Como falo em inglês: Pegou pesado demais com o coitado

How’s it going?

Hoje eu falo sobre dois idioms comuníssimos no inglês quando queremos dizer que uma pessoa pegou pesado demais com alguém que já estava mal.

Observação:

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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!

Today I’m going to talk about a type of situation that is particularly unpleasant… It’s not nice to take part in it and it’s not nice to watch it unfold either. Interestingly, there are several English idioms that can be applied in this context, so let’s start with kick someone when they’re down.

Just imagine your work colleague John made a big mistake yesterday and, because of his mistake, the company has now lost a significant amount of money. John got reprimanded by his manager and his job is hanging by a thread. Your desk is right next to John’s desk, so you’re there to watch as Margot, a marketing assistant, walks up to John and gives him a scolding for losing the business deal.

So, at this point, John feels awful for losing the deal, obviously, and he’s already been told off by this boss. You could say he’s in a pretty low place right now. So on top of that, Margot comes up to him and tells him off again. She’s basically kicking John when he’s already down. You feel compelled to pull Margot aside and have a word with her. You say “Margot, c’mon… John’s obviously aware he screwed up. There’s no need to kick him when he’s down.”

There’s no need to kick someone when they’re down. They’re already down, they’re aware of how they acted, they know they have screwed up. It’s a nice piece of advice: don’t kick someone when they’re down. So that leads me to the second idiom of today and it’s closely related to “kick someone when they’re down”. Why?

Well, when Margot scolded John she specifically mentioned that John should not have tried to conduct the negotiation in Spanish, as his Spanish is not that great… She’s basically saying it was a stupid decision. When you heard Margot say that, you thought “This is a bit much – it’s a bit much to comment on the details of how John screwed this up.”

So in addition to telling Margot she shouldn’t kick John when he’s down, you say “C’mon Margot, leave John alone. Now is not the time to point out that his poor Spanish skills were the reason he failed. That’s kind of a cheap shot. He feels bad enough already… Let’s just leave it.” A cheap shot is, let’s say, an attack directed at someone who can’t defend themselves. It could be a mean remark – it could even be a mean comment disguised as concern.

Imagine that someone’s feeling particularly vulnerable after making a mistake or being told off, just like John is. Someone then goes over and makes them feel worse by bringing up something negative about that person’s life that catches them off guard. This person feels weak right now,  so they can’t even properly defend themselves. You know what I mean? So that would have been a cheap shot. If you regularly watch American TV shows and movies, you will have certainly come across someone saying “That was a cheap shot. That was uncalled for.”

So I’d like to hear from you: can you remember the last time you witnessed a case of “kicking someone when they’re down”? Please let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • kick someone when they’re down
  • cheap shot

 

Vocabulary

is hanging by a thread = está por um fio

gives him a scolding = dá uma dura nele

he’s been told off = já levou uma dura (to tell someone off = dar uma dura em alguém)

a pretty low place = bem por baixo (pretty aqui é intensificador)

let’s just leave it = vamos parar de falar / dar atenção a isso

uncalled for = desnecessário (não precisava ter ido tão longe com a crítica / ataque)

 

Veja mais:

Como digo em inglês: Pega leve com ele

Podcast: idioms com TOGETHER

Hello, everyone.

Hoje eu falo sobre idioms super comuns com a palavra togetherEnjoy!

Para ver e ouvir podcasts de semanas anteriores, clique em Podcast Inglês Online no menu.

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Transcrição

Hello, everyone. You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast, and today I’m going to talk about a few idioms with the word together. They’re very common and you’ll hear them all the time in daily conversation, so listen on.

Here’s one of them: put our heads together, or put their heads together, or your heads. Let’s say you were asked by your boss to find some kind of solution to a problem, and, after thinking about it for a while you realise that Joe, the head of the sales team, has some information that would likely be useful in solving this problem.

So you go ahead and give Joe a ring, and you say “Hi Joe, my boss has asked me to find a solution to problem XYZ. I know you’ve been affected by it as well and you’ve got some experience on the topic, so I thought we’d get to the solution much faster if we put our heads together and try and figure this thing out.”

“Let’s put our heads together” means let’s get together and talk about this thing. Let’s discuss it, let’s hear each other’s ideas and brainstorm together. This way, we will figure things out much faster. You’ll hear this idiom a lot in offices where people are used to getting together and discussing problems, or in companies where teamwork is encouraged. Let’s put our heads together and find a solution to this problem. Or, Karen and Steve weren’t able to find a solution individually, but I’m sure if they put their heads together they’ll get there.

Here’s a related proverb: two heads are better then one. Same idea underlying “let’s put our heads together” – one head may not be able to come up with a plan to fix this issue, but with two heads we’ve got a better chance. Do we have our own idioms to say this kind of thing in Brazil? If you know, please leave a comment – I want to know.

And here’s the other “together” idiom of today: get your act together. If someone at work, for example, tells you to get your act together, they’re, well… saying you should probably change your behaviour a little bit. You should become more organised and generally function a bit better. They probably think that your desk is a bit of a mess, or maybe you’ve been turning in your reports a bit late, or the last couple of times you participated in company meetings you were slightly unprepared and your performance left much to be desired.

So that person – let’s say it’s your boss – tells you “You need to get your act together and start making your desk presentable. I also expect you to turn in your reports on time, and come to meetings better prepared. Get organised and be efficient about your work. Get your act together!”

This idiom can be used in personal situations as well – let’s say Tim’s girlfriend broke up with him six months ago and Tim is still so depressed about it that he hasn’t cleaned his place in months! There’s dust and dirt everywhere and also, a strange smell coming from the kitchen. You are a good friend of Tim’s and therefore it’s your job to finally tell him “Tim, enough is enough, my friend. I know you’re in pain but you have to get on with your life. Look around you! There’s filth everywhere. You have got to get your act together starting now, clean up this mess and move on.”

What are your examples? Let me know in the comments and talk to you next time!

 

Key idioms

  • put (people’s) heads together
  • get (someone’s) act together

 

Vocabulary

enough is enough = já chega, já deu

filth = sujeira, imundície

 

Como falo em inglês: Ele se comportou como criança mimada

Hi, all.

Hoje eu falo sobre idioms muito comuns aqui no Reino Unido, e que ouvi recentemente por causa do que aconteceu numa saída em grupo. Não perca!

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Transcrição

Hi, all. You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast, and today I’m telling you what happened at a recent group outing.

Thank you for listening and for telling everyone you know,  and enjoy the podcast!

So you know when you get together with a friend and you catch each other up on what you’ve been up to… That’s what my friend Yasmin and I did about a week ago. So Yasmin was telling me that back in November her friend Sofia organised an outing on a Friday night. And here’s the first piece of vocabulary I’d like to highlight for our episode today: organise an event, organise an outing and so on. That’s what a British person will say when he or she is the one planning the event.

I’ll give you an example: a few weeks ago I organised dinner for a few friends of mine. I texted everyone with potential dates, heard back from them and settled on the final date. Then I called the pizza place, made a reservation and texted everyone back with the details. So I organised dinner for us, and later that evening my friends said “Thank you for organising”. This is more of a British way of saying it – I guess in the US you’d say something like “plan dinner” rather than organise.

So anyway, Yasmin’s friend Sofia organised an outing for herself, her boyfriend John, Sofia and two other people. So that was a total of 5 people. They went to a new pub in the neighbourhood, and once there they found a table and grabbed some drinks. Sofia, however, was disappointed that there was no dance floor. She really wanted to dance that night, and she was expecting to find a good dance floor and some nice music.

My friend Yasmin told me that the rest of the group was actually pleased with the pub, Yasmin included. Sofia wouldn’t let it go, though. She insisted on moving the party to a different pub with a dance floor, but by then it was already 10pm and no one really felt like leaving. Well, Sofia decided to go anyway – so she left and John, her boyfriend, went with her.

About a half hour later Sofia texted Yasmin, asking her to go to the other pub. Yasmin texted back saying she didn’t really feel like going as she was having a good time with the two other girls. Sofia insisted, saying that John was – listen to this – in a strop, and if Yasmin came over his mood might improve. To be in a strop means to be moody, to be in a bad mood. It’s British slang – never heard that in the US.

So basically Sofia wanted Yasmin to get to the second pub ’cause she thought John’s mood would improve – that’s because Yasmin and John have been friends for years. John was in a strop… And here’s another idiom my friend used to describe the situation – she said “Sofia told me John was throwing his toys out of the pram”. What does “pram” mean? A pram is a stroller – a four-wheeled sort of chair where you put a baby – and then you push it, of course! So the baby will often have toys in the pram, right? And when the baby has a strop and wants to throw a little tantrum, he or she will start throwing their toys out of the pram.

So when Yasmin told me that John was throwing his toys out of the pram, what she meant was, John was being immature and behaving like a child – maybe throwing a little temper tantrum. I think we all can think of examples when someone we know behaved like an immature child and threw their toys out of the pram.

Please let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • organise (an event, an outing)
  • be in a strop
  • throw toys out of the pram

 

Vocabulary

a group outing = uma saída em grupo

catch someone up (on something) = atualizar alguém (sobre algo); contar as novidades a alguém (sobre algo)

Podcast: Getting a refund at the store

Hey, you guys.

Hoje eu conto a confusão que aconteceu numa loja aqui na hora de buscar os pedidos que fiz pela Internet. Enjoy…

Para ver e ouvir podcasts de semanas anteriores, clique em Podcast Inglês Online no menu.

Baixe os podcasts no seu aparelho Android com o aplicativo Inglês Online; ou assine os podcasts usando o aplicativo Podcasts para iPhone e iPad.

Você pode também assinar o feed do podcast ou encontrá-lo no iTunes (veja o menuzinho ali ao lado). Enjoy!

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Transcrição

Hey, you guys. You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast, and today I’ll tell you about a mix-up at the store where I was supposed to collect my online orders.

So this is obviously our last episode of 2016 (two thousand sixteen) and I wanted you to hear about something that happened to me in the past couple of weeks. It’s nothing really out of the ordinary – not that it should happen all the time, hopefully it won’t. But it can happen to anyone, though, and it’s a bit of a departure from our usual content about shopping, which is usually, you know “How much is it?”, “Here’s your change” and so on.

Here’s what happened: there’s a store chain here in the UK called Wilko. I guess in Brazil the closest thing to Wilko would be Lojas Americanas. So, it was the second week of December and I realised I needed some cleaning wipes for my cell phone. Simple as that, my cell phone was getting dirty and I needed to clean it, so I went to Wilko and looked for wipes. No luck: they were out of cleaning wipes. That same day I went online and ordered the wipes to be delivered at my local store. Total of the order: £1.50.

The next day I decided to buy a nice box of chocolates I’d seen at Wilko a few weeks before. However, I already knew my local Wilko store was out of that because I checked last time I was there. So I went online again and placed a second order for the box of chocolates. That one cost me £8.

Every online store in the UK accepts PayPal as a payment method, right? So I paid for both orders using my PayPal account. It’s just easier than typing my card info every time. So right away my bank statement showed two charges by PayPal: one for £1.50 (one pound, fifty p) and another for £8.

So a week or so went by and I got a call from Wilko saying my stuff had arrived. They didn’t really say which order so I just assumed both of them were there. So I headed over to Wilko and then to the Customer Service counter, and gave them my name. The lady behind the counter went to the back of the store and only came back, like, ten minutes later, empty-handed. My stuff wasn’t there! Neither the cleaning wipes nor the chocolate box.

She asked me to wait a few more minutes so she could search for the products in the store. Then, she came back with the wipes, which were fortunately in stock now, but they were still out of the chocolates. So she just apologised for how long it was taking, and then I told her that I had actually changed my mind. Instead of waiting for the chocolate to arrive, I would cancel the order and take a refund. So right then and there, she asked me for my card and proceeded to credit my account with £8.

It should all have been done and finished right then – but it wasn’t. So just last week I got another call from Wilko saying my order had arrived! What? Anyway, I ended up forgetting about it until yesterday, when I looked at my bank statement and saw that Wilko had charged me for £8, again. Some kind of mix-up, for sure.

So today I swung by my local Wilko shop again in the hopes I’d be able to sort this all out and get a second refund. This time a guy spoke to me and I explained what happened. He said my refund should have come from PayPal, since it was my chosen method of payment for the order. So he rang some PayPal person and asked them to process my refund. And PayPal has now sent me an email saying the refund is being processed. So I guess that lady was maybe a bit hasty in giving me a refund through the store system rather than having PayPal do it.

So there you go everyone, rather than doing a whole episode reminiscing about our year together and talking about the highlights of 2017 – you got my refund story. This is useful stuff – I promise :) so enjoy.

Happy holidays and talk to you next year!

 

Vocabulary

a mix-up = uma confusão onde alguém achou que uma coisa era outra, o que era dessa pessoa era de outra, etc.

fifty p = fifty pence (pence é o plural de “penny”, o centavo inglês)

swung by = passado de ‘swing by’, ou ‘dar um pulo em (algum lugar)’

reminisce = lembrar e falar sobre algo que algo que já passou

she was a bit hasty in = ela foi um pouco apressada em

so there you go = então aí está / então é isso

 

Podcast: Tea and remaining calm!

Hey, everybody.

Hoje eu falo sobre um aspecto cultural super relevante dos ingleses! Não perca.

Para ver e ouvir podcasts de semanas anteriores, clique em Podcast Inglês Online no menu.

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Transcrição

Hey, everybody. You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast, and today I’m talking about a cultural trait of English people.

Please download our Android app and leave a comment about this podcast at the iTunes store. Thank you very much and enjoy the podcast!

Today I’m going to tell you about something quite interesting – a cultural aspect of English people. So I dedicate this episode to all the listeners who are really curious about different cultures and, as for the rest of you… Keep listening ’cause there’s some good English here and you can never listen to too much good English.

So check this out: like most of you, I own a smartphone, right? And guess what – we get scam calls here in the United Kingdom as well. I know… Shocker. Scam calls are basically made by dishonest people who would like to steal your money, so they will tell you a lie hoping that you’ll either give them money or disclose personal information that they will use to swindle you out of your hard-earned cash.

So this week I received a message from my cell phone carrier warning about scam callers. After a brief introduction, they laid out the steps to beating the scammers, and that’s where this gets really interesting. I’m going to read them out to you:

First, hang up: Think calmly about what you are being told, ask yourself if it makes sense. Don’t give out any personal details. If it feels wrong, hang up. Then, call back: If the caller claimed to be from a company, call the official number (not the number you were called by) and ask whether they’ve called you. If they didn’t, they can help you report it.

Good advice, right? I mean, hang up, then try to call the company to find out whether they have really tried to contact you or not… That’s sensible advice and it could have been offered by a responsible company from any country, really.

But… that wasn’t all. I omitted step #2 on purpose, because that’s something only the English would say. Yes, there’s one more bit of advice between step #1, “Hang up and think calmly”, and step #3, “call the official number of the company”. Here’s step #2: Make tea: Making a cup of tea is the perfect opportunity to get away from the phone, pause and reflect on what to do next.

Only then, after you’ve made tea and calmly reflected, do they recommend that you try and contact the company. I’ve talked a little bit about tea and British people – if you’ve read my post you now know I wasn’t exaggerating when I said tea is a very important matter in this country and is seriously woven into the fabric of British society.

But there’s a reason why the company brought up “tea” in their advice – they’re telling their clients to reflect and think camly about what to do next. This is a very, very English way to behave. You guys, you have no idea how calm English people generally are at all times. Things that, communicated to the average Brazilian, would make them pull their hair out are met with a pensive look when relayed to an English person – that means they’re taking it in and trying to think about it rationally. Being rational, reacting calmly and not letting your emotions overtake you are traits that are highly valued by people out here.

That’s why only in England would you see a step 2 like the one I got on this email – a step that combines tea and calm reflection in the face of a problem.

That’s it for today – hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode. Let me know either way and if you have your own ideas on how to react to scam callers – let me know in the comments and talk to you next time!

 

the original message (excerpt)

 

cia-telefonica-ingles

 

Vocabulary

“I know… Shocker” = expressão sarcástica (como “que surpresa, não?”)

swindle you out of (money) = trapacear, enganar você e roubar (dinheiro)

cell phone carrier = empresa de telefonia celular/móvel

sensible = com bom senso

they’re taking it in = eles estão absorvendo, “processando” aquilo que foi dito

relay = (nesse caso) passar uma informação (a alguém)

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