I tried to comfort Jan by saying:
"I will let you know once she receives the card. Don't worry! The postmen may have been very busy."

I understand that "I will be very busy tomorrow" is alright,
so is "The postmen will be very busy tomorrow".

Now given the following two sentences (1) and (2):
(1): The postmen may be very busy
(2): The postmen are very busy

I am not sure if it is grammatically incorrect by just saying "The postmen may be very busy" or "The postmen are very busy" without a single-word time adverb.

  • I think they do make sense without time adverbs, especially when there is an emphasis on the "are". Or maybe I'm only pointing at when they're omitted intentionally, like when they're obvious.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 23, 2015 at 17:52
  • In many contexts it's perfectly normal for English to use Present Tense to reference future actions/events. Both your examples would be fine with right now instead of tomorrow, but it would have to be ... were very busy yesterday. Jan 23, 2015 at 18:11
  • 1
    I do not see any problem here. Why would you need an adverb of time? Jan 23, 2015 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


Those are both correct. "Busy" is a simple adjective.

The postmen can be "very busy" the same way they can be "very tall" or "very drunk".

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