AE 626.1 – Expression: Have Your Hands Full

Learn Australian English in this Expression episode of the Aussie English podcast where I teach you how to use the expression HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL!

AE 626.1 - Expression: Have Your Hands Full transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

AE 626.1 - Expression: Have Your Hands Full was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

97 percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest. They've acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.

A survey of thousands of scientific papers that took a position on climate change found that 97 percent endorsed the position that humans all causing global warming.

So, 97 percent of scientists who have written in peer reviewed journals say the following" 'climate change is real. It is significantly caused by human activity'.

97 percent of scientists the world over have said that climate change is urgent and manmade and must be addressed.

For every decade, study after study has found that 97 percent of publishing climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming.

G'day guys and welcome to Aussie English. My objective here is to teach you guys the English spoken Down Under. So, whether you want to speak like a fair dinkum Aussie or you just want to understand what the flipping hell we're on about when we're having a yarn, you've come to the right place. So, sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy Aussie English.

G'day, you mob! What's going on? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. If you are listening for the very first time, then it is great to have you here, and if you are a longtime listener and it's not your first rodeo, welcome back!

So, today, guys, in the very first scene there at the start of this episode, that was a little snippet from a video from the University of Queensland YouTube channel. And it was a scholar named John Cook, who was the first to publish a study showing that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is caused by humans. Now, today's expression is 'have your hands full' and I think at the moment the world has its hands full with climate change or at least should have its hands full. So, I thought that's why we'll talk about climate change at the end of this episode for a little bit, but also in the Aussie English fact episode, and that has been a long one, that's been a big one that I've been working on. So, we'll get into that, but it seemed like a lot of you guys were really enjoying my previous episode on bushfires and how I had used a lot of clips from different news stories on YouTube.

I've tried to do the same thing to include lots of different accents, lots of different men and women speaking English and talking about these issues that are currently going on in Australia and around the world. Anyway, guys, before we get into it, it's been an interesting week because my father has had heart surgery and, so that's not something that happens every day, and I thought I would talk to you about it and tell you what happened.

So, my dad, for a long time, has suffered from... this is testing my memory, he's told me about the condition before, but I think it's called atrial fibrillation and arrhythmia, I think it's called, arrhythmia of the heart. So, part of it is where the valve in his heart vibrates strangely, I think. And then he has the rhythm of the heart is not correct, so that the heart doesn't beat in the proper way that it should anyway.

So, I'm not sure the very, very, very minutia, specific, everything about the actual condition. But dad went into the hospital a few days ago, he had tried to organise some surgery before Christmas, he hoped. They rang him up, they gave him a bell on the phone and told him, actually, we can get you in on Tuesday. I think they told him on a Friday. So, he had a few days to get ready, which was good, because, you know, I'm sort of the same where I don't like to think about surgeries or, you know, public speaking things that make you nervous for a long period of time. It's better if you kind of just get surprised and then it's over and done with. So, he went in the other day, three hour surgery where they put some kind of catheter in your groin, in the vein there. They send a wire all the way up to your heart and they electrocute the inside of his heart so that it beats properly, and now he's feeling great. So, he's all recovered, left the hospital the next morning and he's healing up.

So, yeah, that's been what's going on this week. Alright, but let's get into today's episode. So, today I want to start with an Aussie joke, guys, the Aussie joke. And I hate to think... 'hands full', 'to have your hands full', that's the expression, how can I have a joke that's related to hands? So, here's the joke:.

Teacher: if I had seven oranges in one hand and eight oranges in the other, what would I have?

Student: Big hands!

Did you get it?

So, the teachers trying to ask 'if I had seven oranges in one hand and eight in the other, how many oranges would I have?', but he's said 'what would I have?' in terms of what number of oranges, so the answer should be, you, know, fifteen. And the students interpret it more as what's allowing me to have those numbers of oranges in my hands? And he said, 'big hands', right? So, there you go, big hands.

So, today's expression, guys, is 'to have your hands full', like in the joke, right? He had his hands full of oranges. 'To have your hands full'. This one comes from Zinnia, good suggestion, Zinnia. She suggested this in the Aussie English Facebook group, guys, do a search for Aussie English on Facebook and make sure that you join the group. I'm posting a lot in there to try and get conversation going, so that you guys can meet other people learning English, but you can also learn about things going on in Australia and comment and practice your English in there.

So, let's go through and define the different words in the expression 'to have your hands full'.

So, 'to have', you guys all know the verb 'to have'. If you have something, you possess that thing or you own that thing, or maybe you're just holding that thing, right? If I pick up my phone here, I have my phone in my hand.

'Hands', you know what hands are. They're the end part of a human's arm, right? Beyond the wrist, including the palm, the four fingers and your thumb.

And then the word 'full' is to contain or hold as much as possible, right? Having no empty space.

So, the expression then 'to have your hands full', if we were to talk about this, literally, it would be that you are holding so many things, that there is nothing else you could fit in your hands, right? So if you were holding 15 oranges and you couldn't put a 16th orange in your hands, they're full, right? No more space. But figuratively, we can use this to mean that we are very busy or that we're really involved with something, right? So, we're really busy or completely occupied with dealing with something, so you could think about that in terms of if you have to use your hands to try and do that thing, or maybe you're busy using your hands to fix something or carry something, that's why you have your hands full. You're incredibly busy or occupied with something.

So, let's go through three examples. Now, I use these examples and I usually try and flesh them out and use some interesting vocab and other expressions, so that you can learn a whole bunch of English whilst also hearing about real life examples of how I would use the expression, in this case, 'to have your hands full'.

Number one, my wife Kel is at home today with Noah. I'm here as well, but I'm working. So, Kel tends to do the lion's share of taking care of Noah. So, she does the majority of it whilst I'm hard at work on Aussie English every single day. She's up at the crack of dawn, you know, she gets up very early in the morning and she tends to his needs. So, he's an early riser, he wakes up at the crack of dawn at about 5:30 a.m. I end up sleeping in because I burn the midnight oil, I end up working late at night and go to bed at probably 12:00 or 1:00. So, unfortunately, Kel goes to bed early and she gets up at the crack of dawn. So, yeah, I'm up late. I'm a bit of a night owl, I love staying up late and working. I don't know, that's just how my circadian rhythm is, I guess. Anyway, Kel probably works harder than me with the amount of energy and effort that Noah requires every day.

And, so every time I leave the office to go and hang out with them and see what she's up to, I can see she has her hands full. She's very busy, she's very involved with taking care of Noah and making sure that he's entertained, he's looked after. He's got food, so she has her hands full. She's very busy.

Example number two. Imagine you're in Australia and you love the great outdoors. You love everything to do with the great outdoors, you love heading out into the sticks, going out into the bush, into the outback, getting away from the city, going bushwalking, going four-wheel driving, going camping and fishing and all the rest. So, one day, imagine that you've gone on a road trip down the coast of Victoria to a place called Wilsons Promontory, a few hour's drive outside of Melbourne. You've shown up there early one morning, you found you camping spot, you pitched your tent, gotten everything set up, and then you've snuck off from the family, you know, your wife and your kids to do a bit of fly fishing on Tidal River before lunch. Tidal River is this big river at Wilsons Prom. So, no sooner do you cast out the very first line for that morning when you hook a large fish and you start trying to frantically real that fish in.

So, just as you're working so hard to land this whopper of a fish, this huge fish, your kids find you. They come out of the bushes, they run up to you and they start pestering you, asking you 'what you're doing?' you know, 'is that a fish on the line?', 'are you going to catch it? What are you doing, Dad?'. So, you might turn to them and yell something along the lines of 'can't you see I've got my hands full?' you know, 'just give me a sec while I try and land this fish and then we can have a yarn and then we can have a chat, ok? Just wait a sec, kids'.

And just as the kids run off, your line snaps and the fish gets away. So, you might cut your losses and head back for lunch. Bugger!

Alright. Number three, so Steve Irwin was a national treasure in Australia. If you don't know who Steve Irwin is, you're probably under the age of about 15, so make sure you check out Steve Irwin. But so, yeah, imagine you're Steve Irwin and you're out one day in far north Queensland trying to catch some crocs that are in danger, right? These crocs have been getting too close to humans, too close for comfort. And they have to be captured or moved by Steve or else the local authorities have to put them down.

You know, they have to shoot them. They have to destroy them for public safety. So, Steve sets up some large cage traps and, you know, he baits them with some feral pig carcases, leaves them in the water for the night, and then comes back the next day. And lo and behold, he's caught some almighty huge croc in his trap. So, he and his team pull the trap out of the water, they pull the crocodile out of the trap by the tail, they wrap a rope around its mouth, tie it up so that it can't bite them and then everyone has to pile on top of the crocodile to try and control it while Steve tries to tie up its legs.

So, imagine that Steve jumps on the head to try and get control of the crocodile just as someone spots him, who's a massive fan and wants his autograph and maybe a selfie, you know, a selfie on their phone. So, they might run up and say, 'Ah, Steve, can I have a selfie, please, mate?' and he might say, 'Crikey, mate! I'd love to, but can't you see I've got my hands full at the moment? Once we've got this croc tied up and sent her on her way, I'll sort you out and give you a selfie and an autograph, but until then, I've got my hands full'.

So, there you go, guys. Hopefully now you understand the expression 'to have your hands full'. If you have your hands full, you're very busy or involved with something. You're very occupied with dealing with something and that's sort of the figurative sense, but it, literally, it would be that you have so many things in your hands, you can't put anything more in them, ok?

So, before we get into the listen and repeat exercise, guys, don't forget, if you want the premium transcripts and the MP3s and downloads for these podcast episodes, go to And if you want to access over 100 different courses that go with these expression episodes, make sure that you join the academy at, and if you want to get my courses, my pronunciation course, my phrasal verb course or my spoken English course, go to

Alright, so now let's get into the listen and repeat exercise, guys, where you can practice your pronunciation and speaking fluency, ok? So, this is like a shadowing exercise, I'm going to say words or sentences and I want you to say them after me, ok? Let's go.


To have.

To have your.

To have your hands.

To have your hands full.

To have your hands full.

To have your hands full.

To have your hands full.

To have your hands full.

Good job. Now, before we get into the sentence shadowing exercise here, I'm going to tell you a bit about the linked speech in there, right? The pronunciation, tips and tricks in that exercise that we just went through. So, you might notice the word 'to' it has that good vowel sound, 'to'. But when we say quickly, it's a reduced vowel sound, the schwa, right? So, instead of 'to' you'll hear 'to', 'to have your hands full'. 'To have your hands full'.

The same things happening with the word 'your', well, with the vowel sound in the word 'your', ok? So, instead of 'to have your hands full', you're going to hear 'your' instead of 'your' as well as the 'to' instead of 'to', right.? So, you're hear 'to have your hands full'. 'To have your hands full'.

And the last thing that I want to mention is notice the word hands 'hands'. That 'D' sound is actually muted, it's not said because there's kind of three consonants, there's an N sound, a D sound and then an S in the spelling, but it's a Z sound, right? So, it's 'hands'. 'Hands'.

So, there's no 'D'. So, you don't have to say 'hands', you know, it's hard for me to even try and do, it's just hands as if there were no D there.

Alright. Now let's go through the sentence 'Have I got my hands full today?'. 'Have you got your hands full today?'. I'm going to conjugate through all the different pronouns, ok? Let's go.

Have I got my hands full today?

Have you got your hands full today?

Has he got his hands full today?

Has she got her hands full today?

Have we got our hands full today?

Have they got their hands full today?

Has it got its hands full today?

Good job, guys. So, the biggest thing I want you to take away from this exercise today is the intonation of my voice, because this is a question you'll notice that my voice rises at the end of the sentence, right? So, you're hear 'Have I got my hands full today?'.

Just pay attention to that intonation and practice that today, ok? Quite often with questions, whether they are inverted questions or just standard questions, sentences that haven't been inverted, we can raise the end of the sentence to make sure that the listener knows it's a question, ok? 'Have I got my hands full today?'. So, just practice that intonation.

Anyway, guys, before we finish up, I want to tell you that in today's Aussie English Fact episode, we'll be talking about global warming and climate change and the evidence that it's taking place and how it's impacting Australia. But before we get into that, I thought I would do a sort of little half Aussie Fact episode at the end of this episode where I wanted to talk to you about global warming, climate change and what it means when someone says that there's scientific consensus that global warming is human caused.

So, often the terms 'global warming' and 'climate change' get mixed up. They get used interchangeably and thought of as synonyms. However, that's not the case. Both of these terms are used frequently in scientific literature and refer to two different physical phenomena. So, what's the difference between climate change and global warming?

Global warming refers to the long term trend of rising average global temperatures, whereas climate change refers to the way that global climate is changing because of the increase in average global temperatures. So, for example, changes in rainfall patterns, increased droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events. So, these two physical phenomena are related, but they're not the same thing.

Global warming is the increase in temperature which underpins climate change. The experts agree that global warming is occurring and it's underpinning climate change. Australian scientist John Cook, who you heard from at the start of this episode, published a paper in 2013 where he reviewed over four thousand different scientific papers from climate scientists and showed that over 97 percent of these papers indicated that global warming is largely human caused. He also then asked scientists to self-rate their own views and found that again, 97 percent of climate scientists believed that global warming was largely human caused.

Since Cook's paper, at least nine other similar papers have been published. Finding between 90 to 100 percent of climate scientists believe that global warming is underpinned by human activity.

So, what does it mean when you hear the phrase scientific consensus being thrown around? In this example, you'll hear the scientific consensus is that global warming is leading to climate change and it is human caused. So, 'consensus', the word 'consensus' just means a general agreement to get a scientific consensus on an issue, first you need to find a group of experts who study that specific issue, say climate change, and then calculate the proportion of those people that agree or disagree with a certain statement.

For example, climate change is human caused. When you take the number of people who agree with that statement say that climate change is caused by humans. Imagine that it's 100 people and 97 people agree. Three people disagree and then you divide that total number by the total number of people surveyed. So, 97 people divided by 100 people. That gives you the percentage consensus.

So, I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to follow the 97 percent of experts who say that humans are mostly to blame for global warming, which is causing climate change. And hopefully the people and governments of the world will come together and do something about it before it's the eleventh hour and potentially irreversible.

Anyway, that's enough for today, guys. That's enough for this episode. And I will see you in the Aussie Fact episode, peace!

G'day, mate! Thanks for listening to the Aussie English podcast. If you'd like to boost your English whilst also supporting the podcast and allowing me to continue to bring you awesome content, please consider joining the Aussie English Academy at You'll get unlimited access to the premium podcast as well as all of my advanced English courses. And you'll also be able to join three weekly speaking calls with a real English teacher. Thanks so much, mate. And I'll see you, soon.

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    1. Hi Pete,

      The word “Data” I heard many different pronunciation for it. the pronunciation is in the first sentence of this podcast is little a bit different from what I used to hear in Australia. is it correct?.

      Usually I hear the people say ” Data” with a stress on D letter.

      Please advise?