Como digo em inglês: Pego no flagra!

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jun 14
Como digo em inglês Pego no flagra

O podcast de hoje mostra como dizer “Foi pego no flagra!”.


Hi, 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.

Today I’m going to talk about a few expressions with the word catch. Catch, c-a-t-c-h. I’m also gonna use the past forms of catch: caught and caught. That’s it: catch, caught, caught. I’ve already used an expression with caught in a previous podcast, “caught me off guard”. So today let’s start with “get caught”.

If you’ve ever been in school, you know that during any given exam there’s always someone cheating. Right? That means, there’s always someone looking at a little piece of paper that has stuff written on it that you were supposed to have memorized for the test. Or there’s someone looking for information in a book while the teacher is not looking. Now, some people are really good at that. They cheat on every test, and they never get caught!

Some criminals never get caught. There was a movie starring Leonardo diCaprio where he played a thief, I think, and the guy went on for years without getting caught. I can’t remember if he ever got caught in real life. I think he did, and nowadays he works as a security consultant or something like that… I’m not sure.

So let me give you an example: let’s say John just arrived at school after a great weekend at the beach and when he gets to the classroom, all his classmates are getting ready for an exam. They’re all sitting at their desks quietly, leafing through their books trying to quickly recap parts of the subject. John senses that something’s up and he asks Mary what’s going on. Mary looks at him, surprised, and says “We’re having an exam in five minutes”. Now, I have to say, this happened to me once when I was in college. I got to school and there was an exam going on which I knew nothing about, but that’s a story for another day. OK, so John forgot all about the exam, he didn’t prepare at all and now he thinks his only chance to do well is to leave the book open under his desk and try to look for the answers during the exam.

But John is not an experienced cheater. Up to now he has never cheated, so, guess what? His first attempt at cheating fails miserably. He’s looking at the first chapter of the book, trying to find the answer to question 1, and all of a sudden he sees his teacher standing right beside him. The teacher says “John, please hand me your exam and head straight to the Principal’s office”. So… John was caught red-handed. In Portuguese we could say “O John foi pego no flagra”. His teacher saw the book under John’s desk, and he saw John looking at the book. John was caught red-handed.

Other examples of being caught red-handed? Let’s say you left your wallet in a room, and left. After a while you come back and you open the door in the exact moment someone is taking money from your wallet. There’s no denying it – you saw it, you saw this guy holding your wallet in one hand and taking money from the wallet with the other had. You caught him red-handed.

Why do we say red-handed? It has to do with catching someone with blood in their hands, which might prove that this person committed a murder, or a crime. So John was cheating and he was caught red-handed, and that guy was taking money from your wallet and you caught him red-handed. And here’s another great way of saying that: John was caught in the act. He was caught in the act (ele foi pego no flagra). John was caught in the act, and you caught that guy in the act when he was trying to steal your money.

So when you catch someone in the act, when you catch someone red-handed… there’s no denying it, right? There’s nothing the person can really say to deny what they were doing. You saw them, you saw what they were doing with your own eyes. You caught them in the act. You caught them red-handed.

So give us your examples. Have you ever been caught in the act of doing something you were not supposed to be doing? Come on, let us know. And before I say good-bye today I’d like to mention two reviews for this podcast at the iTunes store – I saw them the other day and they were both great. One of them was left by Fmcp and it says “Nice English tips specially designed for Brazilian natives learning American English”. The other one was left by E4fun and it says “It’s absolutely the best podcast of English for Brazilian learners. Ana Luiza is a wonderful teacher! Thanks Ana!” Well, it’s my pleasure, thank you guys for the reviews; I appreciate that. And if you’re listening via iTunes, feel free to leave a review, that’s always cool.

Alright, so talk to you next time!


Key expressions

  • get caught
  • caught red-handed
  • caught in the act



during any given exam = em qualquer exame/teste

without getting caught = sem ser pego

leafing through their books = folheando seus livros

senses that = sente que

something’s up = tem algo no ar, algo acontecendo

he’s not an experienced cheater = ele não tem prática em colar (cheater = pessoa que cola)

first attempt at cheating = primeira tentativa de colar

head straight to the Principal’s office = vá diretamente à sala do diretor/a

there’s no denying it = não tem como negar



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:

    Hi everyone! Thanks for all the comments, as always smile
    Murilo, that’s it – Catch me if you can… You can say ‘soundtrack’

  • Murilo says:

    Nice podcast, Ana, they are always great. And I like the movie that you mentioned, I think it’s called “Catch me if you can”, something like that… and the music of the movie is very good too. By the way, how can I say “Trilha Sonora” in english?

    Hugs, and keep your great job.

  • English tips says:

    Definitely it is, Jose, telling for friends about INGLES ONLINE, useful and helpful tool for us, English learners.

  • Jose says:

    “Inglesonline” is modern way to learn effortless. Thank you.

  • English tips says:

    First of all, congratulations, great accent, secondly this one actually provides a self-study for us, Self-Taught that’s why I decided to include the link of INGLES ONLINE on my favorite ones. My blog of course is quite different because I just promote what there are the best on the net you can find out Transcripts audio from Speak Up magazine. Just invite your readers to have a look at there. One more time, congratulations.

  • Ramires Fernandes says:

    OMG, that was an excellent text. In fact, I fell like having a nostalgy. lol.. childhood… well, reading your POD is a good option for those students who are at home. As far as I`m concerned, most part of brazilian teachers still going on strike, right?? To go on strike…I would love to read a composition of you about it. HUGS

  • Marco Brainiac says:

    Hi Ana,

    I’ve heard in some series (perhaps Supernatural) something seemed
    “Caught with the hands in paints”

    Graffiti vandals caught with paint on their hands by policemen.

    Ricardo Texeira was caught with paint on his hands by CNN, he was taking pribe.

    Ricardo Texeira was caught red-handed by CNN, He was taking pribe.

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hi everyone! THanks, Magda smile

    Dani – what phrasal verb series are you referring to? Teacher Rogerio just started a series, still going on.

    Cleiton – please email me your suggestion. Thanks!

    Ira – haha.. There are SOME elements of truth to this story, and that’s all I’m gonna say! smile

  • Ira says:

    Hi Ana, is that an autobiographical story? hehe Hope your teacher didn’t catch you red-handed. Well, there’s this story. When I was a teenager I used to go to a club along with my friends. The thing is, I was the only one who didn’t have the membership card. Good thing I was never caught red-handed, but I must confess that it was scary and fun at the same time.

  • Cleyton says:

    Hi Ana Luiza,

    I love your methods of teaching English, you are a great teacher, you always come with some tips to help us. I love that!!! please i have a question! could you explain the difference between the verbs (FINISH, END AND OVER) sometimes it makes me confused.i dont know how to use the correct one in some phrases or expression.
    I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

                cleyton botelho!!!

  • Daniela says:

    I, Ana Luiza, how are you? I’m Daniela, I’m an English student and I love your hints. I was following the phrasal verbs serie….what happened with them?

  • Magda says:

    Really,  You know how to teach, your voice is nice, you explain very clearly , to boot.  That’s what I call a great teacher.

  • Ana Luiza says:

    hahaha! Love that story!
    (your mother caught your little brother red-handed)
    Thanks smile

  • Vagner Carvalho says:

    This podcast reminded me of a famous photograph from my family, there, my mother caught red-handed my brother, still very small, “stealing” the chocolate from the cupboard.
    Ana, thank you for your help. Congratulations for the great work.
    I’m a beginner and frequent visitor to your website

  • >