He is as busy as a bee.

< Previous | Next >

taked4700

Senior Member
japanese japan
Hi,

I sometimes come across expressions like "He is busy as a bee."

Is thic idiomatic?

If so, what difference between them do you see?

1. "He is as busy as a bee."

2. "He is busy as a bee."

I guess both mean the same thing, but 2 is more used than 1.
But from the point of grammar, 1 is the correct sentence, isn't it?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The expression is considered slightly quaint but, yes, it's still used. There's no difference between 1. and 2. but, technically, 1. would be considered the proper way to say it. Idiomatically, though, we would use the contraction "He's" instead of "He is" so we would most naturally say "He's as busy as a bee".
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Dimcl.

    There are many expressions using 'as adjective as a noun' such as "He is as cool as a cucumber." or "They are as sly as a fox."

    Is it ok to assume that "He's as cool as a cucumber." is most idiomatic, and "He's cool as a cucumber." is less idiomatic but grammatically correct, in other words, the construction of 'adjective as a noun' is grammatically correct as well as 'as adjective as a noun' ?

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Thank you, Dimcl.

    There are many expressions using 'as adjective as a noun' such as "He is as cool as a cucumber." or "They are as sly as a fox."

    Is it ok to assume that "He's as cool as a cucumber." is most idiomatic, and "He's cool as a cucumber." is less idiomatic but grammatically correct, in other words, the construction of 'adjective as a noun' is grammatically correct as well as 'as adjective as a noun' ?

    Thanks in advance.
    I'm honestly not sure that one is more idiomatic than the other, taked. I believe that the use of "as" is the more correct form but, in conversation, it's pretty much a matter of style. You will hear both forms used in conversation and I don't think too many people would mark the difference between them.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top