What is the difference between 'she is busy' and 'she is being busy' (is the second sentence correct?)
The answer in terms of grammar is that the first is present simple, and the second is present progressive. With an adjective as the object of to be, this would mean that "she is busy" is describing either her current state, or her habitual state, while "she is being busy" suggests that she is doing something that causes the adjective busy to apply.
However, the present progressive of to be, especially with an adjective, often requires some special handling. It depends on the adjective. After all, what can cause an adjective to apply? For example:
She is being naughty.
That means she is doing something that makes her naughty - or put another way, that she is doing something naughty.
She is being clever.
This again suggests doing something that indicates cleverness, but if you just wanted to say she was clever, you wouldn't say that. This suggests that she's doing something for the purpose of being or seeming clever. You'll hear this about children talking back to adults - if what they say is deliberately misinterpreting the adult's words, or pointing out a contradiction, or so on.
She is being funny.
This one is particularly complex. It might mean someone trying to be funny, even if they're failing. It might mean someone acting strangely, as that's another meaning of funny. It might just mean that they are being genuinely amusing, even if they don't mean to be.
She is being busy.
This one is also complex. It might mean she is making a show of being busy, but it might also be a tart response to the question "what is she doing?".
If you just want to say someone is busy, the safest bet is "she is busy".
The first sentence "she is busy" is natural and correct but can mean two different things:
- She has a lot of jobs to do
- She cannot see anyone (but might not be busy at all)
The second sentence is correct but reads, to me, as though she is making an act of being busy, perhaps
- she wants to avoid being talked to
- she is trying to prove she is a busy person
In the second case, "she is being busy" could be taken as a facetious remark.