Hi, all. What’s up?
Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online a gente fala sobre algumas expressões em inglês com cores.
Hello, everyone. What’s up? Today we have 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.
Let’s take a look at some terms or expressions with colors today. Here’s the first one: black and white. That’s the expression: ‘black and white’. What does it mean? For example, let’s say you work for a small company that makes custom computers. So one day the owner of the company tells you that he is facing a difficult situation: many suppliers of computer parts have increased their prices. That means that it is now more expensive to make a computer. Unless the company increases computer prices for the final consumer, you guys are going to start operating in the red real soon.
By the way – here’s another expression with a color; the color red: “in the red”. If a company is operating in the red, it means that that company is not making a profit right now; it is actually losing money. I think we’ve all heard of companies operating in the red. So again: the owner says that unless he increases his prices, the company is going to start operating in the red. When you hear that, you’re not really sure why the owner looks so torn. To you, the solution to this problem is really straightforward: just increase the prices of computers! Prices of parts and components have gone up… Easy! The prices of our computers will have to go up as well! Let consumers pick up that tab. After all, you think, our company can’t stay in the red. What about wages, and payments to suppliers?
Well, when you say all that to your boss, the company owner, he says “This is not a black and white issue. I can’t raise my prices simply because parts have gone up”. He then proceeds to explain that, actually, what his suppliers are doing – you know, raising the prices of parts and components… So what they’re doing isn’t right, since other major suppliers have not raised their prices. So he thinks that his suppliers shouldn’t be raising their prices either. He also explains that he can’t raise computer prices any more, or he will not remain competitive.
You hear all that and then you rememember that your boss said “This is not a black and white issue”. Now you can see that he is right. It’s not that simple. There is no simple solution to this problem, according to what your boss has told you. It’s not as black and white as you had thought. Your original thinking was “Well, if parts and components have gone up, we’ll increase computer prices. Simple! Problem solved.” But your boss showed you that there are other things to consider. There are aspects to this problem that you were not aware of before. Your boss is right: this is not a black and white issue. It’s a bit more complicated than you thought; there are other aspects to consider before making a decision.
Now, picture this: you had a brilliant idea yesterday about how to increase sales for your company. However, you cannot go ahead and implement your plan before your boss gives you the green light. Green light. In Portuguese, we would say “sinal verde”. So you need your boss to give you the green light. That means, you need your boss to authorize your actions, you need him or her to say “Go ahead”. You need your boss to give you the green light, or you need him to greenlight your project, so that you can go ahead and implement it. So this is a great expression for those of you who work in a corporate environment and who usually need someone’s greenlight in order to implement projects and ideas.
So, do you work? Do you have a job? When you have an idea, or when you want to implement a project, is there anyone in your office who has to greenlight your project? Do you need your boss to greenlight your plan? Talk to you next time.
black and white
in the red
give someone the green light
torn = dividido, sem saber qual opção considerar
the solution is straightforward = a solução é simples, óbvia
pick up that tab = pagar essa conta (sentido figurado para “pagar o aumento dos produtos”)
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