Como digo em inglês: Não ficou à altura de… – Inglês Online

Como digo em inglês: Não ficou à altura de…

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

May 30
Como digo em inglês Não ficou à altura de…

O podcast de hoje fala sobre expectations, e como dizer que algo não correspondeu às suas expectativas ou deixou a desejar.


Hey, what’s up? 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.

So picture this: there’s a new blockbuster out in the theaters. What’s a blockbuster? That’s a movie that makes millions of people go watch it and that makes tons of money. Think Harry Potter, Avatar, Transformers… Those were all blockbusters. So back to the story… Imagine that there’s a new blockbuster at the theaters and everyone is talking about it. Every time you turn around there’s a magazine cover, an interview with the lead actor, a photo, or someone saying they’ve watched it and loved it.

Not surprisingly, your expectations for this movie begin to mount. In the beginning, meh… You were not that interested. But you’ve heard so much from your sister, your friends and your coworkers that now you’re not only curious but you can’t wait to go see this movie. By now, you have high expectations for this movie. You are convinced that you’re gonna have such a great time at the theater. You buy your ticket online in advance, you choose the best seat in the house and you don’t even tell your friends that you’re going, ’cause you don’t want to hear your friends chit-chatting throughout the movie… No, you want to give this wonderful movie your complete and undivided attention. You’re so sure you’re gonna have the time of your life.

Can your expectations get any higher? Not likely. The state I just described is a state of high expectations, very high expectations. Sometimes our high expectations are met. And everyone’s happy. But very often, we have high expectations for something and we end up disappointed. Why? Because we’ve built this thing up in our minds, we’ve imagined something based on other people’s opinions, and… that doesn’t always correspond to reality or we realize
that we have a different opinion.

So if you go into a movie or into a play with high expectations, let’s say that there’s a good chance you may be disappointed. Sometimes we go to a restaurant with high expectations. Sometimes we sign up for a course, or buy a computer with high expectations. Now, some people say it’s better to always have low expectations in general about everything – this way, you never get disappointed. What do you think? I think this is hard to control and sometimes my expectations are high and sometimes they’re low. When I began this website, I had low expectations. I wanted to see it grow a little bit, I thought it would be cool if some people came by and if I made a little money with ads, but the truth is, Inglês Online grew beyond my highest expectations. So there’s an example of something I had low expectations for… my website. Sort of, sort of low expectations. Not that low.

And here’s an expression that is somewhat related to expectations: “measure up”. So let’s say you went to see the blockbuster and you had such high expectations that, after the movie ended… you were left with a feeling of “Is that it? That’s the movie everyone’s talking about? Huh.” You were less than impressed. You weren’t all that impressed. You expected a whole lot more out of this movie based on all the buzz. Now that you’ve seen it, you realize that this movie didn’t measure up. It did not measure up to your expectations. It didn’t measure up to what you were expecting. I guess in Portuguese we could say “Não ficou à altura”. The movie didn’t measure up to your expectations.

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We can use “didn’t measure up” or “doesn’t measure up” for lots of things. For example, you love the Harry Potter movies 1 through 5, but you think 6 and 7 didn’t measure up to the previous episodes. There’s a great Chinese restaurant in your neighborhood and the owner opened a new restaurant near your office. You tried it, but you thought the new place doesn’t measure up to the old one. Your boss, who you admire very much, left the company and now there’s a new boss, and you think he doesn’t measure up. In all of these examples, we are comparing something to something else that we like, and that thing, or that person, is not measuring up. We think it is not as good as the previous one.

Alright! So what are your examples? When was the last time you had low expectations for something? Or the opposite… you had high expectations for something, but the real thing didn’t measure up. Talk to you next time!


Key expressions

  • high / low expectations
  • measure up



every time you turn around = “pra onde você olha”, com muita frequência

mount = aumentar

by now = a essa altura

get any higher = ficar maior/mais alta

not likely = provavelmente não

we built this thing up = a gente criou, construiu, imaginou essa coisa

it’s somewhat related to = tem um pouco a ver com

Is that it? = É isso? ou É (só) isso?

  • […] or maybe not difficult at all. When someone asks you “So, how good was the movie? Did it measure up to the hype?”, this person is asking you if the movie was very good, or just good, or maybe not […]

  • […] or maybe not difficult at all. When someone asks you “So, how good was the movie? Did it measure up to the hype?”, this person is asking you if the movie was very good, or just good, or maybe not […]

  • Henry Akashi says:

    Hi Felipe, “To Picture” something is when the same of “To Imagine”. To be clear, you’ll use “picture something” when someone is telling a story, for example:

    “Hey dude, once I drank so much I didn’t remember where I parked my car. Picture me all lost on the street”

    Did you understand?

  • Felipe says:

    Hi Ana

    every time that I come listen one of you podcasts I have high expectations to learn something cool …

    let me ask a question
    wahat’s te meaning of ‘‘picture this’’ ?

  • Henry Akashi says:

    Ana, once more, thanks a lot for bringing us all these wonderfull tips. It has helped a lot im my studying.

    Now I’m gonna try to explain my current situation through this tip…

    Last year I got a new job as kid’s english teacher at the City Schools. It was a really difficult process to get tohe job. At first, I mean, the first semester, looked like my daydream job; my salary was beyond I even could imagined, but as most people say “Joy is short-lived in a poor man’s house”.
    This year my salary isn’t the same and all the good stuff just vanished. I could say I had the highest expectations to this year in my job based on 2010, but it doesn’t measure up.

    That’s it..

  • Ailton says:

    Hi Ana, I also realized that when we have high expectation so usually the things doesn´t measure up, that´s a pity, it´s really hard to control.



  • Marize says:

    I didn`t have very higt expectations about understand all your text, butam i understood more than i expected.
    I`m a one year student of English.
    Congratulations for your website.

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hi everyone! LOVE reading the comments, thanks!

    Carlos – thank you – it’s been corrected smile

  • Carlos says:

    Hi,Ana——>I’ve saw this in the transcripts:
    “You want to give this wonderful movie you complete and undivided attention”.
    It could also be:
    “You want to give this wonderful movie your complete and undivided attention”.

      Many Thanks and all the best.Carlos Augusto your fan.

  • Maria says:

    Hi Ana Luiza, thanks a lot for this another so useful tip.
    Well, here’s my answers. I’m a person who has so much difficult to control the expectations. So it’s very normal for me when something or someone doesn’t measure up my expectations. The last situation that happened to me was when I met a guy on a relationship website and I got so curious and excited to know him personaly. I had high expectations about him, but when I saw and talked to him face-to-face he didn’t even look like he had told me. So he didn’t measure up my expectations.

  • Cláudia Rejane says:

    Hi everyone,

    I agree with whom says it is better have low or no one expectation about something. I know that sometimes is pretty difficult to control our expectation, specially when it is about something very important to us,  but anyway, in my life the most important decisions or big surprises, great rides, travels or parties had happend when I was with no one expectation about it and I have good memories about it. It is not good when something doesn´t measure up your expectations.

  • Denise Garay says:

    Excellent hints! It improves my English and makes me feel secure about conversation.
    Thanks a lot

  • Willian says:

    Hi Ana Luiza!

    I had high expectations about a new job, I thought the interview was great, but some days later, the interviewer said: “Sorry, we hire another person, but your resumé will be in our database”

    But in another situation I had low expectations about the interview, and I got hired, it’s my current job.

    Job´s interview is always a surprise box, we never know.

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