A full plate/A lot on my plate - Idiom

Video Overview

In this video I explain the idioms ‘a full plate’ and ‘a lot on my plate’ and tell you what they mean with easy examples in workplace and social situations. You can use these Business English idioms in spoken English or in work.

Video Analysis

Have you ever heard someone say ‘I have a full plate right now?' You might have heard it in work when someone has many things to do, or with friends when someone is telling you they ‘have a lot on’, or they are too busy to meet for coffee right now. You can also use the expression 'I have a lot on my plate’ to mean the same thing.

If you have a ‘full plate’ you have a schedule or workload that is filled with obligations, tasks and problems. When you have a ‘full plate’ or ‘a lot on your plate’ your time is filled to capacity.

Here are some examples you might hear in everyday speech.

  1. “Being a mother, working and studying at the same time means I always have a lot on my plate.”

  2. “I could do with some help with dinner this evening. I have a full plate with work I need to finish.”

  3. “Id like to be healthier and work out more, but I always seem to have a full plate with everything else.”

Here are some examples you might hear in a business contexts.

  1. “I think Maria could use some help, she has a lot to do and really has a full plate at the moment.”

  2. “I’m afraid I am not available for a meeting this week, I have a full plate right now.”

  3. “I have a lot on my plate at the moment at home, so I’m afraid I can’t give this project the attention it deserves.”

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