Do you know the Italian idiom “Fare il passo più lungo della gamba“?

“Fare il passo più lungo della gamba” is a very common expression that you might have already heard when speaking with natives.

But what’s its meaning and when shall we use it?

Literally, it means “to take a step longer than one’s leg”, so basically doing something very difficult or hardly achievable, beyond someone’s possibilities.

For example, we can use this expression when we do more than we actually can.

In English, we would use “to bite off more than you can chew”.

And now some examples to see this idiom in a real context!

Italian English
Marco ha accettato due lavori: ha decisamente fatto il passo più lungo della gamba! Marco accepted two jobs: he definitely bit off more than he can chew!
Promettendo di portare i miei figli in Giappone per un mese la prossima estate, sto facendo il passo più lungo della gamba. By promising to take my sons to Japan for a month next summer I have bitten off more than I can chew.
Laura vuole finire il suo progetto di ricerca in un mese, secondo me sta facendo il passo più lungo della gamba. Laura wants to finish her research project in a month, I think she’s biting off more than she can chew.


How many times you have taken on too much? Well, that kind of situations are perfect to use this idiom!

So if you recall some past experiences you will definitely be able to make some examples!


If you follow this link you can go through a lot of lovely Italian idioms to learn!

Or if you are looking for nice resources you can have a look here!