My manager used to tell me "I'm Clear" or "Clear now!" when I had asked him to give me a few minutes to talk. I believe he meant he has time to talk or he is free. But I never heard this phrase from anyone else. Is my assumption correct? Why do I never hear that from anyone else? Which one is better to say (I'm free/I have time/I'm clear)?

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    What industry is this in, and is your manager American? It seems similar to the usage in "My schedule is clear", meaning you have free time. – user3169 Jul 25 '16 at 22:29
  • Yes, he is American. I was working in a software company at that time. – user38310 Jul 25 '16 at 23:19
  • Do you know where he was from? Or can you answer in what region/city you worked? I can't speak for all Americans but I few like "I'm clear" is on the less popular side. I think "I'm free" or "I'm ready" would be more common. – Em. Jul 25 '16 at 23:35
  • I live in Los Angeles, CA. I believe he also born here. – user38310 Jul 25 '16 at 23:54

There is no doubt in my mind that he meant "I'm free", or that he had time to talk.

Here are some relevant definitions I found.


  1. a : to free from obligation or encumbrance

not blocked or filled; open or available:
The only time the doctor has clear today is 3:30—can you make it then?

However, from personal experience, I don't feel like "I'm clear" is common or popular. I feel like clear is usually used in the following sense

I've cleared my schedule.

I think "I'm free" is much more common than "I'm clear". Regardless, he did mean that he has time to talk because he was using the definition(s) given above.

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Southern England here. I can say I've never heard the phrase - "I'm Clear" to mean I have a few moments to talk. If fact if someone said I'm clear, I'd be hard pushed to work out what they meant, with the closest guess being clear of cancer or some other disease!

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  • But, he was always saying that and he is American. I can't think he was saying a wrong phrase. – user38310 Jul 26 '16 at 0:31
  • I'm American, and I've never heard that phrase before. It's not part of the General American dialect, but it could be part of a regional dialect. There are several dialects in the US; GA is just what we all agree on. I wouldn't go so far as to say he used the wrong phrase. – Giambattista Jul 26 '16 at 3:44

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