From an ELL post

I have nothing to do for now.

I guess I understand the meaning of the sentence and the explanation in that post.

I would just like to figure out in what situations the quoted sentence would be used in real life.

One situation I could imagine is something like this, Ronald is calling his friend Anthony,

Ronald: "Anthony, how are you doing today"

Anthony: "Hey, buddy, I have nothing to do for now."

Does it make sense in real life?

Another situation where that sentence should not be used is in the office, where the boss asks "Anthony, how are you doing today"

Anthony: "Hey, boss, I have nothing to do for now."

Is my understanding correct?

  • 2
    It would be very strange to reply that way to How are you doing today? (The typical response to that is something like I"m fine, how about you?) The question that reply would be in response to would more commonly be What are you doing today? Or Are you busy? Jun 9, 2020 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


Hope the b/m contexts would help a bit to clarify, feel free to ask...

Situation 1: ´Have you already talked to her about it? Why are you just sitting there and not doing anything about it?´ = 'There is nothing else to do ...as I screwed it up I am afraid she will not accept my apologies anymore'. = It indicates he only cries over spilt milk but did not make anything to change the situation (maybe the situation will change if you add 'for now'after 'There is nothing else to do' and he will take the courage to change it, depends on the following context).

Situation 2: An employee has just completed all the tasks his boss gave him, and his colleague is asking him (as he was pretty fast in completing them even before deadline) :

'Why are you having such a long break, not doing anything and still in the office?' 'I have completed all the task our boss gave me and I have nothing to do for now (there is no other task left his boss assigned him).


It’s a bit strange to reply “I have nothing to do for now” to the question “how are you doing today?”. “How are you?” or “How are you doing?” should be taken as a question, to which the reply is usually “Fine, thank you”. Did you mean “what are you doing today?”? When we ask someone that what he is doing today, we want to know what his schedule is going to be like that day (his schedule mostly for the day), to which replying “I have nothing to do for now” sounds odd. I have nothing to do for now simply means I have nothing to do right now and it is a reply given when a person wants to know that what you are doing now or if you are busy.

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