Posted in Phrase of the Day

Proficiency Phrase of the Day #14: To bite off more than you can chew

Today’s phrase of the day is…

To bite off more than you can chew

Introduce it with some examples:

When I took on that extra part-time job I bit off more than I could chew.

The government bit off more than they could chew when they tried to completely overhaul the tax system.

Lead students to the meaning: to accept too much responsibility and fail to complete a commitment/try to do something that is too hard for you.

Put students in pairs or small groups and have them discuss these questions:

  1. How much do you have on your plate at the moment? Can you handle it? Or have you taken on too much work?
  2. How good are you at predicting how long a piece of work will take?
  3. When it comes to taking on new responsibilities, where is the line between being ambitious and being naïve?
  4. Have you ever accepted a job/project that was too difficult for you? What happened?

Here’s the Quizlet set of all the previous phrases of the day.


Barcelona based English Teacher, blogger and sometime actor and director.

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