Can you please help me with finding differences between ごめん and 許す in "forgive me" meaning? Does "許す" means something more informal than "ごめん" and can be used with someone close (friend, family)? Or maybe "許す" have more regretful meaning than "ごめん" (I often see this word in manga in "sad" situations (like in someone's death))? As "I'm sorry" i often see "許す" in "許せ" form. I found, that "せ" makes imperative form of the verb and also i saw somewhere that it's a rude form, while "ごめん" is a polite. So please help me to figure this out) Lots of thanks to everybody!

1 Answer 1


許す means to forgive (or allow/permit/tolerate). ごめん means "sorry."

許す by itself doesn't mean "forgive me."

Maybe you meant 許してください?

If so, 許してください = "forgive me" and ごめん = "sorry."

(As with all things language-related, there are about a million other things to be said on this topic, but judging from your level maybe this is the clearest explanation for now. For example, 許せ would probably mean person A is telling person B, who is in some way A's inferior, to forgive a third person C, although other situations are possible.)

  • Thanks for the answer, but i meant exactly 許せ, not 許してください. I know that the main meaning of 許す is to allow, but not for the first time in manga and anime i see it in "forgive me" meaning and exactly in 許せ form. 許せ is a rude form and mean something like "forgive me immediately and without questions", as i know. And in manga/anime it used to be said before someone's death. So i wonder why such an unpleasant form were used in such a dramatic situation. Thanks again :)
    – Em_Red
    Mar 24, 2020 at 14:20
  • Manga is not always the most faithful guide to actual spoken Japanese. You’re so unlikely to hear 許せ in real life that the question of how it differs from ごめん is kind of meaningless. It’s like asking what the difference is between “Arrr! Ahoy, me hearties!” and “Hello” is. Well, they mean the same thing, technically. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    – Al Gorithm
    Mar 24, 2020 at 14:31
  • Yes, i understand, that manga is far from real language, but i still wonder, why not to use something more pleasent even in it. But it's a question for the author. So thanks for the answers, they were quite useful
    – Em_Red
    Mar 24, 2020 at 14:43
  • For the same reason writers writing about pirates in English use “ahoy.” The phrases and vocab they use in manga are correct for the context. I would recommend reading normal books. The Japanese love murder mysteries! I’d read something like that if your goal is to learn to speak Japanese.
    – Al Gorithm
    Mar 24, 2020 at 14:51
  • Thanks for recommendation, I'll appreciate it
    – Em_Red
    Mar 24, 2020 at 14:58

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