Podcast: Can a leopard change its spots? – Inglês Online

Podcast: Can a leopard change its spots?

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Aug 30
Inglês - Podcast Can a leopard change its spots

Hoje falamos sobre como você se arrisca se não diversificar suas opções, e sobre a possibilidade de as pessoas mudarem.


Hey, everybody! 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 inglesonline.com.br and click Podcast Inglesonline.

OK, think about this: you just graduated from high school and you’re trying to get into college XYZ. You want college XYZ because it’s the college your parents went to and you think it’s the best college in the world. So you’re not applying to any other schools. The only school, the only college you are interested in is college XYZ. You’re not even gonna try other schools. That’s risky, right? That’s a risky thing to do. If college XYZ doesn’t accept you, you will have to wait a whole year in order to be able to apply for college again. That would be similar in Brazil to taking the Vestibular exam to only one college or University. If you pass, great; if you don’t, you’ll have to wait until the next round of Vestibular exams to try again.

So many people would consider that a risky thing to do. So… you know what you’re doing, when you do this? You’re putting all your eggs in one basket. Someone might tell you “Are you crazy? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! I know college XYZ is your favorite, but you should also try college ABC and college FGH!” Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Another example… Let’s say you hired someone to organize the Christmas party at your office. You’ve never heard of this person before but you spoke to her on the phone and she seemed nice. She is going to take care of the food, the decoration and the music. Everything. So you tell your boss that you hired this person to do everything, and he says “Are you sure you wanna have all your eggs in one basket like that? Why don’t you hire someone else to A leopard can't change its spotstake care of the decoration, and another person to handle the music? I mean, you don’t even know this person, and she’s responsible for everything! It’s too risky”. So you think about it, and you realize that it’s true, you really are putting all your eggs in one basket by hiring only one person to handle all aspects of the Christmas party. And what’s worse, she hasn’t been recommended by anyone… you got her number off the yellow pages.

And here’s a saying I heard the other day: a leopard can’t change its spots. Look at the picture: do you see the leopard? Leopards have black spots all over their bodies. They’re covered in spots. So, the saying goes “A leopard can’t change its spots”. What does that mean? Basically, that means that people don’t change, or people can’t change. So it’s very common to hear that saying when, for example, you were expecting someone to behave differently from the way they usually do. For example, sometimes a woman complains that her boyfriend or husband has cheated on her for the third time, and then someone will say “Hey, what did you expect? A leopard can’t change its spots”. So, if the guy cheated before, of course he’s going to cheat again. A leopard can’t change its spots.

What do you think? Not necessarily in regards to cheating, but in general: do you think it is true that people can’t change? Do you agree with this saying “A leopard can’t change its spots”? My opinion is, it depends. I certainly think it is possible to change. It is possible for people to change, to modify their behavior for various reasons. So I think that a leopard can change its spots. A figurative leopard, of course! Not the animal. Sure, sometimes people exhibit the same behavior all their lives… they do the same thing over and over again. But that’s not always the case. So, this saying… A leopard can’t change its spots? I think sometimes it applies, but most of the time, to be honest, I don’t think it does.

What is your opinion? Do you agree that a leopard can’t change its spots, or do you have an interesting story to tell us about how someone really changed their behavior? Let us know in the comments. Talk to you next time!


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Key expressions

  • all your eggs in one basket
  • a leopard can’t change its spots


what’s worse = o que é pior

off the yellow pages = a partir das páginas amarelas

a saying = um ditado

  • Ana Flávia says:

    I´m spiritualistic person and I believe in changes yes. Specially, because for me this is a tests world, where we can rewrite our life correcting our wrongs past life…so for me, it´s possible a leopard change his spots ;)

  • Wallace says:

    It’s amazing! My congratulations, Ana!

    Note: I suggest a website to practice listening and learn more about many issues: http://www.ted.com/

  • Vera Graña Cruz says:

    I think a leopard can change his spot, when people learn with life suffering, I mean, when they learn hard through their own experiences, even that,  there is some of them don’t facing risks, so they don’t learn. No facing risks,  no leopards changing its spots.Hugs

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hello, all

    I love reading your comments and seeing that you’re all taking advantage of the podcasts! keep listening to English.. it’s one of the best things you can do.

  • ÉDER SUZARTE says:

    very good Ana Luiza, i learn soo much with the podcast…i like to hear the podcasts and don’t read the transcription…congratulations for your work…

    Well from,

    Americana / SP

  • Welligion says:

    Hi Ana, again.

    Another use very common of “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is in stock market.

  • Welligion says:

    Hi Ana!

    You’re my favorite voice of podcasts. I like your opinions. People can change if it wants.

    Well from,

  • Diana Pimenta says:

    I quite dont agree with that saying cause everyone can change of course. I bet we all have a particular example =) …

    Loved this podcast!

    Good work for everybody’ English language with the help of Ana is just great!

    Xoxo from,

  • Tiago Américo says:

    Hello,I am very happy for these podcasts they are really helpful, healthy and interesting! Well in my opinion I can ensure you all that it is possible a leopard change its spots.
    If someone is in Christ Jesus is a new Creation and God can completely change a person through what Jesus did on the Cross!!

  • Stefane L. F. says:

    Own Gosh! I love this podcast, it´s marvelous! Did me to think about my life. In my opinion and experience of life, it´s possible to change everything in our lives with power of God, and open our minds for transformation of our thoughts about ourself. Thank´s a lot!!

  • Renata says:

    Hi Ana! Is always great to read your podcasts. Tks a lot! Well, I do believe that people can change, but the most important ingredient of it, it’s to realize its importance and necessity.

  • sandro says:

    as a child i used to think that nobody could change their mind.as the time go bye i realize some do not even tried to strive effort to make it real…i guess it depends on the individual one..everyone is different one of the other ………

  • sandro says:

    sure..i do believe anyone can change..everthing is possible when you want it to be..so if you really thinking about change..belçieve it..try your hard…and go ahead

  • Marcos says:

    I think that people can to change the way to be,but them have really to want it.
    so,in my opinion a leopard can change it’s spots if he to want,of course.

  • Marcelo says:

    Hello, Ana, your pods are fantastic, not to mention your voice and English too. I think a leopard “can” change its spots, figuratively speaking hehe. Let’s take into consideration my own example, I used to live in São Paulo city and worked as an Information systems technician out there, and I could never have imagined working as a farmer in the countryside of São Paulo state. There are also other aspects that I changed my mind about. I think we can always change our minds and behavior as a whole, as long as we want to do it.

  • João Perchiavalli Filho says:

    I’m a new reader of podcasts and am enjoying the context and explanations

  • Everton says:

    Oh I understand! I had heard about these fraternities at some U.S. TV show so I just thought you were talking about it and did not even remember what we use XYZ for generic things.
    But was worth the confusion I learned about the fraternities at the University of San Francisco! hehe
    See ya!

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Hi everyone, thanks for the comments!! Love reading your opinions.

    Everton: XYZ is just a generic example, such as what we might say in Portuguese “escolha uma escola XYZ qualquer…”

  • Everton says:

    First I would like to congratulate you for the work, I think the podcasts are a great idea, my preferred way to improve myself in the English language is listening, and your voice is beautiful for that!
    I was thinking about that college XYZ, I never heard about it, I looked on Wikipedia and found this College of San Francisco where he says there are several fraternities but not quite understood, it says that XYZ (Zeta Upsilon Chi) is based on something in mind , body and soul, I wonder what are these fraternities, there is something like that in Brazil?
    Thank you!

  • Marianna Gualberto says:

    I think people can change. I mean, people will always have their specific personality, but we can work in our characteristics, trying to be a better person!

    P.s: I love Ingles Online, it’s really helping me. Great podcasts! =)
    Congratulations, Ana. =D

  • Diogo says:

    Ana, your comments and topics are really great, thanks for this website.

    I nerver saw one people that changed their behavior. I had to like so much of yours sents.

    Thanks and keep doing it.

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