Podcast: I’ve got a lot on my plate

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Nov 28
Inglês - Podcast I’ve got a lot on my plate

Hi, all. O episódio de hoje fala sobre as expressões do inglês pull your weighthave a lot on my plate.


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So here’s a very interesting expression: pull her weight or pull his weight, or pull their weight and so on. Weight, w-e-i-g-h-t. This expression is very often used in the negative. Why? Because this is a very common way to express that someone isn’t working as hard as they should. This person is part of a group – any kind of group – and everyone in the group has to contribute some work, let’s say, towards some kind of goal. And this person isn’t doing enough, for whatever reason. They are not pulling their weight.

Here’s a more specific example. Imagine that you share a house with three other people. So you have three housemates, right? The four of you share a bathroom, and the understanding is that every week one of you will clean the bathroom. Now, imagine that one of the housemates never really does their job… They just, kinda pretend they do: they say they’re gonna clean the bathroom but you never see them do it. You can tell they’re not pulling their weight. They are not pulling their weight.

Or maybe you’re in school and you’re part of a team, and you guys are working on a team project. Sometimes it happens that, for one reason or another, one of the team members won’t pull their weight. You all have meetings to discuss the work, everyone is assigned a different task, but there’s one person who ends up not doing their share. So you can see they’re not pulling their weight. What has your experience been regarding this expression? Have you been in situations where someone wasn’t pulling their weight? Maybe, for some reason, that was you! Let us know in the comments.

his plate is full

His plate is full

And here’s a very, very common, very popular expression in English that you can use all the time, especially when someone wants to send you more work or … sometimes a coworker is asking you for a big favor… Obviously, this would be the answer in English! You can say “I’ve got a lot on my plate right now”. That means simply that you’ve got a lot of work to do; you’re busy, you have lots of different things to take care of right now and you have no time to spare. Or maybe you’re just occupied, you have concerns about something in your life and you’re not really available to hear someone else’s problems.

For example, your friend Mary says “I’m feeling depressed about my finals. I don’t think I’m prepared and I’ll probably fail them all. I don’t wanna say anything to my father though. He’s got enough on his plate with my brother being sick”. So Mary is going through sort of a hard time; she’s afraid she’s gonna bomb the finals and she would like to share that aprehension with her father, but she won’t. Why? Because her father has a lot on his plate right now. He’s got a lot on his plate. He has enough on his plate – his son is sick. So Mary doesn’t want to burden her father with her problems.

Imagine that you are super busy in your job and someone walks up to you and says “Hey, would you organize the office party for me this year? That would really help me out a lot!” And you reply “Well, as much as I would love to do that – I’m really sorry, I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. Otherwise, I’d do it” I’ve got enough on my plate as it is.

Have you ever refused to commit to something because you already had a lot on your plate in that moment? Let us know in the comments, and talk to you next time!


  • pull (one’s) weight
  • have a lot on (one’s) plate



my finals = meus exames finais

as much as I would love to = eu ia adorar poder fazer isso

otherwise = aqui, quer dizer “se não fosse isso”

Leonardo 17/05/2016

Nesta frase “Otherwise, I’d do it” I’ve got enough on my plate as it is.”, qual é a finalidade do “as it is”? Esta expressão parece estar sobrando.

Ana 20/12/2013

Sometimes I guess I’ve a lot on my plate but nevertheless I fill a little more. It isn’t good at all, mainly when can’t do everything.One day I’ll learn…

Romulo 04/12/2013

Gosto demais do seu trabalho. Seria legal se você colocasse Podcast com uma frequência maior. Obviamente não deve ser por opção sua mas sim por falta de tempo ou coisa similar, mas fica aí a dica. :)

Fatima ogionni 04/12/2013

Ola Ana adoro seu trabalho vc e incomparavel e um professional de grande qualidade . Seus podcast me ajudam demas pois te ouvir e I que esta fazendo a diferenca no meu processo de aprender . Curto muito os podcast do Alessandro alias Vcs Forman uma equipe extraordinaria. Obrigada fica aqui meu abraco sds. Fatima. congratulations .

Anderson 04/12/2013

Hello Ana,

I think there is a little mistake at this transcription.

“Hey, would you organize the office party for me this year? That would really help me out a lot!”

I listen you say ‘Hey, would you like to organize”.


    Ana 04/12/2013

    Thanks- will fix that ;)

Marivan 01/12/2013

Its the same using … UP TO MY NECK…, right?
Kind of: I’M UP TO MY NECK IN WORK = Atarefado, cheio de trabalho ou de coisas pra fazer no trabalho,etc
Well, i hope so. See you around thanks for everything and bye?

    Ana 04/12/2013

    Hi Marivan
    They have similar meanings, yes!

Desculpe a indescrição mas que voz mais gostosa, Ana. Podia ficar ouvindo o dia inteiro,

    Ana 04/12/2013

    Sem problemas. Antes assim q de taquara rachada!

Fátima Regina 29/11/2013

Hi Ann! What’s up!

This is my example: There are many people nowadays that aren’t pulling their weight. Many of them want their parents to do everything to them; they have always got on their plate and never have time to do want their parents want.

    Ana 04/12/2013

    Hi Fatima,
    Agreed … These guys are gonna have a hard time when they’re out there in the world by themselves.

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