I'm busy lately. I've been busy lately. more appropriate one

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

I got your letter two weeks ago.
I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy lately.

I made the sentences.
Which is the more appropriate expression for the bolded part, I'm very busy lately or I've been very busy lately?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  • wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Hello wanabee - Please give your preference and tell us why. This makes our help more of a learning experience for you.
    Hermione
    I got your letter two weeks ago.
    I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy lately
    .
    Thank you very much, Hermione.

    As Beryl suggsted, I first wrote 'I've been very busy lately', since it would clearly send the message that my business was just over and I've finally found time to write you back. - I have been busy, but...

    On the contrary, "I'm very busy lately" (present tense) seemed to contradict the previous statement "I've been trying to find time to write you back, but...", since if I'm still very busy it follows that I still can't write a letter.

    I'm not sure about this, but I also thought that "I'm very busy lately" might sound a bit arrogant in the context, because the present tense could imply that I'm writing this letter to you in this very busy moment. And the reciever might feel sorry for what he or she isn't at all responsible.
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm not sure about this, but I also thought that "I'm very busy lately" might sound a bit arrogant in the context, because the present tense could imply that I'm writing this letter to you in this very busy moment. And the reciever might feel sorry for what he or she isn't at all responsible.
    And for this reason you'd be well advised to avoid this form in a formal context. Whilst I wouldn't go so far as to describe 'but I'm very busy lately' as arrogant sounding, it certainly has a spoken feel to it which might be better suited to use in a casual email.
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    I think it's the use of "lately" that makes "I'm very busy lately" sound a bit odd (for me).
    If I want to use BE + past participle (as adjective) I'm more likely to say, "I'm very busy these days." (However, I don't know if that changes anything for others.)
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Taken in isolation, I would tend to agree with you. But I think we're straying into difficult territory.

    'I'm very busy lately' is a little odd. 'I'm very busy these days' is perhaps slightly less odd. But do you feel the same way about the following? I'm not sure that I do.

    'I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy lately''
    I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy
    these days'

    'I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy' I think that this won't do. I suspect that an extra word or so is tossed in at the end to try and balance the tenses.
     
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    KHS

    Senior Member
    (a) I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy lately.
    (b) I've been trying to find time to write you back, but I'm very busy
    these days.I still prefer (b) to (a), although it's true I like "but I've been very busy" better than either of them.
     
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