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I am trying to grasp the nuances of behelligen, which I understand to mean something along the lines of "bother".

For example, when trying to express

I am very sorry to bother you once more with this matter

the verbs nerven, stören, belästigen, etc. feel too strong, so I wonder if behelligen might be a better match:

Es tut mir sehr leid, Sie diesbezüglich nochmals zu behelligen

Is this correct, or have I misunderstood how to use behelligen?

In which other contexts can one use behelligen? Does it have a formal ring to it, or is it also used in daily conversation?

  • It's almost perfect. It must be "… leid, …" There is a noun das Leid, but here it's the adjective leid of the verb phrase leid tun. Also, there has to be a comma because an infinitive clause follows. – Janka Jan 25 at 21:45
  • @Janka Thank you, good to know! Apparently the Duden lists the verb as leidtun, giving es tut mir leid and leid just being a separable prefix...? Never ever learned punctuation ^^' – Earthliŋ Jan 25 at 21:56
  • These separated and conjoined verbs phrases are often alternatives just from the fact one variant was common before the 1996 spelling reform and one after. – Janka Jan 25 at 21:59
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You correctly understood the meaning of behelligen. It can be used in daily conversation, but in this case diesbezüglich would be replaced by damit. When you start your sentence with Es tut mir leid, then I'd always add zu müssen for stylistic reasons:

Es tut mir leid, Sie damit noch mal behelligen zu müssen.

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Es tut mir sehr leid Sie diesbezüglich nochmals zu behelligen

Is this correct, or have I misunderstood how to use behelligen?

"Behelligen" literally means to bother someone, thus an excuse coming along with it is good practice.

This is perfectly fine and even polite.

The apology expressed with "Es tut mir sehr leid" also is well placed and expresses politenes and shows compassion for the subject addressed.

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