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|Kanji in this term|
- (honorific) apology, excuse
- 言い訳 (īwake) (regular form)
- 申し訳 is almost always used in expressing apology as in "申し訳ない". The level of humbleness increases as "ない" morphing into more polite form such as "ありません", "ございません" or "なく存じます", as well as the adverb preceding 申し訳, e.g. "ほんとに", "まことに", "非常に" or "大変", etc.
- Another apologetic expression with similar humbleness to 申し訳ない is "お詫び申し上げます (owabi mōshiagemasu)".
- When stating or blaming someone for using an excuse for mistake or wrongdoing, 言い訳 is always used instead.