What's the difference between them?

  • Isn't it like the difference between "Excuse me" and "Forgive me"?
    – KCd
    Dec 4, 2017 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


As far as frequency is concerned извините is used more frequently in everyday speech. Простите is more literary and may sound pretentious. In movies it can be heard far more often than i hear it in everyday life.

As far as the meaning is concerned, my feeling is that простите tends to be loaded with greater sense of guilt and so express deeper remorse, whereas извините is a more formal element of polite speech, even though it's a cognate of the word вина.


простите - means "I confirm that I did something wrong. It's my mistake. Please, forgive me." извините - means "May be, I did something wrong. But I'm sorry just for yor feelings, not for my actions."

извините are like "Ok. It's sad to be on your place, if my actions make you sad. But, generally, this is not in my responsibility zone. It's just your feelings, and I really didn't want to harm it."

  • 4
    There is a different context when people are correcting each other. "Простите, но Вы не правы" and "Извините, но Вы не правы" ("Sorry, but you are wrong") are very similar, but imply some nuances. Using "простите" implies greater confidence and righteousness on the part of correcting person, while using "извините" sounds more humble.
    – Alexander
    Dec 4, 2017 at 18:52
  • 2
    That's right too.
    – DimXenon
    Dec 4, 2017 at 20:19

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