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  1. Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 791

    usefully engaged

    There was a noticeable touch of pride in the way the old cleaning man seemed to be doing things--cleaning the windscreen, then standing back to admire it; scrubbing the wheels and again, standing back to see what they looked like after the scrub.
    It was a lesson to learn, I felt. At no age need one have to beg for a living if one has good health and is willing to work hard. For a while I felt ashamed of myself. Young as I am--just sixteen, and there was this old man who must have been usefully engaged perhaps before the sun appeared above the horizon.

    What does "usefully engaged" mean" ? Is it a common expression or collocation?


  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 44,302

    Re: usefully engaged

    It means he was doing something useful with his time. Yes, it's common in BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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