Do you sometimes find yourself overworked and overwhelmed? Are you busy juggling your career and hobbies with study or family obligations? If so, it’s clear that you have a lot on your plate.
This is a great English idiom for use in everyday contexts. Take a look at the video below for more examples!
Have a lot on your plate? You mean, have too much to eat?
In a way, yes! To have a lot on your plate means to have a lot of things to do, to have a lot of stressful things to deal with, or to be very busy.
To have too much on your plate means to have too many things to do, to have too many stressful things to deal with, or to be too busy to accept another task.
Let’s look at a few examples of this phrase in context:
- I have a lot on my plate these days. I’m working, going to night school, and raising four kids. Phew!
- Be nice to Paul. He has had a lot on his plate lately. He lost his job, and then two days later, his girlfriend left him. Poor guy!
- Sorry, Dad. I can’t visit this weekend. I’ve just got too much on my plate with work and the kids. … Maybe next month, OK?
So, there we are. Do you have a lot on your plate these days? Let us know in the comments section below.
Ok, now it’s time for you to try it out! The following questions might help.
- Did a friend ever cancel a social arrangement with you? What excuse did he/she give for his/her absence?
- Do you sometimes find it difficult to find time for yourself? Do you wish you had more time to treat yourself to a spa visit, take a vacation, or go to the gym? What is preventing you from doing more of these things?
- What was the busiest year of your life? Why?
If you’d like more videos to build your knowledge of English idioms, you might like to take our full online course Essential English Idioms.