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Quick answer
"Estar ocupado" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be busy", and "ocuparse de" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to deal with". Learn more about the difference between "estar ocupado" and "ocuparse de" below.
estar ocupado(
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to be tied up)
a. to be busy
No puedo salir a jugar ahora. Estoy ocupado.I can't go out to play right now. I'm busy.
2. (to be in use)
a. to be taken
Este asiento está ocupado. El hombre que está aquí simplemente fue al baño.This seat is taken. The man that's sitting here just went to the bathroom.
b. to be occupied
El baño estaba ocupado, por lo que fui al que está en el tercer piso.The bathroom was occupied, so I went to the one on the third floor.
c. to be busy (telephone)
El número está ocupado. Llamaré de nuevo en diez minutos.The number is busy. I'll call again in ten minutes.
3. (to be under military control)
a. to be occupied
Esa región ahora está ocupada por ISIS.That region is now occupied by ISIS.
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ocuparse de(
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to tackle)
a. to deal with
El sur del país se está desertificando a marchas forzadas. Alguien debería ocuparse de este problema ya.The south of the country is rapidly turning into a desert. Someone should deal with this problem now.
2. (to take responsibility for)
a. to be in charge of
D.ª Cruz Palencia se ocupa de gestionar las órdenes de compra de nuestros clientes.Mrs. Cruz Palencia is in charge of managing our customers' purchase orders.
3. (to look after)
a. to take care of
¿Quién se ocupará de nosotros cuando seamos ancianos?Who will take care of us when we're old?
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