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Bite off more than (one) can chew



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Idioms (1)

4. Bite off more than (one) can chew to take on more work or responsibility than one can accomplish

  1. Sue plans to oversee the construction of her new house at the same time that she has taken on a lot of volunteer work at her son’s school. I think she has bitten off more than she can chew.

  2. They can’t keep up with the number of classes they’re taking at the university. They bit off more than they can chew.


5. Bitter/hard pill to swallow a difficult or unpleasant reality to deal with

  1. John discovered the hard truth about responsibility. He didn’t get his college application in on time and the school won’t reconsider. It was a hard pill to swallow, but he had to learn the hard way.

  2. Jill thought she was a good singer. When her brother told her she was tone-deaf, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

The expression suggests something that, like a pill, is unpleasant but cannot be avoided.

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