Would a native ever say "私は多忙{たぼう}です。" in a conversation? In what context? Is it more of a word used in writing?

Isn't it a reasonable approximation of "私は中々忙しいです" (which is very conversational)?

2 Answers 2


Yes 多忙 is generally more formal than 忙しい, but you can safely use 多忙 in everyday business conversations.

But note that 多忙 is not always semantically interchangeable with 忙しい. 多忙 means having a full schedule over a relatively long period (at least for days, usually for months or years). 私は多忙です doesn't mean "I'm busy (now)" but it sounds more like "I am a busy businessperson." It may be acceptable in some situations, but if you say this carelessly, it would give an arrogant impression.

多忙 is mainly used (with some respect) referring to other person. If you want to use 多忙 referring to yourself, you should be careful not to be rude. For example, if you are a really busy person, you can say something like this:


  • When I first read the question, I was expecting the answer to "Would a native ever say 私は多忙です?" to be "No", because my impression is that native speakers hardly ever say 私は◯です, even less so in more formal contexts. Is this correct?
    – Earthliŋ
    Jul 26, 2016 at 9:16
  • 2
    @Earthliŋ There is nothing wrong with saying 私は元気です, 私はもう高齢です, etc., in formal contexts. 私は多忙です is not what I expect to hear often, but that's for anther reason.
    – naruto
    Jul 26, 2016 at 10:19

No, I don't think so. People would say 忙しい naturally.

Also, I noticed that if you are saying your own busyness, you won't use なかなか, instead けっこう、とても、かなり. なかなか is more to 2nd/3rd person/ object, which is out of your expectation. Although, grammatically and logically it is not wrong.

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