How can we express ourselves when our minds are preoccupied with major concerns. For example, you can go home and sit on the sofa, but you think about the meeting that is going to be held tomorrow or you think about some issues like your mortgage or an ill pet or friend. And in this mood when you go to a formal party you cannot engage in conversation, so when somebody sees you the next day and says you didn't talk much last night, you would say:

"Sorry, I was ........... last night."

1 Answer 1


Are you asking which way you should say it, or for different ways that you can say it? I would say

"Sorry, I was preoccupied last night."

This is the way I hear it most often, the way I would say it, and the way that sounds best to me.

You could also say

"Sorry, I was distracted last night."

Now, there are lots of synonyms for preoccupied, but I wouldn't use them when describing yourself in the past tense like this. I would use them to describe someone else, "Are you okay? You seemed kind of absent-minded last night." or yourself in present tense. "I'm sorry, I'm just feeling out of it." This isn't a rule, and I can't explain why, but it just sounds wrong to say "I was absent-minded." Here are the synonyms:

out of it




lost in thought


head in the clouds

  • 1
    "Out of it" seems to match perfectly with the situation described! Mar 31, 2015 at 8:02

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