Podcast: Blessing in disguise

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jul 16
podcast ingles blessing
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How have you been? Hoje eu falo sobre dois idioms comuníssimos com a palavra blessingAre you ready? :-)

Transcrição

How have you been? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. For a better listening experience, head over to the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store and download the Inglês Online app. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So our first expression of today is blessing in disguise. Yep – do you know what that means? Let’s see. I’m going to read out a tweet for you, and you tell me whether you know what blessing in disguise means or not.

So check out what this guy tweeted out – he’s talking about two football teams who lost one of their players:

So just an observation: notice that he said “Roma lost Salah” and “are”, so “Roma are” and then in the second sentence “Liverpool lost Coutinho” and “are” – “Liverpool are”. OK? So he uses ‘are’ with Liverpool and Roma, why? Because these are collective nouns. They communicate, like, a whole team. He’s talking about a team and in British English it’s very common to use “are” with nouns that represent more than one person; they represent a group.

So this guys said “sometimes losing your best asset”. He’s referring to the star player each of the teams lost – “can be a blessing in disguise”. What looked like a really bad thing in the end did not prevent a great outcome. Here’s a dictionary definition for you: an unfortunate event or situation that results in an unforeseen positive outcome.

I remember at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York – a couple of people were interviewed saying they were supposed to be on those airplanes and because they were late, or some some other reason, they missed their flights. To those people, missing the flight was a blessing in disguise. Bit of an extreme example… but there you go.

I think the best way to really see this idiom, blessing in disguise, in your life is to think about something you lost, an opportunity you missed, that… at the time really bummed you out. Then, let’s say about a month later, you couldn’t even feel sad when you thought back of what happened because something much better came along.

I know that, for me, this exact sequence of events has happened so many times. I miss a sale and some time later I’m happy I didn’t spend that money on something I didn’t need. Missing that sale was a blessing in disguise. I miss an opportunity to do something and then some time later I realise that thing wasn’t really what I wanted to do! Missing that opportunity was a blessing in disguise. These are my examples – what are yours?

Now, here’s our second one with blessing: count your blessings. This is usually said to someone who’s feeling a bit down on their luck… Maybe they just got some bad news, or the outcome they were expecting didn’t really happen, or they’re just going through a hard time right now. And then a friend – more likely a stranger, to be honest – will tell them “Hey, count your blessings. At least you still got…” Whatever. At least you still got your home. Or your family. Or a job. Some money.

Basically, when someone tells you to count your blessings they’re telling you that no matter how sad your predicament is, there are a few things you should be grateful for. Let’s go to Twitter again – check out this one.

Look, I’m not saying it’s easy to do what this chick suggested but that was a good example of how someone might use the term count your blessings How would we say that in Brazil? I actually can’t think of anything right now that would be a good translation for count your blessings… I mean, something we Brazilians actually say. Do you have anything? Let me know and see you soon!

 

Key expressions

  • blessing in disguise
  • count your blessings

 

Vocabulary

bummed you out = te deixaram chateado

be down on their/your luck = estar sem sorte

chick = mulher, moça, garota (gíria USA)

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About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • marco miguel says:

    […] é uma benção de Deus ou nada é por acaso!

  • Rômulo Melo says:

    Hi Ana,

    It could be …..

    “Deus escreve certo por linhas tortas “

  • Cezar Duarte says:

    A tradução mais próxima para blessing in disguise é Há males que vêm para o bem.

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Bem próxima mesmo, Cezar – se eu tivesse que ficar com uma, seria essa. Thanks!

  • José Antonio says:

    Count your blessings: tem o sentido de “veja o copo meio cheio” e não “meio vazio”.

  • Junior says:

    count your blessings = Dê graças a Deus

    … Hey Man stop to complain too much and count your blessings…

  • Joyce says:

    Hello Ana,
    thank you for the podcast.

    I don’t know If there is some expression in PT but I think that “olhar pelo lado positivo” is a little similar.

    I’m trying to learn english by myself and your podcast are very helpfull to me. At the moment I need to practice listenning because oftentimes I can’t understand nothing, I can’t hear any word. I guess this is the worst part, then your podcast help me a lot because I can’t do It with movies or music… They don’t speak slowly lol.
    Thank you very much for It. God bless you.
    **I hope you understand my bad english =] **

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Joyce,
      Your English is NOT bad, trust me!
      Congratulations on your efforts – the results are showing very clearly :-)
      That’s how it is – you’ve got to listen to a lot of English at regular speeds til your ear gets ‘educated’ and one day you’ll find yourself getting it when ppl speak fast. The thing about it is, you can’t really plan it! Not great for impatient people such as myself!!
      Ana

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