I am not sure about which option should I chose in the following context:

It's Tom birthday today. We are busy/are being busy at the moment. Dad is doing some last-minute shopping. Mum is tidying the house.

Are both options correct?

2 Answers 2


"We are busy at the moment" is the most natural one.

  • Busy is an adjective describing how the family is today. Being busy isn't an activity in itself. Jan 6 at 17:00
  • Why? Is there a particular grammatical or semantic reason? Can you support your answer with references that will help future visitors?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 7 at 5:52

Both versions are good English, but only the first fits this context.

"We are busy at the moment" simply describes the fact of being busy.

"We are being busy at the moment" means being busy is intentional, and we might decide not to be busy later.

We don't normally work this hard, but the company president is visiting this week so we're being busy to look good.

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