Is sich beschäftigen um jn. in the sense occupy oneself with looking after sb. a natural expression to native speakers?

In standard dictionaries I find examples for the collocation beschäftigt sein um jn. but none for the pattern sich beschäftigen um jn.

Hence I am wondering whether it is sheer incident absence of examples or it reflects any intrinsic invalidity in the collocation of sich beschäftigen with um jn.?

3 Answers 3


As a native speaker, I do not recall hearing sich um jn. beschäftigen. I would suggest sich um jn. kümmern for the sense look after sb. with the implied meaning that this occupies oneself.

Also note sich mit jm. beschäftigen, meaning to spend time on someone, typically a dependent person, such as a child with the objective of education or an elderly person.


No, it doesn't sound natural at all. And I'd go as far as to suggest that any dictionary that lists

beschäftigt sein um jn.

is in utter need of review.

To translate the meaning you're after in German you'd end up with something way more complex than that:

sich damit beschäftigt halten, sich um jemanden zu kümmern.

  • The dictionary in question is the online Duden, BTW.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 5:55
  • Tja, mit dem Duden geht's begab :/
    – tink
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 5:57
  • Ich bin sicher, sie nehmen Dein Angebot zur Revision mit Begeisterung an.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 6:08
  • Ich habe da so meine Zweifel. =D
    – tink
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 6:10

No, it does not sound natural, the common expression for that is sich beschäftigen mit jemand.

Beschäftigt sein means being busy.

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