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18 Ways to Say Busy

If you want to be an advanced or fluent English speaker, then you have to know different phrases and expressions. Many of the expressions and phrases that you learn have a simple meaning. You already know how to say it simply in English. The phrase or expression is just a different way of saying it.

Here we will look at different ways to say busy. However, we can use busy to describe people, places, or schedules.

First let's look at different ways to say that a person is busy.

1. I am busy.

The most basic way to express this. We can also add many different adverbs to this sentence.
  • I'm really busy.
  • I'm kind of busy.
  • She is sort of busy.
  • We will be unbelievably busy next week.
  • They were so busy yesterday.
  • Mark might be a little busy tomorrow.
2. I'm as busy as a bee.

Since bees are always flying around here and there working, we often use this expression to show that we are busy.

3. I'm slammed.

This expression means that we are very busy and we have a lot of work. Use this expression to show that you are extremely busy.

4. I'm so busy (that) I can't even...

We can use this common sentence pattern to show how busy we are. The second part of this changes a lot. We can also make our own unique sentence.
  • I'm so busy that I can't even go to the bathroom.
  • I'm so busy that I can't even go to lunch.
  • I'm so busy that I can't even go home tonight.
  • I'm so busy that I can't even think.
We can make other similar sentences.
  • I am so busy that I don't even have time to eat.
  • She is so busy that she didn't have time to go to her mother's birthday party.
5. I'm buried (in work).

This means that we have so much work that we are buried in it. So, this is often used to express that we have a lot of work and are very busy.

6. I'm overwhelmed (with work).

This expression can be used in a few ways. If it is used when talking about work, then it has the same meaning as being very busy.

We can also use "overwhelm" when we are talking about very strong emotions that affect us greatly.
  • I was so overwhelmed by their kindness that I cried.
7. I'm up to my ears in work.

This is a fun idiom that shows that we have so much work. It is like we are drowning in work. This is almost exactly the same as "I'm buried (in work)".

8. I've got a lot on my plate.

This is a common idiom that is used to say that we are busy. This just means that we have a lot to do.

9. I'm behind on my work.

"To be behind on ones' work" means that we are behind schedule. For example, it is Wednesday, but I still haven't finished Monday's work. So, this usually means that the person is very busy because they have a lot of work to finish.

So, if a person "falls behind on their work", then they must work faster or longer in order to "catch up on their work". Both of these expressions are important to know.

10. I'm tied up.

This expression means that we cannot do something because we are busy doing something else. We are "tied up", so we are not free to go and do another thing.

We usually use this expression when we are telling why we cannot do something. We are showing that we are already busy with some task.

Now, let's look at some different ways to say that a place is busy and that there are many people.

1. It's crowded.

This is the basic way to say that a place is busy and that there are many people.

2. It's packed.

We use this expression when a place is very busy and very crowded. This can be used in a positive or negative way.
  • The store was packed. It was hard to move.
  • The club was packed. It was so much fun.
3. It's a madhouse.

In this expression, "mad" means "crazy". "Madhouse" is slang for a hospital where mentally ill patients are kept. To say that a place is "a madhouse", then we are saying it is crazy how busy the place is. We usually this expression in a negative way.
  • The store was a madhouse. It was terrible.
4. It's lively.

This expression shows that a place has a lot of people and has a lot of energy. We usually use this in a positive way. If a place is "lively" that is a good thing.

5. It's bustling.

This means that there are a lot of people and a lot of activity happening in a place.

Finally, let's look at some ways to talk about a busy day or schedule.

1. It is hectic.

We use this expression when we have many things and activities to do. "Hectic" means to be very busy and full of activity.

We also use the word "hectic" to talk about our day.
  • Yesterday was hectic.
  • Today is so hectic.
2. It is packed.

When used to talk about one's schedule, then this means that our schedule is full.

3. It is full.

This is another basic way to show that we have a busy schedule.

Use this lesson to help you take your English skills to the next level. Expanding your vocabulary and learning new English expressions and phrases is a great way to improve your English. It will help you a lot when you listen to English or speak English. There are certain situations when the language that you learned in this English lesson can be very useful. Try to use one of these phrases or expressions the next time you speak English.

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