In this English speaking lesson you will learn how to describe being busy.We all live a very busy life these days, no time for fun , no time for family. In English how do we express that we are very busy? In this lesson you will learn to use different ways of telling someone that you are extremely busy.
Firstly let’s learn how to use the word busy in English.
1) When you talk about being busy in the past – I was busy followed by the verb in the -ing form
Example – I was busy cleaning.
Example – I was busy doing the chores.
2) When you talk about being busy in the present – I am busy followed by the verb in the ing form.
Example – I am busy working.
Example – I am busy doing the chores.
Below are some expressions and slang terms that talk about being busy:
Busy as a beaver –
If you are busy as a beaver it means you are very busy indeed.
Example – I am busy as a beaver these days, trying to finish my paintings before the exhibition dates.
A lot on one’s plate –
It means that you have a lot of work to do.
Example – I am sorry I can’t really help you out with your work this week as I already have a lot on my plate.
This is a slang term used for being overloaded with work.
Example – I will have to skip this trip as i am slammed with a lot of work.
a shorter and slang term for the word busy.
Example – Hey girl look like you really biz these days.
To be snowed under –
If you are snowed under you have so much to do that you’re having trouble doing it all
Example – I was so snowed under with work today that I didn’t even have time for lunch.
This is a slang term used for describing yourself as being overworked.
Example – I can’t really take this new project, I am swamped with too much of work.
Complete Lesson Transcript : –
Hello, hey can I call you back? I am extremely busy write now, yeah I will do that ..bye..
Hi friends..Niharika..Welcome back.
You know these days we all lead such a busy life and and it just seems that will never be able to get off that treadmill. We don’t have time to rest, we hardly get any time to spend with friends and family so how do you really describe being busy? In English we have lot of expressions and slang terms that can be used to talk about being busy and that’s what we are gonna learn in today’s lesson. So let’s get started.
Now firstly we are gonna learn how to use the word busy. Many at times when people ask you – hey what you doing? and you end up saying, I am busy cleaning or I am busy working. So how you end up using the word busy? It’s very simple – If you are talking about being busy in the past then you are gonna say -I was busy and then followed by the verb in the -’ing’ form, so like “Hey what were you doing last evening”? Oh, I was busy working or I was busy cleaning. Okay, so this sentence will only be used to talk about being busy in the past. And if you are busy right now, that’s in present, so how do you use the word busy? Well it’s simple -I am busy cleaning or I am busy working. Al right, so that’s how you would end up using the word in the present form. Al right, that’s simple.
Now let’s get to see some expressions that you use to talk about being busy.
The very first one that I have for you is -Busy as a beaver. So what’s a beaver? Beaver is an animal, who is known to be very hard working and is extremely industrious. So if you end up using the expression busy as a beaver it means that you are extremely busy just like the animal beaver. So it’s like you are comparing yourself with the animal beaver. Now beaver as I said is known for their hard work and it is extremely industrious and they are known to build their own habitat. So when you end up saying, like someone will ask you Hey Niharika how you been? and I would say I am busy as a beaver. So why am I saying that, because maybe I have too much of work, I have been working late nights, too much of overtime, so it means that I am working hard, probably I am working on a project and I am spending a lot of time doing that. So I have no extra time, hence I am very busy and therefore I am using the phrase I am busy as a beaver. Okay, so when you are extremely busy, you can use this phrase.
Let’s get to the next phrase here -A lot of on one’s plate. Now here we are not talking about our dinner plate where we have too much of food. now it’s just talking about being busy. SO again, when you are extremely busy, when you have too much of work, you probably multitasking it means that you have a lot on your plate. So my colleague comes to me and says -hey Niharika, could you please help me with this? And, I am like – ahh, I don’t think so because I already have too much of work to do. Therefore, rather than just saying I am very busy – I am sorry I can’t help you with this, I would use this phrase. I am sorry pal, I have a lot on my plate right now, so I would be unable to help you out. Okay, that sounds better, Isn’t it? So a lot of on one’s plate it means that you are very busy. It means that you have too much of work to do already, right!
Let’s have a look at another term here which is slammed. Now slammed is a slang term so please you it only with your friends and family, do not use it with your boss or your clients. Now slammed is again, well it has two meanings, have you heard , she slammed the door at me. So it means that she shut the door on me. Shut it very hard. But here, I am slammed with too much of work so it means that i am very busy. Again you can use it with your colleagues if you want, so you are upset about so much of work to do, you are discussing it with your colleagues and you end up saying, don’t ask i am slammed with work so no weekend for me. SO it means that you are gonna be very busy this weekend because you have too much of work to do. So that’s how you can use this slang term. Or for example your mom says, hey could you please get some groceries from the market and you are like oh no mom, I am slammed with too much of work, I can’t get the groceries right now. Okay, so these are few examples about how you can use these terms.
Another one – Biz. well apparently she is biz so she’s not answering my call. Well what does this term really mean? Well again it’s a slang term used for being busy. Well the word busy itself is such a short word but hey a shorter word than the word busy is biz. So it’s nice to use, it sounds really nice – so you can say, John has really been biz with his work these days so it just means that he’s been very busy these days. Okay!
Let’s have a look at another term here which is to be snowed under. Now imagine that you are maybe in a park and it starts snowing and you just get snowed under. There is snow on top of you. it means you are snowed under. Right? But then what’s the point of using this phrase if you busy. Well, here actually it means that you are snowed under with work .SO you are so busy and that’s because you have too much of workload on you. So when you are….So if you are overloaded with work it means that you are snowed under a lot of work. For example -again it can be used in the corporate world because yes, as I said, at work these days we are so busy because there’s too much of work to do so you can use it with your colleagues like this project is coming up and we have to meet our targets as well so it means that I am extremely busy, so use this phrase rather than saying I am extremely busy you can say “OH I am snowed under this project” So which means that you have lot of things to do and you have no free time.
Now let’s have a look at the last word over here – again swamped which is a slang term and it is used similarly as the word slammed. So this is swamped and this is slammed, they are pretty easy words. So swamped is again when you are very busy. That’s simple right? SO when you are swamped with work or probably let’s say that you don’t want to attend a party and someone is inviting you over and is pestering you that hey you should come to the party and you want to nicely say a no. So you wanna show that you are busy with work hence you can use this term. Oh you know what, I am afraid I won’t be able to make it to the party because I am swamped with too much of work or I am swamped with too much of office work. So that’s how you can use this term. So these are very simple terms that you can use for your daily conversations because as I said that these days we all lead a very busy life. So rather than just saying I am busy use these expressions. And also we learned how to use the word busy, when you use it in the past you say I was busy plus the verb in the ‘ing’ form and if you are using it in the present then you will say I am busy followed by the verb in the ‘ing’ form. Alright? I will be back with a new lesson till then you take care.