: Please and thank you (and sorry), part IV: forgive me | Arabic Word a Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s