Overwhelmed

Fade to Black

Member
Polish
Can we use "overwhelmed" in a positive way? (I'm overwhelmed with work). I'm not sure, but I think we can't.

Context: I have a lot of work/tasks/orders, but it's ok. I will earn some money ;) However I can't fulfill any additional order quickly, because I'm ..?????.... with work.

What other adjective can be used?
 
  • Orble

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I would not expect to see or hear overwhelmed used like that. It seems inherently negative to me. Used in a work context it suggests not just that you have plenty of work on hand but that you have much more work on hand than you can cope with.

    I can’t think of a simple alternative adjective. I would instead change the sentence to say something like,

    I can’t fulfill additional orders quickly at the moment as my list orders on hand is very full.

    Business is booming at the moment and with so many orders it will be some time before I can complete yours I’m sorry.​
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    However I can't fulfill any additional order quickly, because I'm ..?????.... with work.
    I have no problem using "overwhelmed" or "swamped" in this context. Perhaps exaggerating in business is more acceptable in the US. You are giving an excuse for refusing additional orders.

    These are mild exaggerations: you can handle all your current work, but just barely. If you were literally "overwhelmed" then you couldn't handle all your current work, and you would feel helpless and upset because you had too much work.
     
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