Como falo em inglês: Dá um jeito na sua vida!

What’s up?

Hoje eu falo sobre dois idioms super comuns com a palavra clean.

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

Transcrição

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

We have a couple of idioms today with the word clean. Yep. I bet you all know what clean means – both the verb and the adjective. There’s always more to learn when it comes to English though… and that’s because the sheer number of idiomatic expressions in this language is just unbelievable.

So our first idiom of today is come clean. People sometimes come clean with someone about something. That means they have admitted something to that person. Obviously we’re talking here about something unpleasant or difficult, right?

Let’s say this guy called Peter came clean with his dad about how his car got damaged. It wasn’t someone else’s fault, like Peter originally claimed; it was Peter’s fault and he came clean about it with his dad. Last week, Peter came clean with his friend Tina about his true intentions when they became friends: he actually has feelings for her, and Tina had no idea. So Peter admitted, or came clean, about his feelings for Tina.

Ideally politicians would come clean about all their misdeeds, all at once, like right now – wouldn’t that be perfect? Obviously many people never come clean about lots of things they’ve done, or how they feel, and so on. Some people do, however – can you remember the last time it happened to you? Or maybe you were the person who came clean about something. I’d like to hear your story – please leave a comment.

Our second idiom with clean today is about getting your act together. It’s about improving your behaviour in some way; it’s about changing the way you do things and perhaps behaving in a way that is more acceptable, constructive, or nice – you get the idea. I’m talking about the idiom clean up your act. Let’s say your friend Karen was fired for being a lazy and dishonest employee. You could tell her “Karen, you brought this on yourself. You know you should not have lied to your boss and you should have done your job. It’s up to you now to clean up your act and start behaving like a mature, reliable person.”

Or let’s say you stayed in a hotel for a few days and found that your room was a bit dirty, the flush valve in the bathroom didn’t work, the service was sloppy and the food was bad. So now you’re back in your home and you go to the Trip Advisor website to leave a review – you feel it’s your duty to warn others before they make the same mistake and spend money on a horrible stay. You go ahead and write “Hotel ABC needs to clean up their act. Sloppy service, room hadn’t been cleaned, couldn’t flush for a whole day.”

You could say that someone who used to drink excessively, for example, and got into a bit of trouble every now and then because of their excessive drinking, has now cleaned up their act. That means this person doesn’t drink excessively anymore.

That’s it for today! Tell me about how you cleaned up your act about something, and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • come clean about something with someone
  • clean up your act

 

Vocabulary

sheer = palavra usada para dar ênfase, como em português às vezes se usa “puro” ou “simples”

he has feelings for her = ele gosta dela (no sentido romântico)

brought this on yourself = você foi a causa dessa coisa indesejável que aconteceu com você

service was sloppy = serviço foi com má vontade, descuidado

 

Como falo em inglês: Já era hora!

How have you been?

Hoje eu falo sobre um idiom comuníssimo e pouco usado por nós, brasileiros que aprendem inglês. Enjoy :-)

Observação: 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!

Baixe o mp3
Para imprimir a transcrição, clique no ícone da impressora que aparece logo antes do início deste post.

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

Transcrição

How have you been? 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 imagine you have a favourite restaurant in your neighbourhood. You’ve been going to this restaurant for years. You like the food, you know the staff, it’s reasonably priced, it’s almost perfect. Not just for you, but all your neighbours go often as well. It’s just a great place. There’s only one downside: they don’t take credit cards as a payment method.

That’s right. You have to pay in cash. Not that you spend a fortune every time you go, it’s not that. It’s just that it would be easier if you didn’t have to worry about having enough cash in your wallet every time you go there. You know what I mean? It’s always the same thing: you gotta check your wallet and, two times out of three, make a stop at the ATM machine before you head to the restaurant.

So today is Sunday and you decide to stop by your favourite neighbourhood place and have a nice meal. The owner is happy to see you and proceeds to take you to your favourite table. He then says “Guess what? We now take credit cards!” Yep, that’s right. You can hardly believe it. After so many years, finally! You say “Wow, that is awesome. It’s about time you guys accepted credit cards!” It’s about time.

It’s about time your restaurant accepted credit cards. Notice the verb tense: accepted. It’s about time the restaurant accepted credit cards. Everyone else does! This is a great restaurant, customers love it, people come in often for a good meal and nowadays many of us rely on cards to pay safely and easily. People have been looking forward to the day they’d be able to simply whip out their card and make a payment. So it’s about time you accepted cards.

City workers put some speed bumps on the road near where I live, and my thought was “It’s about time they did that!” There are kids crossing that road every day and speed bumps help make it safer, so it’s about time the city put a few of those on that road.” Notice that “put” is the past tense of put.

You know when you’re watching a movie and the villain seems to be able to get away with everything? It’s like the good guys are the last ones to know. So when something happens that finally puts an end to the villain’s misdoings, you think “It’s about time. It’s about time something bad happened to the villain of the story.” Again, notice that I used “happened”, past form of happen.

Or maybe it’s been hot and dry where you live for a couple of months and then, all of a sudden, one day it starts to rain. You think “It’s about time we had some rain”.

How would you use “about time” in your own life? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time.

 

Key expressions

  • about time

 

Vocabulary

ATM machine = caixa eletrônico (ATM = automated teller machine)

two times out of three = de cada três vezes, duas vezes

whip out (something) = sacar (um cartão, uma caneta do bolso, etc – informal)

speed bump = lombada

misdoing = coisa errada, crime

Como falo em inglês: Isso está fora de questão

Hi, there.

Hoje eu falo sobre idioms super comuns com a palavra question. Enjoy!

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

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

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Para imprimir a transcrição, clique no ícone da impressora que aparece logo antes do início deste post.

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

Transcrição

Hi there. 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 let’s say you’re planning your holidays – you’re looking forward to them. You’ve been browsing the Internet, looking for nice destinations but it turns out you’re going to your favourite beach town as always. You can’t wait! You’re so excited about the holidays that you can’t help but ask Sally, your boss, where she’s headed for her holidays this year.

Sally looks at you and says “Holidays? Holidays are out of the question for me this year. With one manager in hospital and the new manager I’m responsible for training, I can’t even think of taking time off before January.” Wow. You feel bad for Sally, obviously, but like she said – holidays are completely out of the question for her at this moment.

So notice how we say this in English – out of the question. Slightly different from what we say in Portuguese, right? A few more examples: I don’t like sushi. That’s true, by the way. Having a sushi dinner for me would be out of the question. I’m not a fan of horror movies. In fact, I never watch them. So getting me to go with you to the cinema to watch a violent horror movie – it’s out of the question! Don’t even try. Don’t waste your time.

Alright – so let’s move on to our second idiom of today: there’s no question. There’s no question for me that soda drinks do not quench my thirst. On a hot day I need water, no question about it. Notice that in Brazil we use the word “dúvida” for the same kind of expression, right? So there’s no question you can’t always translate Brazilian or Portuguese expressions literally into English, and vice-versa. Many times I see writers translating English expressions literally into Portuguese – which frankly just makes their text harder to comprehend. There’s no question our mother-tongue is rich and varied enough that we can find whatever words we need to put our point across.

So that one is really easy – there’s no question. Now here’s an interesting term with the word question before we wrap things up: a loaded question. A loaded question is a question that requires… a loaded answer. How so? Well, imagine you run into your friend Jane, who’s just separated from her husband of fifteen years. You ask her if she’s alright and then your second question is “Do you miss your ex-husband?” Jane immediately says “Oh, that’s a loaded question.” The reason she says that is, she still feels vulnerable, she’s confused, she’s a bit depressed but, on the other hand, relieved that she can now move on… It is a bit difficult for her to express how she feels because so many emotions are involved. That is why this is a loaded question.

You can also say a question is loaded when it’s not necessarily about personal emotions, but still about a difficult or complicated topic and demands a difficult or complicated answer. Maybe you just bumped into your friend Tom who owns a company, and he tells you the company has been in the red for the past six months. So you ask him “Are going to let some people go?” Tom says “That’s a loaded question. I’ve been struggling about what to do and have not made a decision yet.” So you can tell that is a difficult subject for Tom – as we would expect. He’s probably been thinking a lot about it and, because it’s not easy, hasn’t decided what to do at this point. And that’s why he said “That’s a loaded question.”

So that’s all for today. Let me know what things are out of the question as far as you’re concerned, and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • out of the question
  • there’s no question
  • a loaded question

 

Vocabulary

I didn’t get the reference = não entendi a referência

quench my thirst = mata(m) a minha sede

in the red = no vermelho

put a point across = comunicar uma ideia

let people go = (neste contexto) mandar pessoas embora, dispensar

Como falo em inglês: Ela faz isso com o pé nas costas

Hey, everybody.

bigger fish to fryHoje eu falo sobre dois idioms super comuns com a palavra fish… Incluindo como dizer a frase do título deste pod. Enjoy!

Observação: 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!

Baixe o mp3
Para imprimir a transcrição, clique no ícone da impressora que aparece logo antes do início deste post.

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

Transcrição

Hey, everybody. 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 imagine that it’s a stressful day at the office. A stressful Friday, to be specific. You’ve got a million things to do and your phone seems to be ringing off the hook. You’re getting ready to enter an important meeting when your work colleague approaches you and says “Hey buddy, have you heard about the new curtains in the meeting room? They’re thinking about a purple pattern for the curtains but I’d really rather have a floral design. Can you swing by later today and take a look at the catalogue, see which ones you like? I think you’ll agree with me – floral is the way to go.”

So you look at your colleague and say “Sounds important. However I do have four different meetings to attend this afternoon before 5pm, so I think you’ll understand when I tell you that, as much as I would like to help you choose the best colour for the new curtains, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.”

That’s right. You have bigger fish to fry today. That’s a different way of saying… I’ve got more important things to do than the one you’re asking me to do. I can’t take time to do this thing you’ve just spoken about – I’ve got bigger fish to fry. Four meetings before 5 PM.

Then you pick up the phone in your office and it’s your admin. She says “Tony from the warehouse is calling about your visit next week.” You know who Tony is and, in a different situation, you’d take the call. Not today, though. You’ve got bigger fish to fry and that’s what you tell your admin: “Listen, I’ve got other fish to fry now. Please take a message and tell Tony I’ll speak to him soon.” Sometimes you need to make a choice, right? When you don’t have time or resources to do everything that comes your way, you’ve got to prioritise. Sometimes you just have to say “I have bigger fish to fry” and move along with something that is more important to you.

OK – on to our second idiom of today. Imagine something that is ridiculously easy to accomplish. Maybe you’re very skilled at cooking wonderful food. You’ve been doing it for years, to the point.. your friends ask you to cook for them when they have a special occasion. You’re a wonderful cook. Some would say you’re a proper chef. So when someone asks you if you’re capable of making a nice lasagna, your friend Larry says “Lasagna? That’s like shooting fish in a barrel for him (or her)”.

That’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Obviously if you have fish trapped in a barrel… it would be easier to shoot them than if they were swimming freely in the sea or in a river. So, that’s basically it. For you, making a great lasagna is like shooting fish in a barrel. So easy.

Let’s say you arrive in São Paulo and it’s your first time in the city. Ever. You have to visit several different offices in different parts of the city. It’s a bit daunting. You know São Paulo is a huge city and it’s easy to get lost. However your friend Maria comes to the rescue and you immediately feel better. Maria has lived in São Paulo for decades and knows her way around the city like the back of her hand. She’s volunteered to drive you wherever you need to go. She’s even better at this than a cab driver. For Maria, getting to any address in São Paulo is like shooting fish in a barrel. She’s basically a human GPS.

So tell me – where could you apply that expression in your life? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time.

Key expressions

  • other/bigger fish to fry
  • like shooting fish in a barrel

 

Vocabulary

ringing off the hook = (telefone) tocando sem parar

admin = administrative assistant

daunting = assustador (no sentido de intimidating)

like the back of her hand = como a palma da mão (veja que não é uma tradução exata)

 

Mais uma maneira de falar em inglês: Ele me enganou

Hi, everyone.

Hoje eu falo sobre alguns idioms que raramente são usados em inglês – brincadeira! Como sempre, expressões super comuns e que estão na boca dos falantes nativos, hoje com a palavra trick.

Observação: 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!

Baixe o mp3
Para imprimir a transcrição, clique no ícone da impressora que aparece logo antes do início deste post.

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

Transcrição

Hi, everyone. 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 let me tell you about a term that we use when we want to say that someone used a bit of deception in order to make another person do something. Attention! Deception does not mean “decepção”. Deception happens when you deceive someone; when you lie to them, or exaggerate, or omit information, so that they will act in a way that gives you the result you want. That’s deception.

So here’s our first idiom: trick someone into doing something. It’s basically what I’ve just said, but here it goes again: when you trick someone into doing something, you’re fooling or deceiving this person. Maybe you’re telling them a lie. Maybe you’re only implying something… that is not true. You might be holding some information back from this person, because you know that if you tell them, they’re not going to do what you want. Or maybe… you’re manipulating them in some way, leading them on to behave in a certain way.

Whatever you’re doing, when you trick someone into doing something you’re not being a hundred percent honest with that person about what you know, or your motives. For example: let’s say my [quote, unquote] “friend” John tells me one day “Hey, Ana, I’m selling raffle tickets to help with a really worthy cause. It’s an amazing cause. Would you be interested in a ticket?” And I say “Oh yeah, sure. I’m feeling generous so give me five tickets!”

Later my friend Mary gives me a ring and tells me how John doesn’t actually represent any causes. He said he was going to help the poor with the proceeds from the tickets, but actually he’s raising money for himself so he can buy a new car! So there you have it: John tricked me into buying raffle tickets, and now he’s nowhere to be found. He ran away with the money. First, he tricked me  – and a few other people – into buying his tickets, and then he ran away.

By the way, tricking someone into doing something is different from talking someone into doing something. Check out that episode to learn more.

And here’s onde more idiom with the word trick. Very simple, very common, just use it whenever you find something that does exactly what you need. That does the trick. It does pretty much what is needed. This morning I needed to put some old clothes in boxes because someone was coming over later to collect the boxes and give them away to people in poor communities. I thought I’d need to go to the shop and get a couple of boxes, but then all of a sudden I stumbled upon the old box my stove came in, in the garage. That did the trick. Problem solved. The stove box did the trick.

Last week someone told me about a new hair product and I went over to my local drugstore to buy it but they were out. Instead, I bought a similar product and then when I came back home I tested it on my hair. It did the trick! Yeah, it wasn’t the product I had originally been recommended, but it did the trick anyway. It worked. It did what I needed it to do.

Alright – so now please go ahead and tell me what it is that you’ve bought recently that did the trick – it did exactly what you needed. Talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • trick someone into doing something
  • do the trick

 

Vocabulary

quote, unquote = maneira como as aspas são lidas em inglês: “friend” lê-se ‘quote, unquote friend’.

raffle = sorteio

a worthy cause = uma causa (de caridade) muito boa, de valor

 

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