Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you ever asked someone at work for something and then it turns out you didn’t need it after all?

Have you ever had that awkward feeling of putting somebody out for no reason in the end?

Though you didn’t mean to, did you cause somebody to put in effort unnecessarily?

This is a common situation, and we’re going to show you what you can say to make it right when this happens in an English-speaking situation in the business world.

This question from a listener may hit close to home if you have ever been in this situation.

Hello ladies!
I have a question about hassles. You might hear people say “Sorry for the hassles” when something bothersome happened. An example might be that I requested something from my colleagues, but then I end up not needing it.

I used to use the word “hassles”. Are there other expressions I can use? It might be fun to have some casual expressions to use.

Thank you so much,


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Knowing How To Address This Is Important

This is a great topic to discuss, and it’s helpful that the listener used real life examples.

We’re talking about this such as in the example, when it relates to asking for something that wasn’t ultimately needed.

Perhaps they already did something for her and it wasn’t necessary.

It’s important to handle this situation with care.

You want to know what to say, but you also want to deliver it in the best possible way.

So What Do You Say To Handle This?

You are bound to find yourself in these situations sometimes.

What can you say?

  • Sorry for the hassle: Yes you can use this and it fits well in this type of conversation. It’s a bit formal sounding but it works quite well. It shows the person went out of their way, and you are sorry for the mistake or misunderstanding.
  • I’m sorry for the inconvenience!: Yes, inconvenience is a great word to use here. It speaks to the fact that you may have put somebody out, but you certainly didn’t intend it to be that way.
  • Sorry for your trouble: It’s to the point and therefore works quite well in conversation. It can help the person to see that you didn’t mean to cause any issues, and you are in tune with that.
  • My mistake: You recognize that you inadvertently made a mistake, and you feel bad. You want to make it right and so you are apologizing and saying thanks anyway!

What about bug or bother?

These tend to pertain more to a time or person who is annoying or a situation that is frustrating.

This might be a bit too strong for this type of situation.


These situations may be uncomfortable, but they are a part of life.

It’s important to acknowledge the mistake, acknowledge the effort, and thank the person.

These are make or break points in the office and it’s important to treat them properly so you can maintain connection with your colleagues.

Our listener brought us some great phrases, and we’ve shared some more with you that should help.

Hopefully this doesn’t happen to you often, but if it does, try out these phrases to help you through!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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