Como digo em inglês: Tô boiando

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

May 02
Como digo em inglês Tô boiando

O podcast de hoje tem expressões que você pode usar para dizer que não entendeu nada ou que está meio perdido.


Hey, how’s it going? This is Ana Luiza with a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to and click Podcast Inglesonline.

OK, so today I’ll start off with a nice expression that will sound familiar to you. Go back to when you were in school. Did you do well in mathematics, physics, history? What was your least favorite subject in school? Mathematics is a popular answer to that question, so let’s go with Maths. If you’re one of those people who hate Maths, I’ll go right ahead and make the assumption that you didn’t do very well in Maths. That’s not necessarily true, of course, but in most cases it is. So let’s say you really disliked Maths, and there were times when the teacher was explaining something or writing this complicated equation on the blackboard, and you were like… “Wow, I have no idea what’s going on on that blackboard”. You know what you could have said? This is all Greek to me.

We say the same in Portuguese: Isso pra mim é grego. In English, This is all Greek to me, or This is Greek to me. It’s a very informal expression, OK, very informal. So, were there times in school when you felt like saying “This is Greek to me”?

Here’s another one: go back again to the time you were in school and picture your teacher explaining something. Now this isn’t Mathematics anymore. This is a different subject, a subject that you actually liked. So, you were usually interested in what the teacher was saying but sometimes you couldn’t understand what she meant. Sometimes you would raise your hand and you would say “Excuse me! I’m not following” or “I’m not following you”. So we can use the word follow to mean ‘understand someone’s reasoning’, or ‘understand someone’s logic’. Right? A private investigator follows people around… When someone opens the door and tells you “Follow me”, they mean “Come right after me” or “Walk right behind me and go wherever I’m going”.

But when someone’s telling you a story or explaining something to you and, all of a sudden, you’re lost… You can say “Wait. I’m not following you.” I’m not following you. What you just said isn’t clear to me, it’s not making sense, I am not following you. Sometimes people will ask you “Are you following me?” or “Do you follow me?”. So that’s what they mean. When someone asks you “Are you following me?”, they want to know if you understand what they are saying. They wanna know if you are following their reasoning, their logic.

And here’s one more. Let’s go back to the teacher and the Maths class. You’re listening to the teacher speak and you’re thinking, “This is all Greek to me”. So after class you’re talking to your friend and he says “Can you help me with Maths? That stuff our teacher talked about today… it went way over my head”. It went over my head, or it went way over my head. Imagine something going over your head. Way over your head. That means you have no idea, you can’t even begin to understand it. Sometimes that happens when we’re talking to friends, even. Sometimes our friends are talking about their work, and it’s something you know nothing about, and it all sounds very complicated, and you think “Wow, this stuff is way over my head”. And you can tell your friend later “You know when you were telling me about your work? That went over my head”. That went way over my head.

So what is it for you? What’s the subject that… when people start talking about it, goes over your head? That makes you think “This is Greek to me”?

OK, that’s it for today. Talk to you next time!


Key expressions

  • That’s Greek to me
  • I’m not following (you)
  • That went (way) over my head



your least favorite = a que você menos gostava

I’ll go right ahead = eu vou em frente, não vou hesitar em

you didn’t do very well in = você não foi muito bem em

it’s not making sense = não está fazendo sentido


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.

  • Ana Luiza says:

    You guys../Pessoal..
    Thank you for all the sweet comments!!
    How about some examples of stuff that is just so over your head…?

  • J.u.l.i.a.n.a says:

    Ana, curto muito seu trabalho… Vc nem imagina o quanto me ajuda. Desculpe, se nem sempre deixo um comentário!

    Congratulations again!
    Easy to study, easy to recorde and apply in my studies!

  • daniel says:

    I love this site and I love Ana Luiza!

  • Claudia says:

    I loved your podcast as ever, it helps me a lot…Maths is Greek to me kkk

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hanssen, pus um link no texto na expressão “felt like”

  • Ana Luiza says:

    @Rafael: loved your comment!! Congrats smile

    @Nicole: your comment made me laugh out loud hahaha… Good question

  • Hanssen says:

    hmmm, muito legal, mas eu gostaria de saber como eu digo:

    “Ele pareceu estar com vontade de tomar sorvete.” Obrigado :]

  • Nicole says:

    just a question, if you’re greek, what would you say instead of ‘this is greek to me’?

  • Hi everyone!
    Well, I listened to this last podcast and I thought it would be interesting to write down about something that is Greek for me.
    It’s very common someone ask, in the middle of a friend meeting or at a party: hey, you are single, so, when do you intend to get married? You should start looking for someone!
    Oh my God, when people say this, I confess that I can’t follow them. I don’t even know what they’re talking about.
    Some time ago, a really close friend of mine got married, then I asked him why he decided to do that, and he said: “Because when loves shows up, you can’t run away!”
    Then I replied: Sorry, but this all sounds like Greek to me… I can’t understand what you mean. Could love be so powerful?
    Well, I’m still trying to get it, but until now, love is something that always goes way over my head.
    Maybe it’s just a question of findind the right one and to learn how to speak Greek.

    Hugs everyone!

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