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Thread: tied up

  1. #1
    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default tied up

    Hi everyone
    Tied up means that you are very busy and can't talk to someone else or do something esle.
    My question is: Is this expression frequently used in the dailt spoken English? or it's not common!
    For example when someone wants to talk to me I may reply:
    Sorry, I'm tied-up at the moment, I may call you later when I'm done!!
    Is that right.

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    Default Re: tied up

    Sorry, I'm tied up at the moment. May I call you later when I'm done?

    Look, I'm all tied up at the moment. Can I call you back?

    VERY frequently used! At home and at the office.

    Note: "Sorry, I'm tied up at the moment. I may call you later when I'm done - noblesse oblige."

    This makes it sound as if you are a very important person, and may...I say, may ...deign to return their call!

    noblesse oblige :the inferred responsibility of privileged people to act with generosity and nobility toward those less privileged

    deign : do something that one considers to be beneath one's dignity; to condescend to do.
    Last edited by David L.; 19-Jun-2008 at 09:11.

  3. #3
    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Re: tied up

    Thanks a lot Dave. This makes sense to me.
    I guess we,non-native speakers, have to ask such questions because it happened to me many times that I learned some words anr tried to use them but I finaly found out that they are not commonly used.
    I remember once I used this word "dragooned" in front of a native speaker and she was staring at me then she told me that they don't use it.

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    Default Re: tied up

    'dragooned' is an excellent word! Don't be deterred just because others are poverty-stricken when it comes to having a wealth of words at one's disposal.
    It livens up your conversation more than someone with a mundane utterance as, "He made me help him do the..."

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: tied up

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Hi everyone

    My question is: Is this expression frequently used in daily spoken English?
    Quite common.

    (You also could say everyday English.)


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    Default Re: tied up

    Some related expressions:

    I'm swamped with work this week. I'm buried in work.
    He's tied up right now - not available, too busy, no free time
    I'm tied up in traffic right now. - blocked, stuck in
    I'm tied to this project right now for the next few months, so I won't be available to consider any more contracts until my time frees up.
    I'm bound to this project right now. - committed
    I'm overloaded with work
    I'm overwhelmed with all the compliments I've received from you all.
    adv: I'm deluged with requests.
    Sorry, my hands are tied. - It's out of my control. I have no power to do anything to help you, otherwise I would. - to prevent, or have no power or authority to help.
    I wish there was something I could do, but my hands are tied.
    Last edited by JessicaJones; 27-Jun-2008 at 07:59.

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    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Re: tied up

    Thanks a lot Jessica.
    I like this expression, we say figuratif! right!
    "Sorry, my hands are tied up."

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    Default Re: tied up

    Hi Sara,
    I'm glad to help, it's lots of fun.
    It makes me think of better ways to express myself too. :)

    What does figuratif mean? (Do you mean it's a figurative expression?)

    "My hands are tied up" isn't a set phrase idiom so it makes me default to the literal meaning, which is that your hands are actually tied up. lol
    Drop the "up", in order to convey it's figurative meaning.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: tied up

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    Thanks a lot Jessica.
    I like this expression, we say figuratif! right!
    "Sorry, my hands are tied up."
    Perhaps somebody wants you to help them with something, but you can't help them (for whatever reason). You might say: "Sorry. I can't help you. My hands are tied." You might continue by giving the person a reason you can't help them. (Rules, prior obligations, whatever.)


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