Is it grammatically OK to use "Sorry for bothering you"? I often hear "Sorry to bother you".
closed as off-topic by Chenmunka, Rory Alsop, Drew, WS2, tchrist♦ Nov 16 '14 at 23:59
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
- "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Chenmunka, Rory Alsop, Drew, WS2
Right. "Sorry to bother you" is more idiomatic than its other variants.
"I'm sorry to bother you" puts it unquestionably in the present.
I would use "sorry to bother you" at the beginning of a conversation and "sorry for bothering you" at the end of a conversation.
Having said that, there are several other possibilities, such as:
- "I'm sorry to be such a bother.
- "I'm sorry to have bothered you"....etc.
"Sorry for bothering you" would refer to the past. You have asked someone a question, he had to stop what he was doing, and you are apologizing.
With the question in the infinitive, you are putting someone on notice that you are going to make some kind of request/ask a question...
You would say "Sorry to bother you" if you were at someones doorstep, asking them for a cup of sugar.
You would "Sorry for bothering you" if you had bothered them in the past, although people usually use either in a situation like the above.