What is the difference between these three words and when to use them. I mean when and in which condition should I use these words. For example

  1. Sorry, does this train go to city?
  2. Excuse me, does this train go to city?
  3. pardon me, does this train go to city?

1 Answer 1


In actual use there is a great deal of overlap and all of these expressions can be heard at some time.

I would recommend using "sorry" when you regret something, and would try not to do it again.

I'm sorry. I think I spilt your drink.

You use "excuse me" in advance of doing something that might disturb someone.

Excuse me. Could I borrow your pen?

Pardon me is used to apologise for minor acts of rudeness, or to ask for repetition of something.

{burp} Oh, pardon me!
Pardon me, I didn't hear you clearly.

Applying those rules, you should use "Excuse me. Does this train go to the city?" As you are using it in advance of asking a question that might disturb the person.

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