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Difference between Shitsureishimasu and sumimasen

xaeida

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Hello,
I am a teacher in Australia and have happily fallen into the position of teaching Japanese to year 3 students. I am only learning Japanese just now and have a question regarding the distinction between shitsureishimasu and sumimasen. They both come up as translating to 'excuse me' and I would like to know when to use which one.
Thank you so much for your help!
Xaeida
 

Toritoribe

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"Shitsureishimasu" is a greeting mosty used when entering or leaving somewhere just like hello or good-bye. The past form "shitsureishimashita" can be apology (I'm sorry), though. On the other hand, "sumimasen" is used for apologizing for something wrong (I'm sorry), including previously for future things (excuse me), or gratitude for goodwill (thank you).
 

xaeida

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"Shitsureishimasu" is a greeting mosty used when entering or leaving somewhere just like hello or good-bye. The past form "shitsureishimashita" can be apology (I'm sorry), though. On the other hand, "sumimasen" is used for apologizing for something wrong (I'm sorry), including previously for future things (excuse me), or gratitude for goodwill (thank you).

Thank you so much Toritoribe, this is really helpful to me :)
 
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