There are many ways to say “sorry” in Mandarin Chinese, but one of the most common and versatile phrases is ►duì bu qǐ. This consists of three Chinese characters: 對不起. The first, 對 (duì), means “for” or “to.” The second character, 不 (bù), is a negative particle. The third character, 起 (qǐ), means “to rise.”
The literal translation of duì bu qǐ, then, is “don’t get up,” which could perhaps be interpreted as “stay calm.”
Examples of Dui Bu Qi
►Duì bu qǐ, wǒ gāi zǒu le.
Sorry, I have to go now.
►Rú guǒ wǒ shuō duì bu qǐ, nǐ shì fǒu jiù huì yuán liàng wǒ?
If I say I’m sorry, will you be able to forgive me?