Daily Mandarin Lesson: "Busy" in Chinese

How to ask "Are You Busy?" and Mor

Mang

The word for “busy” in Mandarin Chinese is 忙 (máng). Find out how 忙 is often used in conversation.

Pronunciation

忙 is pronounced in the 2nd tone, also written as mang2. 

Greeting Exchange

When greeting friends, it is common to ask they are busy to see if they have time to talk or hang out. In this case, you would ask 你忙不忙 (nǐ máng bù máng).

When replying, you can say that you are 太忙 (tài máng), which means "too busy." But if have more time on your hands, you will likely say 不忙 (bù máng), which means "not busy." Or, you could say 还好 (hái hǎo), which means "so-so" or "still okay."

This exchange could sound like: 

你好!你忙不忙?
Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ máng bù máng? 
Hello! Are you busy?


今天工作很困,太忙了。
Jīn tiān gōng zuò hěn kùn, wǒ tài máng le.
Work is really rough today, I'm too busy.


哦那我们明天见吧.
Ó nà wǒmen míngtiān jiàn ba.
Oh, then let's meet tomorrow.

Or,

喂! 你忙不忙?
Wèi! Nǐ máng bù máng? 
Hey! Are you busy?


不忙,今天我有空.
Bù máng jīntiān wǒ yǒu kòng.
Not busy, I'm free today.


太好了!我们见面吧.
Tài hǎo le! Wǒ men jiàn miàn ba.
Great! Let's meet up then.

Sentence Examples 

Here are more examples of how you can use 忙 in a sentence:

他們都很忙 (traditional form)
他们都很忙 (simplified form)
Tāmen dōu hěn máng.
All of them are busy.

功课那么多,我真的太忙啊!
Gōngkè nàme duō, wǒ zhēn de tài máng a!
There's so much homework, I really am too busy!

今天我很忙
Jīntiān wǒ hěn máng.
I am very busy today.