10 English phrases to say “I’m busy”

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Today I’ll teach you 10 different ways to say “I’m busy.”

Many of us have busy lives these days, and that’s why I make my lessons “short and sweet,” so you can learn lots of English in little time.

I designed my Complete Program of English courses the same way – it includes more than 600 lessons and each one takes just 10-15 minutes a day – so even if you’re busy and you don’t have much time to study, you can still make great progress towards English fluency.

Click below for more information about the Complete Program, which is available at 50% off.

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

All right, are you ready to learn these phrases for talking about being busy?

1. I’m juggling a lot right now.

The verb juggling describes throwing various balls in the air and catching them – it’s not easy, it takes lots of skill. When you say you’re juggling a lot, it means you have many tasks, commitments, and responsibilities and it’s not easy to handle all of them at the same time.

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

2. I’m slammed. / I’m swamped.

Both of these are pretty informal and they mean you are just hit hard with tons of work, or you are flooded with all these tasks.

3. I’m overwhelmed / overloaded.

Overloaded means there are too many heavy tasks on your shoulders, and overwhelmed has a bit of an emotional connotation, that you’re feeling stressed and upset because of all the things you have to do.

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

4. I’m stretched too thin.

Imagine you’re trying to reach and stretch to cover lots of different areas and it’s almost impossible.

5. I’m up to my ears/eyeballs in work.

This brings to mind a huge pile of papers and things that come all the way up to your face (your ears or eyes).

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

6. I’ve got a lot on my plate / too much on my plate.

A plate only has a limited amount of space, and your life/schedule also have a limited amount of space. So if you have a lot or too much on your plate, it means you have too many tasks or responsibilities compared to the time available.

7. My agenda/schedule is packed.

These phrases mean there are lots of things filling up your days and weeks, so you have barely any free time.

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

8. I can’t take on anything else.

If you already have a packed schedule and someone asks you to do something extra, you can reply “I can’t take on anything else.” This means you can’t accept any additional tasks or commitments.

9. I’m behind on my work.

This means you’re getting things done later than you should, so you’ll need to work faster or put in extra time in order to get back to the expected schedule.

10. Things are really hectic right now.

Hectic means busy in kind of a crazy, disorganized way, and it’s usually rather stressful.

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English

So now you know ten different ways to talk about being busy! And even if your days are packed and your life is hectic, I know you can find 10 minutes a day to learn from Espresso English lessons. You can take free sample lessons from the courses in my Complete Program to see if they’re a good fit for your schedule – I’ll link to those in the video description as well.

Remember, you can travel far by taking small steps day by day – and you CAN reach your English goals by studying daily for a few minutes at a time. Thanks for joining me today, and I’ll talk to you next time!

10 English phrases to say "I'm busy" Espresso English