Sorry to Bother You - Meaning
Verbal Communication

Sorry to Bother You – Meaning

The most common expression we use when we want to ask someone something when we see them busy is ”Sorry to bother you”. In this article, you will find the meaning of ”sorry to bother you”, what alternatives you can use and how to respond when you hear the expression.

What is The Meaning of Sorry to Bother You?

‘’Sorry to bother you’’ means interrupting someone when they do something.
For example, when you want to ask your boss or a colleague something, but you see that they are currently sitting in their office doing some work, it is polite to apologize for interrupting them and ask if it is convenient to ask them a question.

”Sorry to Bother You” Alternatives

1. I’m so sorry to bother you.

This expression is not so different just in this case you emphasize that you are very sorry. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be overly apologetic in the business environment.

2. I’m sorry to trouble you.

Trouble and bother are synonyms. This is another way to express your apology for the interruption.

3. I apologize for bothering you.

In this sentence, the word ”sorry” is replaced by ”apologize”. ”Apologize” is more formal than sorry and it’s appropriate when you are talking with your boss or top-level business roles.

4. I apologize for this intrusion, but …

The phrase ”I apologize for this intrusion” is used to introduce an action that the speaker isn’t proud of but felt they had to do. The speaker offers a justification for their actions and often a reason why it was unavoidable.

5. Please excuse my impatience but …

The meaning of “Please excuse my impatience but” is that the person saying it is impatient and does not want to be patient. The person is telling the other person that they are sorry about their impatience and that they need to take their time. You can say this expression when, for example, you are very ill and have to wait for your doctor, but he is not paying attention to you.

6. I’m terribly sorry to interrupt you but …

The phrase ”I’m terribly sorry to interrupt you but” is an abrupt way of saying that you need to suddenly interrupt а person that is deeply focused on something or talking with someone else.

7. I’m sorry for the disturbance, sir/ ma’am.

The expression is used to show respect to people who are in authority or have a higher hierarchy than you. The phrase is often used by people who work in customer service or in other jobs where they need to interact with people in high-level positions

8. I hope I’m not disturbing you.

It is a common phrase that is often used to make sure that the person who is being disturbed believes they haven’t been. For example, when two people are talking and a third person comes up, he or she may apologize with the phrase ”I hope I’m not disturbing you.”

9. I hope I’m not interrupting anything.

It is often used to soften the tone of the conversation, but it doesn’t always sound sincere.

10. I hope I’m not interrupting at an inconvenient time.

It is a very polite phrase that is used to show respect for the person that you are interrupting.

11. Sorry for disturbing you during your time off.

It is used to apologize for interrupting the other person’s free time, work, sleep, lunch, or other commitments.

12. Can I interrupt for a moment?

It is also a common phrase that people use when they want to ask the speaker in a conversation to pause or stop talking for a moment. It is often attributed to phrases like ‘excuse me’ and ‘pardon me’.

13. I hate to bother you, but I need to ask you something.

It is often used as a polite way of asking someone for something without sounding demanding.

14. Sorry if I bothered you but it’s really important.

It is an appropriate phrase to use when you are in need of help and you see that the person is very busy but your request is very urgent and important.

15. Sorry for disturbing you at this time.

By communicating the phrase ”at this time” you want to show that you realize that the timing is not right at the moment. Such as when you disturb someone late at night or early in the morning. When you are disturbing a colleague after hours or on the weekend.

16. I see you’re busy, but something very important came up.

People may also use this phrase because they know that the person is occupied with something crucial and don’t want to interrupt them but they have no choice.

sorry to bother you alternatives

Short Expressions to Say Sorry to Bother You

Sorry to disturb you.
Sorry to trouble you.
Sorry to interrupt.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Excuse me.
Pardon me.

How To Reply To ‘’Sorry To Bother You”?

1) Yes, sure. What is it about?
2) No problem. How can I help you?
3) It’s not a problem, how can I help you?
4) Not an issue at all. What can I do for you?
5) You’re not bothering me at all.
6) It’s a pleasure, never hesitate to ask.
7) No worries. I’m glad to help.
8) Sorry, could you give me 5 minutes to finish something?
9) Please give me a minute.
10) Can I get back to you in just a minute?
11) Please wait a moment.
12) I’m really sorry, but I have to join a meeting in 1 minute. Can we discuss it after my meeting?
13) I’m sorry I can’t talk right now.

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