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Bite Off More Than One Can Chew
Bite Off More Than One Can Chew English, baby! Video Lesson

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Date: Apr 08 2014

Themes: Family, Friend, Soap Opera

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


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Have you ever visited an all-you-can-eat buffet? You take a plate and walk past all of the items, choosing everything that looks good. Unfortunately, people often take much more than they can actually eat, and they end up throwing away a lot of food.

We do that in our personal and professional lives, too. We say “yes” too often, agreeing to hang out with friends or family when we’re busy, or saying we can complete another project at work when we’re already doing a lot. But the truth is that we don’t have enough time to see everyone we want to see, or take on all of the work our bosses ask of us. It’s easy and common to bite off more than we can chew.

Amanda is afraid that she and Mason have bitten off more than they can chew. Does Marni agree? Read on to find out in this English lesson about life’s responsibilities.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  So, what is so important that you cancelled your meeting to talk?

Amanda:  I’m kind of freaking out.

Marni:  About what?

Amanda:  I don’t know. The baby.

Marni:  Amanda, that’s totally normal.

Amanda:  I just think that maybe Mason and I bit off more than we can chew.

Marni:  Amanda, it’s natural to be anxious.

Amanda:  You think?

Marni:  I know. I was a nervous wreck before Dawn was born.

Amanda:  Are you just saying that to make me feel better, or were you really?

Marni:  Don’t you remember? I bit my fingernails down to the nubs, I broke out in hives, I couldn’t sleep!

Amanda:  Actually, I do remember the hives. That was a little bit gross.

Marni:  Yeah, thanks. My point is that every new mother feels the same way you do.

Amanda:  But what if I just can’t hack it?

Marni:  Seriously, Amanda, you’re going to be great. Have you been talking to Mason about all this?

Amanda:  A little bit. He just keeps telling me I’m going to be a good mom, and…

Marni:  Because you are going to be a good mother. No one can be totally prepared. You just learn along the way!

Amanda:  Yeah, well that sounds terrible. I want to be ready right now.

Marni:  Amanda, I assure you. It’s going to be fine. You have not bitten off more than you can chew.

Amanda:  OK, fine. But I’m going to hold you personally responsible if I mess everything up!

Marni:  OK. Whatever. Come here.

Amanda:  OK.

Marni:  You’re going to be fine.


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Amanda had a meeting, but she cancelled it to talk with Marni. She’s feeling anxious about everything that’s going on in her life, but especially the baby. Amanda has always been a hard worker, but she’s wondering if she has taken on too many responsibilities.

Marni tells Amanda that she can stop freaking out. Being a new mom is hard, but Marni knows that Amanda can handle it. It’s impossible to know how to do everything before the baby comes, anyway. Marni gives Amanda a hug and tries to make her feel ready for the future.

What do you do when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? Do you do everything anyway, or do you change your plans?



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Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I strive to work it out and I’ll do what ever I can even I ask many other people for help and finally I’ll become successful!


05:35 PM Apr 09 2014 |




as for me i’ve tried it many times but unfortunately im not going to stop it and not to do it again.. most of the times im getting given up and quit the task .. even if u wanna eat ..you put lots of things in plate but at the end your food might not eatten completly your eyes running and looking for more stuffs and dont wanna stop. damnit.. some kind of human nature it is.. but relax even if u can’t chew spiiiiiiit it out.. and eat but in smaller size.. its your right to have many things with big size but it depends on you capacity!!

02:13 PM Apr 09 2014 |



South Korea

When I feel i bite off more than I can chew, I just step back and relax, then I change my plan. That way helped me doing work better

01:54 PM Apr 09 2014 |




Eric, I like your honesty :))


10:02 AM Apr 09 2014 |




Dun know what to say….......:))

02:09 AM Apr 09 2014 |

2 people like this




I would spit it out, and break it into smaller pieces and try again, metaphorically or otherwise. 

07:45 PM Apr 08 2014 |

1 person likes this




I didn’t understand the lesson…..To have a baby is so natural for a woman and I don’t believe she has bitten off more than  she can chew .In this case,maybe, it is more appropriate to say only ” she was a kind of freaking out ” Am I wrong? Someone will help me to understand? Thanks.

05:20 PM Apr 08 2014 |

2 people like this




Sometimes in my life I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. For sure I changed my plans if it was possible. But other things was not possible to change, so I had to take on my responsabilities and do everything I could to have success….

04:17 PM Apr 08 2014 |

1 person likes this




@ Beciricky

bit my fingernails down to the nubs


너무 긴장돼요.

 i broke out in the hives means:

몸이 안 좋아.    

hives is some kind of illness

07:44 AM Apr 08 2014 |

1 person likes this



Czech Republic

basically it means the she was extremely stressed out.

She even bit her fingernails down to the nubs(all the way to the soft tissue of the nail bed) and “i broke out in the hives” means that she was so nervous that rush or some spots appeared on her body.-she was just trying to point out how much stress she experienced.

06:23 AM Apr 08 2014 |

2 people like this

becirickySuper Member!

South Korea

bit my fingernails down to the nubs, i broke out in the hives


I dont know what does it mean….. help me


06:07 AM Apr 08 2014 |

1 person likes this

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