“Un sacco di roba” (a bag of stuff) is the best way to say "I'm busy" in Italian

unsaccodiroba

Sono occupatissima (I am very busy), Sono piena di lavoro (I have a lot of work to do), Ho tanto da fare (I have a lot to do)... these are ok and common ways to say that you are busy, but they are not as good as this next expression:

Ho un sacco di roba da fare (lit. I have a bag of stuff to do)

At least, it is the one I most frequently use. So, if native Italians tend to prefer this expression then you might consider incorporating it in your Italian language arsenal.

How do we remember this expression?

Let’s break it down a little to make is easy to digest.  

Sacco /sahk-koh/ means bag (think sachel)

 Satchels

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia 

Roba is best translated with stuff. The origin of this word is the Germanic raubon (to steal). Roba then comes to describe all the stuff you stole, a mix bag of goodies.

In Italian to steal is actually rubare. Anyway, back to our sacco di roba.

 

Un sacco di roba = a bag of stuff, or more freely translated, a truck load.

Then we add the last ingredient  da fare (to do) and we end up with:

Ho un sacco di roba da fare.

Of course, we can use this expression to talk about a truck load of other things, such as:

Ho un sacco di roba da mangiare a casa: I have so much stuff to eat (or simply food) in the house

Ho un sacco di roba da buttare via: I have so much stuff to throw away

The latter is quite pertinent these days, actually.  I am in the process of moving house and it’s not looking pretty. Picture this: we bought a three bedroom house with NO garage and at the moment we are living in a four bedroom house with DOUBLE garage.

Boxes

It’s easy to see that:   

Ho un sacco di roba da impacchettare (I have a lot of stuff to pack)

Ho un sacco di roba da buttare via (I have a lot of stuff to throw away)

Ho un sacco di roba da dare alla San Vincenzo (I have a lot of stuff to give away)


In other words, ho un sacco di roba da fare!

/oh oon sahk-koh dee roh-bah dah fah-reh/

Ciao. 

Elisabetta

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