The most likely collocation pattern is mit etw. beschäftigt sein.

However, the following example is found in Duden:

sie waren um den Verunglückten beschäftigt

I am wondering how to justify the option for um instead of mit in this case.

  • Could you please fix your quotation marks?
    – Carsten S
    Commented Mar 29, 2017 at 12:10

1 Answer 1


(a) sie waren mit dem Verunglückten beschäftigt

(b) sie waren um den Verunglückten beschäftigt

(a) usually means the injured person is touched by helpers, e. g. they apply a dressing.

(b) can also mean physical treatment (if patient is reachable), but always other actions are going on like ordering and using a machine to cut them off the car or a bulldozer to ensure access.

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