WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE: excuse me, pardon me, beg your pardon, sorryexcuse me and pardon me are polite expressions that you use when you do something that could be slightly embarrassing or rude, for example in the cases below.You usually use sorryto apologize after you have done something wrong.Use excuse mewhen you want to interrupt someone, say something to a person you do not know, or get past someone• Excuse me, do you know the time? • Excuse me, can I just reach across and get my bag?Use excuse mewhen you have to leave someone for a short time• Excuse me for a moment while I make a call.excuse mecan also be used, especially in American English, when you have not heard or understood what someone has said• 'You're late.' 'Excuse me?' 'I said you're late.' 'Oh, sorry.' Speakers of British English usually use pardon• 'My name is Timothy.' 'Pardon?'In American English, it is also possible to use pardon me in these situations. In British English, you usually say pardon me when you have done something slightly impolite such as burping or sneezing. In American English, you usually say excuse me.I beg your pardonis a rather old-fashioned expression used to apologize for doing something embarrassing or for making a mistake in what you have said• There are 65 - I beg your pardon - 56 students on the course.!! Do not confuse the verb excuse /ɪkskjuːz/ with the noun excuse /ɪkskjuːs/, which means a reason for doing something wrong, often an invented or false reason. ➔ See alsoexcuse
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.