失礼しました vs. すみません: What You NeeD to Know.
What is the difference between “失礼しました and すみません”? Which are the proper words after making mistakes? After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
失礼しました (shitsurei-shima-shita) / すみません (sumimasen)
I’m sorry/Sorry / 对不起/抱歉 / 실례했습니다/죄송합니다 / Tôi xin lỗi/Xin lỗi
“失礼しました and すみません” mean the “Sorry and I’m sorry” which is used as the meaning of “a way of apologizing to someone for something that you have done which has upset them or caused them difficulties, or when you bump into them accidentally”. The difference between them is that ordinally “すみません” is used in situations which are not so serious, but you have to apologize. For instance, you messed up someone’s name, you bump into them accidentally, etc. Whereas “失礼しました” is used for pretty serious situations and it used in business situations, unlike すみません. For instance, you made mistakes, you broke or lose something such as windows, cups, phones, etc. Lastly, you can use “すみません” in business situations, if you are looked serious.