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avoir du pain sur la planche

The French expression “avoir du pain sur la planche” translates literally to “to have bread on the board”.

English meaning:

  • to have a lot on your plate
  • to have a lot to do
  • to have your work cut out for you
  • to be snowed under with work
  • to have your hands full

French meaning:

  • avoir beaucoup de travail à faire – to have a lot of work to do
  • avoir beaucoup de tâches à accomplir – to have a lot of tasks to accomplish

Example sentence:

  • Désolé, je ne peux pas te rejoindre ce soir. J’ai du pain sur la planche. Sorry, I cannot join you tonight. I have a lot of my plate.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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