Have you ever had to stay late at work and miss a family event or a friend’s party? It can be frustrating when you unexpectedly get all tied up at work and have to disappoint someone.
In this episode, we look at a useful expression that can be used to make an excuse when we get really busy. Check it out below!
All tied up? You mean, kept captive? Being unable to move?
Kind of! If I say, “I’m all tied up” or “I’m tied up,” I just mean, “I’m busy doing something.”
So, let’s see how we can use this phrase naturally:
- I’m sorry, sir! Mr. Peterson is tied up right now. Can I take a message?
- I’m afraid I can’t help you right now, James. I’m all tied up at work. … I’ll be free this evening, though.
- A meeting? Hmm, I’m all tied up until the 15th of this month, but I’m free on the 16th. Would 10:30 on the 16th work for you?
[Phone rings]. Hello? Oh, Mom, I can’t talk right now. I’m all tied up making a video. Can I talk to you later? OK. Bye!
Do you feel ready to try out this expression? Look at the prompts below and see if you can use it in your answers.
- When was the last time you were late for a family event because you got caught up with work?
- Have you ever been late to work because of a family matter? What happened?
- Have you ever had to refuse to help a friend because you were so busy? What did you have to say to your friend?
Enjoy more free videos in our Everyday Idioms series.
For a more in-depth look at English Idioms, take a look at our Udemy course Essential English Idioms.