In this short lesson, we will see learn the meaning and pronunciation of the Italian idiom Mettere troppa carne al fuoco. If you hate multitasking, this expression is for you!
Let’s start! Iniziamo!
Mettere troppa carne al fuoco
Meaning of the idiom
Mettere troppa carne al fuoco can be literally translated as “putting too much meat on the fire”. Its meaning is similar to the common English expression to bite off more than you can chew, so it’s used to mean to do too many things at once to the point of feeling overwhelmed and failing everything.
Linguistically speaking, this idiom can be broken down into…
- mettere (to put or to place)
- troppa (too much)
- carne (meat)
- al (at the)
- fuoco (fire)
Mettere troppa carne sul fuoco is also used and heard, but it’s much less common. The meaning is the same.
For example, you could say…
Se hai messo troppa carne al fuoco, significa che hai cercato di fare troppe cose contemporaneamente.
If you put too much meat on the fire, it means you tried to do too many things at once.
Mercoledì vai in palestra, giovedì alla lezione di tiro con l’arco, venerdì hai danza e sabato la lezione di pugilato… non pensi di star mettendo troppa carne al fuoco?
On Wednesday you go to the gym, on Thursday to archery class, on Friday you have dance class and on Saturday boxing class. Don’t you think you’re biting off more than you can chew?
Pronunciation of Mettere troppa carne al fuoco in Italian
Now let’s hear how this idiom is pronounced.
Mettere troppa carne al fuoco.
To bite off more than you can chew.
Literally: To put too much meat on the fire.
If you need help learning how to pronounce Italian, see the lesson on the Italian alphabet and pronunciation.
Where does Mettere troppa carne al fuoco come from?
Meat needs space to cook well. If you put too many pieces of meat on the fire, none will cook well. By the same reasoning, if you try to do more activities (attività) than your mind or body can sustain you will end up finishing none.
And that’s it with our lesson on the Italian idiom Mettere troppa carne al fuoco!
See all the other Italian idioms!
Now that you’ve seen what the meaning of the idiom Mettere troppa carne al fuoco is in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:
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