Podcast: Keep your options open

How’s it going? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre dois idioms comuníssimos no inglês, que tem a ver com as opções que você tem na vida.

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Transcrição

How’s it going? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So you know when you’re sort of looking at your options for… something, whatever. Let’s say you’d like to throw a big birthday party for yourself! So you’ve been looking at the options. Where to do it? There’s your place, obviously, but let’s say you live in sort of a quiet building, in a quiet neighbourhood, and you’re afraid the music might get a little out of control, and some of the neighbours might want to call the police… so you’re still thinking. Your place is an option.

There’s also the bar where you’re a regular. You go to this bar after work, every other day, to have a beer and relax with your office mates. It’s small bar, no frills, nothing fancy about it but that’s part of the appeal. You’re thinking it would be nice to have your party there and enjoy their selection of nibbles with a beer.

And then there’s your friend Larry who just started renting out his garage for events. He’s fixed it up a bit and it looks great, actually. You’re not sure though… This would be the priciest option out of the three, and you’re not sure it’s worth it. Not because Larry’s place isn’t great, but because you think your place or the neighbourhood bar are excellent options. So what do you do? Nothing for now. Your birthday is two months away, so for now you’re keeping your options open.

That means you’re not committing to anything at this moment. You’re still shopping around, you’re still thinking, musing over your choices, collecting some more information – you are keeping your options open. Who knows? You might wake up tomorrow with an answer. For now, you’re keeping your options open – you don’t need to decide right now.

Now picture this: your friend Lola works as a shop assistant. She’s only working part time, though. She made sure to find a job where she only has to work five hours a day. Why? Because she’s also looking for a job as a Math teacher. Yeah, she happens to be good at Math and she thinks she can make some money teaching it. So she’s been interviewing at different schools and thinking about part time jobs in teaching.

But there’s more: Lola also works as a part-time phone psychic. That’s right. She’s got some psychic abilities and she was hired last month by a famous phone psychic network to give consultations to clients. She’s able to do that during her lunch hour, for about forty minutes, every day.

So Lola is pretty busy… She’s got two jobs and looking for a third one. She’s doing that because she doesn’t want to put all her eggs in one basket. She wants a safety net, so to speak. If something happens to the shop assistant job, she will have the other two jobs to fall back on. She could increase her psychic hours.

If the psychic job goes belly up, she’s got teaching and the shop job. Lola likes to be safe, so she’s not putting all her eggs in one basket. She has given this a lot of thought and she likes spreading the risk. She doesn’t want to have all her eggs in one basket. So that’s her plan: have three jobs to go to and if something goes wrong with one of them, she has the other two.

Tell me: do you have an example of your own for keeping your options open? I’m sure you do, so let me know in the comments! Talk to you next time.

 

[audio:http://media.blubrry.com/podcast_ingls_online/www.inglesonline.com.br/mp3/podcast-eggsbasket.mp3]

 

Key expressions

  • keep your options open
  • put all your eggs in one basket

 

Vocabulary

no frills = só tem o básico

that’s part of the appeal = é uma das coisas que te atrai (no bar)

nibbles = comidas mais do tipo aperitivo

he’s fixed it up = ele reformou (melhorou) a garagem, nesse caso

to fall back on = para se apoiar

go belly up = dar errado

Podcast: Guess where it happened

How are you? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo – em inglês, é claro :-) – sobre cinco situações em que eu perdi alguma coisa ou fui roubada. Veja se você consegue adivinhar onde foi que cada uma aconteceu: no Brasil ou em Londres, onde eu moro?

Se você está recebendo este episódio por email, clique aqui para ouvir o áudio no site.

Transcrição

How are you? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So today I’ll give you five situations that I’ve been through in my life, all relating to losing a wallet or my cell phone… or having it stolen, and you try to guess whether each one of them happened when I still lived in Brazil, or more recently after I moved to London. Here we go:

  1. I went to a toilet in a University, and left my wallet somewhere in there. The same day, a student called me up and said she’d found it. So we met up and I got my wallet back.
  2. I was sitting in a cafe working on my computer, and my cell phone was right there by my computer, on the table. Two women walked in, sat at the table across from me and pretended they were asking me for help, or something. I don’t know because I couldn’t understand a word they said. Meanwhile, they opened a map on the table, which covered my phone and as I was distracted, they pulled the map and with it, the phone. I only realised it about a minute later and by then, they were gone.
  3. I lost my wallet on the way home from the supermarket. A couple of days later, a police officer called and said a woman had found it and taken it to the police station. So I went to the station, they asked me a few questions and I got my wallet back.
  4. I left my cell phone on a bus once, after traveling from one city to another. When I realised it, I called the bus company and asked if someone had returned it or if the driver had found it. They said no, no driver had said anything about a cell phone left on the bus, no one had contacted them.
  5. I went to a supermarket to do some shopping before I went home. However I was holding my laptop while paying for the groceries, and at some point I needed to reach for my wallet. I set my laptop down somewhere, grabbed my wallet, paid and left without the laptop. Two hours later I came back to the store asking if they had found it. They knew immediately what I was talking about  – my laptop was safely stored away in a room in the back of the store, so I got it back.

There you go. These are five situations I’ve been through that involved either having something stolen, or leaving a personal belonging somewhere. Which ones do you think happened in Brazil and which ones in the UK?

I’ll tell you: #1, where I left my wallet in a toilet and it was returned to me, was in São Paulo when I was a college student. #2, where two women stole my phone at a café, was in London. #3, where I dropped my wallet on the way from the supermarket and someone found it and turned it in to the police happened in London. #4, where I left my phone on the bus and whoever found it kept it instead of returning it to the company, happened in São Paulo. And, finally, #5, where I left my laptop in a supermarket and they kept it safe for me was in London.

Did you guess correctly? These are situations everyone has been through before at least once – I think. What was your experience when you forgot your wallet or your phone somewhere? What happened? Let us know and talk to you next time.

 

[audio:http://media.blubrry.com/podcast_ingls_online/www.inglesonline.com.br/mp3/podcast-guesswhere.mp3]

Como falo em inglês: O gato comeu a sua língua?

How are you doing? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre idioms relacionados a dizer alguma coisa e dar opinião. Não perca!!

Se você está recebendo este episódio por email, clique aqui para ouvir o áudio no site.

Transcrição

How are you doing? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So here’s our first idiom of today: has the cat got your tongue? Or just “cat got your tongue”? That is mostly similar to what we say in Brazil – see the title of today’s episode to see what I mean. People say “Cat got your tongue?” a lot when they sort of want someone to react to something and that person is keeping quiet.

For example, let’s say your friend Mary is very opinionated about tomatoes. She thinks everyone should eat green tomatoes. Yes, it’s very important to her that everyone around her knows that green tomatoes have some kind of nutrient that you can’t find anymore when the tomato has ripened and turned red. Mary keeps yapping about it everywhere you go. Whenever you’re around food she’ll say “They should be serving green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are so important for your health.”

So it turns out you all go to a party one night and there’s food at the party. You see a beautiful bowl of salad full of leaves and vegetables, including tomatoes. Red tomatoes. You know Mary is going to say something about it. So you’re just waiting. You’re helping yourself to the salad, of course – it looks delicious. However you fully expect Mary to say something.

Well, she doesn’t! This is so unexpected, it’s almost unsettling. You look at her and she’s helping herself to the salad, then she grabs a bit of pasta, all without saying a word about the lack of green tomatoes! All you can say is “Hey, Mary? Cat got your tongue? Where’s your commentary about the importance of green tomatoes in a healthy diet?”

And Mary says “Oh. Yes, for sure. They should have green tomatoes in this salad, absolutely. I just can’t stop thinking about our exam tomorrow! I’m so worried that I didn’t even pay attention to the colour of the tomato. You’re right, though. I’m going to have a chat with the caterers and explain to them why they should include green tomatoes in all dishes.”

“Cat got your tongue?” You could say this every time you’re in a meeting, or with a group of people and you expect someone to have an opinion about something that they’ve been waiting to voice, and then when the moment comes, they don’t. Of course, it can be a bit of a pushy thing to say and it can sound rude depending on the context, so be careful! You wouldn’t say that to someone you don’t know, for example.

Here’s another related idiom: chime in. Let’s say you’re having a discussion at work. It’s you and three colleagues, and you’re talking about next steps regarding a plan of action to increase sales. You’re presenting your ideas about the product, and they’re listening. However, you know that one of them, Richard, knows the product a little bit better than you do. You would like Richard to correct you if necessary – just in case you say something that is not entirely accurate. So you begin: “Let me tell you my ideas for increasing sales for our product – Richard, feel free to chime in if necessary.”

You’re asking Richard to contribute, to give his opinion, even correct you if he sees the need. “Feel free to chime in” is an invitation for someone to contribute and give their opinion or share their knowledge about the topic of discussion. We can also use this idiom any time someone gives their opinion in a discussion: “John and Nick were talking about the history of football, and Andy chimed in a few times. All three of them know quite a bit about football.”

Do you usually chime in in discussions? Let us know and talk to you next time.

 

Key expressions

  • (has the) Cat got your tongue?
  • chime in

 

Vocabulary

helping yourself to the salad = (você está) se servindo de salada

unsettling = desconfortável de uma maneira que te deixa sem jeito

[audio:http://media.blubrry.com/podcast_ingls_online/www.inglesonline.com.br/mp3/podcast-gatocomeu.mp3]

Podcast: The odds are in your favour

How are you? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre expressões com a palavra ODD. Não perca!!

Transcrição

How are you doing? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

How about we take a quick look at the word odd? O-D-D, odd. One of the most common meanings of odd is… strange. Unusual, peculiar, strange, all of that. Now, I hear the word odd with that meaning way more frequently in British English than American English, so. For example, you may hear “What an odd coincidence!” or someone you know may be a bit blunt all of a sudden and say “You look odd in that jacket”.

Or something very unexpected happens, that you think was really not supposed to happen, and you say… “That’s odd. I left the bike inside the apartment. How come it’s outside now?”… or “Look! A racoon! That’s odd. I’ve lived here for twenty years and it’s the first time I’ve seen a racoon.” It this was the US, I would probably hear “strange” or “weird” rather than “odd”.

So I’ve talked about the word odds before, in the idiom “What are the odds?” Here’s another term with the same word: the odds are in your favour. You can understand odds, O-D-D-S, as chances or probability. So when someone says “I think your plan will be successful. The odds are in your favour!”, they’re saying it is likely that things will go your way. Likewise, if someone says the odds are against you, they think you’re going to face some challenges and the probability of your success doesn’t look very high.

So if you have to drive in the São Paulo traffic at rush hour for the first time, without a map or GPS, and you have one hour to get from a neighbourhood in the northern part of town to a neighbourhood in the southern part of town… The odds are against you. What if you have twenty minutes to buy five different kinds of fruit, and you’re taken to a supermarket and left there? I’d say the odds are in your favour.

And now, you have to complete a school assignment over the weekend and you’re afraid that you’re going to be so distracted by browsing the Internet that you’re not going to get anything accomplished. Well, you’re in luck because due to a technical glitch in the service provider, you’ll have no Internet access over the weekend. The odds are in your favour now!

And, finally, let’s say you have to find a particular John Smith who lives in… Canada. And, you know, you have five days to find him. That’s all the information you have: his name is John Smith and he lives in Canada. You don’t even know where in Canada he lives. And you’ve got five days. I would say the odds are against you on that one.

Of course, it’s always nice when the odds are against you and you go ahead and accomplish whatever it is that you wanted to accomplish anyway. Has that ever happened to you? Please tell me your story in the comments! Talk to you next time.

 

Key expressions

  • odd
  • the odds are in your favour
  • the odds are against you

 

Vocabulary

likewise = da mesma maneira

[audio:http://media.blubrry.com/podcast_ingls_online/www.inglesonline.com.br/mp3/podcast-oddsinfavour.mp3]

Podcast: Fight at the tube platform

Hello! Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre o pânico causado por uma briga no metrô em Londres. Não deixe de ouvir :-)

Transcrição

Hello! You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and… enjoy!

So, everyone… I’d like to tell you guys today about an incident in London, and the general reaction to it. So what happened in the afternoon of November 24th, at the Oxford Circus tube station platform?

I’ll read out a couple of tweets written by an eye witness. Here’s the first one, by someone called Regan Warner:

So this is basically what happened: for whatever reason, some guy started a fight by bumping into another guy. They exchanged words – I would assume they were probably insulting each other or, at the very least, not being very kind – and then one of them punched the other in the gut – that means belly. And the whole thing developed into a full-out fight.

Now, the second tweet:

As you can see, people were sort of panicking. Someone fainted, kids were crying, people running away… And I immediately thought of fights I’ve witnessed in the past, in Brazil, and how people would sort of just step away a bit and kind of watch the fight unfold, really.

Well, I’m sure that’s what many people would have done at a different time and different context here in the UK as well. However, these is 2017 and this is London. We’ve had horrible terror attacks fairly recently – the biggest ones being on Westminster bridge and in London Bridge (the neighbourhood), both in the city of London, and a horrific one in Manchester during an Ariana Grande concert.

People are obviously on edge, as you would be, and when you’re basically trapped on a tube platform and have to walk for a few minutes before you’re even able to get out… A fight on a crowded platform will likely startle most people and send them into a panic.

Listen how this local TV personality, Olly Murs, recounted what happened on Twitter:

“Everyone get out of @Selfridges now gun shots!! I’m inside”

“I was shopping and then all of sudden the whole place went mad, I mean crazy people running & screaming towards exits.”

“We found a small office to hide to which loads of staff and people were saying there was shots fired”

What is interesting here is that he was inside Selfridges, a big department store on Oxford Street, and he thought he heard gun shots! And he reported the same kind of panic happening inside the store. The police, however, confirmed later that there had been NO gunfire and no casualties, apart from a woman who suffered minor injuries during the evacuation of the station. When we’re in a state of panic, we may hear and even see stuff that actually never happened… Of course, we also see and hear stuff that definitely happened!

Have you ever found yourself in that kind of situation, where something triggered a collective state of panic? Let me know and talk to you next time!

 

Vocabulary

full-out = complete, total

as you would be = como é de se esperar

watch the fight unfold = ver a briga acontecer (se desenvolver)

people are on edge = as pessoas estão tensas, nervosas

[audio:http://media.blubrry.com/podcast_ingls_online/www.inglesonline.com.br/mp3/podcast-tubefight.mp3]