Hoje vamos falar sobre três expressões diferentes e ver como dizer coisas como “Do nada, fulana fez tal coisa” e “Fulano me entregou para o chefe”.
Hello, everyone. How are you? This is Ana, 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.
I’m gonna talk about three expressions, and to kick things off, I’m gonna give you an example for the first one. I’m pretty sure you’re gonna get this one very fast. Imagine that there’s a woman named Susan who works in an office as a financial analyst. She works in a cube, and in the cube next to her works a guy named Gary. So let’s say that Susan goes to work every day, and every day, when she’s about to leave, she puts some office supplies in her purse. You know, office supplies? Pens, erasers, staplers, paper… So every day before she leaves she grabs some supplies, hides them in her purse and takes them home. She’s stealing office supplies. The thing is, Gary is on to her. He is on to Susan. He knows she’s been stealing a lot of supplies.
So what does Gary do? He approaches Susan one day, when they’re alone in the office, and tells her “Hey, I’m on to you. I saw you hiding a bunch of pens in your purse, and then staplers and a lot of other stuff. I know you’re stealing. So I’ll let our boss know you’re stealing, unless you pay for my silence”. OK. So what is Gary doing? He’s blackmailing Susan, right? He’s blackmailing her. He is threatening to rat her out to their boss if she doesn’t pay him for his silence. So now Susan is being blackmailed.
This is a very common plot device in movies and books. Very often it’ll happen that one of the characters will blackmail another character, like… John finds out that Mary is lying about something and so John blackmails Mary. If she doesn’t do what he wants, he’ll tell everyone she’s lying. Or Jennifer finds out that Donna is cheating on her boyfriend and she tries to blackmail Donna, saying that she’ll tell Donna’s boyfriend about the cheating if Donna doesn’t do what she wants. Can you remember a scene from a movie where one person blackmailed another?
Tell us about it in the comments.
By the way, I think you can get the meaning of “ratting someone out”, right? When you rat someone out to their boss, for example… you’re telling something to the boss that the person is trying to hide. Maybe that person made a mistake, maybe they just did something wrong, or dishonest, and they’re trying to cover it up, and then you go to the boss and you tell him all about that person’s mistake. You are ratting that person out. You’re ratting him or her out. So, to recap, Gary is blackmailing Susan, right? He’s threatening to rat her out to the boss if she doesn’t give him money.
Alright, let’s move on to the last expression of today: when something happens out of the blue, that means that that thing happens totally unexpectedly, without any warning. Out of the blue, as in, something that comes out of the blue sky, like a spaceship in those old sci-fi movies. For example, you had a friend in school when you were 5 or 6 years old. You were both children, obviously, but you were very close. One day your friend’s family moved to another country and you never heard from her again. You’re now 30 years old, and, out of the blue, you get a letter from her. You never thought you would hear from this friend ever again until one day, out of the blue, you get a letter from her.
More examples: two friends met at a café the other day to chat and they were having a great time catching up until, out of the blue, one of them stood up and said she had to leave. What else? Jack lent Mike some money last week and he told Mike there was no hurry to pay him back. Yesterday Jake and Mike ran into each other at the club, and then, out of the blue, Jack says he needs the
money back. One more: Melissa was walking down the street yesterday, and out of the blue comes a police officer and arrests her!
OK, that’s it for today. So tell us what someone said to you, out of the blue. You were totally surprised by what this person said, or did, completely out of the blue. Talk to you next time!
to kick things off = pra começar, dar o pontapé inicial
cube = aqui, cubículo ou baia de escritório
he’s on to her = ele já percebeu que ela está fazendo algo estranho/errado/diferente/etc.
cover it up = mascarar as evidências, fazer com que aquela coisa não seja descoberta
catching up = pondo a conversa em dia
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