Learn English Phrases – In over my head / Bite off more than you can chew

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Everyday English Speaking Course

Hello students, this is Shayna, your teacher at and the phrase of the day is, “I’m in over my head.” This expression means that a situation is too difficult for me to manage.

Here’s an example: imagine that I’m a high school student and I really like math so I decide to take a college level math class at the local university. Well, after registering for the course, paying for the course and starting the course, I realised that this college level class is too difficult for me; it’s too complicated and I can’t understand it. So I could say “Uh-oh, I feel like I’m in over my head.” The situation is too difficult for me to manage.

A related expression is, to “bite off more than you can chew.” This means to take on, to accept more responsibilities or more tasks than you have the time and ability to do. For example, if I work full time and I study and I decide to volunteer at a local charity, I might be biting off more than I can chew because I’ve accepted too many responsibilities and commitments.

The difference between these two phrases is that “in over my head” usually only refers to one situation or one area that is too difficult for you. But, “I bit off more than I can chew” refers to taking on multiple responsibilities, too many tasks and commitments.

My goal with Espresso English is to make English clear and easy to understand, so that you never feel like you’re in over your head! Make sure to visit where you’ll find my courses and ebooks that make learning English easy and pleasant. Thanks for tuning in today and I’ll be back tomorrow with another English phrase of the day.

You’ll learn hundreds of conversational English expressions in this course:

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