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Can anyone suggest words to express the following feeling (especially while writing emails): That I do not want to bother the person that I am writing to / I don't want to be a trouble by emailing again (usually in a follow up email). To express this feeling while being polite, I am looking for a rather positive word than bother, trouble etc.

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    I'm not a native speaker of English, but I would concoct something like "I don't want to intrude upon you by too many emails" (any further). "I don't want to burden you with.." "I don't want to divert/distract you" – CowperKettle Dec 19 '15 at 6:07
  • It all depends on 1) whom are you talking to! 2) which number of follow up is this? 3) what type of follow up? 4) your relation with the reader 5) why do you think that writing this mail will trouble/bother him/her? And many more! In short, it's a context-dependent question, if not primarily opinion based. – Maulik V Dec 19 '15 at 8:16
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For an email communication mild terms such as 'bother', 'trouble, and 'hassle' should be acceptable. 'Nag, 'inconvenience' or 'annoy' may be too strong and appear as though you are either seeking compliments or are overly deferential.

To be polite it is usual to make a formula of

Thanks (past), apology, request.

For example:

Thank you for your reply to my email. I am sorry to have to bother you further but I need to clarify xyz. [if appropriate a second thanks for the new request].

The level of formality is shown by the specific words used not the formula (eg thanks vs thank you, I'm sorry vs I apologise).

You have asked for a euphemism (positive phrase to convey a negative meaning) but there isn't a commonly used one for this case because the mild forms used are already euphemistic. (I say "sorry to bother you" when I know that honesty would need me to say "sorry to cause you hours of work because of my own laziness" :)

Source: native speaker of Australian English

  • +1 I agree on "Sorry to bother you (again)...". It is short and sweet. – user3169 Dec 19 '15 at 18:06

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