Do you want to apologize for taking up someone’s time with a matter? Well, “sorry to bother you” works but it is overused in emails.
Luckily, this article will help you find another way to say “sorry to bother you”!
There are plenty of better and more formal options out there to replace “sorry to bother you.” Some of the best ones that we’ll share are:
- Sorry to be a bother
- Sorry to burden you/your staff with this
- I apologize for the repeated request
- Sorry to be bothersome
- Sorry to be troublesome
- Sorry to bring this up again
- Forgive me for the interruption
In the rest of the article, we’ll show you how to use each of these other ways to say “sorry to bother you.” After all, they’re best used in different contexts. So, keep reading to find out how to keep your emails interesting!
1. Sorry to Be a Bother
“Sorry to be a bother” is a great alternative to “sorry to bother you,” as we simply swap the order of the original phrase around slightly.
Hence, “sorry to be a bother” works in the same way as “sorry to bother you” and it is a great professional alternative.
We can use “bother” as an adjective here to describe ourselves as a person who is wasting someone else’s time.
Moreover, this alternative works well when we’re trying to apologize for potentially wasting someone’s time. If we think the task is below them, or we think we could have solved it ourselves but can’t figure it out, “bother” works really well.
Finally, here’s how you might use it in your emails:
Dear Mr. Cargo,
Sorry to be a bother, but would you care to take a look at my newest project?
Dear Mr. Congo,
Sorry to be a bother again, but I haven’t heard back from you yet.
Let me know what you thought about my previous email,
Dear Mrs. Swan,
Sorry to be a bother, but this is very important to me.
2. Sorry to Burden You/Your Staff With This
When you’re looking for another way to say “sorry to bother you,” the phrase “sorry to burden you with this” is a great synonym to use in your emails.
“Burden” is a great and formal word to replace “bother.” It shows that we appreciate the person we’re asking for help might already have a large workload, and we’re only adding to the problem. However, we would still appreciate their help.
We can use a few different pronouns here based on the person or people we’re directing the email toward.
Lastly, here are a few email samples showing you how to use it appropriately:
Dear Mr. Smith,
Sorry to burden your staff with this, but I requested that you fix the issues within the company before I come back, and it has not been fixed yet.
Dear Mrs. Magson,
Sorry to burden you with this, but I think you need to hear what I have to say.
To Whom It May Concern,
Sorry to burden you again, but you never responded to my last letter.
3. I Apologize for the Repeated Request
Sometimes, we might also want to change “sorry” into another form. This could keep our emails a little more unique and less samey.
“I apologize for the repeated request” works when we want to try a different route and use “apologize” instead of “sorry.”
Hence, if you’re looking for a professional way to say “sorry to bother you,” this is a great alternative!
The “repeated request” shows that we’ve already asked for help, but we haven’t received it yet. It’s a polite way to raise a formal complaint about something.
Here are a few email samples to show you how to implement this phrase:
I apologize for the repeated request, but my computer still seems to be playing up.
Let me know when works best for you to take a look at it.
Dear Mr. Hunter,
I apologize for the repeated request, but the issue is still there.
Dear Dr. Jewel,
I apologize for the repeated request, but I’ve run out of the thing you provided me.
Thank you so much,
4. Sorry to Be Bothersome
We could even change the verb “bother” into an adjective. It’s less common, but it works well in many cases.
“Sorry to be bothersome” works when we want to describe ourselves as “bothersome.”
Moreover, we use this to show that we understand our request might be annoying, but we still need someone’s help with it, nonetheless.
Lastly, you can use this in your formal emails as follows:
Dear Mr. Evans,
Sorry to be bothersome, but I need help with this.
Sorry to be bothersome, but I’m still in need of some assistance.
Dear Mrs. Turbo,
Sorry to be bothersome again, but the issue hasn’t been resolved.
5. Sorry to Be Troublesome
We could try a different adjective like “troublesome” if we use “bother” or “bothersome” too much in our writing as well.
In general, “sorry to be troublesome” works in the same way as “sorry to be bothersome.” This is because “troublesome” and “bothersome” are synonymous.
Hence, we can this nice way to say “sorry to bother you” to show that we respect the other person’s time, and we don’t mean to waste it.
Here are some email samples to show how you can use it:
Dear Mrs. Magcargo,
Sorry to be troublesome, but he hasn’t arrived at the time you said he would.
Kindly let me know what happens next,
I am sorry to be troublesome, but I do not believe you gave me the correct contact details for them.
Dear Sir Lance,
I’m sorry to be troublesome again, but I appear to have lost the documents you gave me.
6. Sorry to Bring This Up Again
Now, let’s look at “bring this up” as a phrasal verb. This polite way to say “sorry to bother you” works when we’ve already raised an issue.
If we’ve already raised an issue to someone, “sorry to bring this up again” is a polite way to raise it again.
It works best when the person hasn’t directly addressed our issue, and we’re still experiencing it. It’s another good way to raise a formal and polite complaint.
Moreover, while not an outright complaint, saying something like this lets the recipient of our email know that we’re not overly pleased with the issue. When left unresolved, an issue can be difficult to work around, especially if we’ve already drawn attention to it.
Here’s how you can use it in your formal emails:
Dear Mr. Parker,
I’m sorry to bring this up again, but you still haven’t gotten around to it.
Dear Mr. Rogers,
Sorry to bring this up again, but I have not received my delivery.
Dear Mrs. Roma,
Sorry to bring this up again, but you have not responded to the last three emails.
7. Forgive Me for the Interruption
“Forgive me for the interruption” is a formal way to say “sorry to bother you.” You can generally use it in a professional email to say sorry for annoying someone. After all, it’s effective when they’re busy.
It’s useful because it avoids saying “sorry.” Instead, it shows you what to say professionally instead of “sorry,” allowing you to explore more options and mix up your business tone in an email.
It’s also a great option to include in place of “sorry to bother you.” After all, it allows you to be respectful and polite when emailing a boss or someone you don’t want to disappoint.
Here are some email examples to show you how it works:
Dear Mrs. Sutcliffe,
Forgive me for the interruption since we need to discuss these matters before moving forward.
All the best,
Dear Ms. Clarke,
Please forgive me for the interruption. Is there any way you can come to my office to show me what I have to do, though?
Dear Mr. Martinov,
I appreciate that you’re busy, but I still need to know who is on the shortlist. I hope you forgive me for the interruption.
Is It Correct to Say “Sorry to Bother You”?
“Sorry to bother you” is a correct phrase to use in your emails. Hence, you only need to use the synonyms we’ve provided if you’re starting to get bored using the same phrase over and over again.
When you say “sorry to bother you,” it means that you’re sorry to waste somebody’s time with something they might not have time for.
It could be related to something we’ve already discussed before or something that we think isn’t worth their time.
There are some different variations of this phrase, which you can include in your emails without concern:
- Sorry to bug you
- Sorry for bothering you
- Sorry to keep bothering you
- Sorry to bother you again
Each of these phrases is correct. However, “sorry to bug you” is more informal than the other variations.
Moreover, “sorry to keep bothering you” and “sorry to bother you again” imply that you’ve already asked the person for help. By including “keep” or “again,” you’re being extra polite, as you make it clear that you know you’ve already taken a lot of that person’s time.
In summary, “sorry to bother you” and its variations are proper phrases to use in your emails.
In case you would like to see how to say “sorry to bother you” in an email, here’s how to go about it:
Dear Mr. Saracen,
I’m sorry to bother you about this, but I have something that I need your attention for.
Dear Mr. Banner,
Sorry to bother you again, but you didn’t get back to me after my last email!
Dear Mrs. Penelope,
I am sorry to bother you, as I know your time is valuable. I’ve attached the document that I’d like for you to sign.
You may also like:
Sorry For Bothering You vs. Sorry To Bother You (Meaning & Alternatives)
6 Steps To Politely Remind Someone To Reply To Your Email
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.