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    #1

    "Busy with" and "busy in". What is the difference?

    First of all I would like to apologize to all the respected dedicated members of this forum who take their valuable time to answer our questions for the length of my question.

    I have noticed "busy with" is being used in different ways on the internet
    . I have collected some examples and arranged them in different categories down below.

    Busy with (activity)


    As the day of their flight neared, Carmen tried to stay busy with packing and taking care of Destiny.

    Here packing and taking care of Destiny is an action or activity described by verbs (gerunds in this case).

    Busy with (activity in form of a noun)

    The whole summer, from spring sowing to harvest, he was busy with the work on his farm.

    Here the work on the farm is an activity but described by a noun "work"

    You'll be busy with this jury business.


    Here this jury business is an activity described in form of a compound noun.

    I'm a little busy with real law enforcement.

    Here also law enforcement is an activity enforcing the law, described in form of a compound noun.

    Busy with (noun)

    He was probably too busy with school.

    I keep thinking I'll get it done some weekend, but I always seem to be busy with something else.


    Martha sat at her desk, busy with files and paper work, a scowl on her face.

    in the above statements school, something else and files are nouns whereas paper work is an activity described in form of a noun.

    Busy with (a person)

    He is very busy with Tessa tonight, do you think?

    Here Tessa is a person.

    ------------------

    Now those were different examples of "busy with" I collected from the internet.

    Now when I looked into a dictionary. it says that "busy with" means to get somebody do something, or to engage somebody in some activity, or to get somebody involved in doing something. here is its definition down below.

    busy with

    busy someone with someone or something

    to keep someone busy dealing with someone or something.

    You should busy the children with some activity.

    We will busy Randy with cleaning up the garage.



    here is the link

    http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/busy+with

    ----------------------

    Now "Busy in"

    Here are a few examples of busy in that I have collected from the internet.

    Soon the crew came on board in twos and threes; the riggers bestirred themselves; the mates were actively engaged; and several of the shore people were busy in bringing various last things on board.

    "The harpoon is not yet forged that ever will do that," answered the other, sadly glancing upon a rounded hammock on the deck, whose gathered sides some noiseless sailors were busy in sewing together.

    Both of the examples show that busy in is being used with gerunds.

    Now, I am confused can I use "busy in" in places where "busy with" has been used. Are they interchangeable in all the situations? If not how are they different and where should we use them?

    Regards,
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Busy with" and "busy in". What is the difference?

    It seems that you could use "busy with" in the examples for the use of "busy in".

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Busy with" and "busy in". What is the difference?

    It seems to me that you can use "busy with" anywhere where the meaning is not that you are in something. For example, "He's busy in the garage."
    Your "busy in" examples are atypical, and sound strange to me. I would simply leave out the "in" before the gerunds. "...the sailors were busy sewing."

    So there's no need to be confused at all.

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    #4

    Re: "Busy with" and "busy in". What is the difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    busy with

    busy someone with someone or something

    to keep someone busy dealing with someone or something.

    You should busy the children with some activity.

    We will busy Randy with cleaning up the garage.

    The definition you cite is for the verb to busy. Your examples illustrate the use of busy as an adjective.

    The verb exists, but it's rare compared to the adjective.
    I am not a teacher.

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