Again, it can be dangerous to assume that pragmatic differences are primarily found along geographic boundaries. For example, the term "Peninsular Spanish" does not refer to a homogeneous group. One could probably even find as many language varieties in Spain as he or she could in Latin American Spanish. Nevertheless, these distinctions are a starting point for comparing language varieties.

Examine each of the comparisons below and think about how you could use the knowledge to improve your own pragmatic ability to apologize.

The most common cases of apologies occur in both language varieties in the following situations:

  • Space Offenses
  • Failures to Grant Requests
  • Mistakes


hand over a mouth



Overall, apologies in Mexican Spanish tend to be stronger (more apologetic) and utilize more language strategies. Multiple strategies are often used to apologize.

sad man



The primary difference between apologies in Mexican Spanish and Peninsular Spanish is the perception of the social and contextual factors surrounding the apology.

This includes:

  • Notion of the offense
  • Obligation to apologize
  • Specific strategy choice

sad female



What would you teach someone about apologizing in Mexico and Spain if you had to teach them about language variety?