1. yanqui

    yanqui Senior Member

    en casa
    Spanglish, La Yuma
    I've heard 'que pena' used in place of 'lo siento' to mean 'I'm sorry'. Is this an acceptable usage? Thanks in advance!
  2. Eword Senior Member

    Not in Spain. ¡Qué pena! means what a shame!
  3. Aquical

    Aquical Senior Member

    México Spanish
    Yeah, you basically are saying: "I'm so emarrased" so when you say "que pena" you are saying "I'm sorry"
  4. yanqui

    yanqui Senior Member

    en casa
    Spanglish, La Yuma
    In English 'what a shame' and 'I'm sorry' can both be used to express regret, so I suppose it would depend on the context.
  5. saza Senior Member

    I'd say 'que pena' is 'what a shame', 'I'm sorry [e.g. to hear that]' NOT 'I'm sorry [e.g. for doing something]'

    For example:
    -Me dijeron que el concierto se había cancelado por la lluvia.
    -¡Qué pena! A lo mejor el año que viene volverán a tocar.

    NOT, for example to say 'I'm sorry' if you have bumped into someone, which would be 'Lo siento' or 'perdone'
  6. yanqui

    yanqui Senior Member

    en casa
    Spanglish, La Yuma
    Ok, thanks! That makes sense.
  7. micafe

    micafe Senior Member

    United States
    Spanish - Colombia
    'Qué pena' is used different in Spain and in Latin America.

    In Spain it means 'what a shame' , 'it's a pity'
    In Latin America it means besides that, 'how embarrasing'.

    'Tener pena' in Spain = to be sad
    In Latin America = to be embarrased.

    'Tener una pena' = to be grieving - [I believe everywhere]

    Yes, in Latin America we could say 'qué pena' with the meaning of 'I'm sorry'. it's never said like that in Spain.
  8. Empuje taquiónico Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Español rioplatense/River Plate Spanish
    Well, I don't agree that it's a question of Spain vs. Latin America. Here in Argentina, and I guess in the Southern Cone (Southern South America) in general, we use "qué pena" just like in Spain, to mean "what a pity", and not "I'm sorry". The use of the word "pena" to mean shame or even shyness I learned when I was in Colombia. Until that time, it was foreign to me.
  9. Orejitas

    Orejitas Senior Member

    Washington, D.C.
    English (US)
    My understanding is that in the places where it can be used to apologize (wherever exactly that is, my experience is limited to Mexico), it can be used to apologize for an embarrassing mistake (and not other apologies). Like you're working the cash register and you accidentally give someone a dollar in change instead of a ten. Or you bump into another car while trying to parallel park. But not when you apologize for the things you said to someone in a fight, for instance, not for something you did intentionally.

Share This Page