Como digo em inglês: Preciso do OK do meu chefe

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 03
Como digo em inglês Preciso do OK do meu chefe

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 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.


Key expressions

black and white

in the red

give someone the green light

greenlight something



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”)


Thanks for finally writing about >Inglês Online — Como digo em
inglês: Preciso do OK do meu chefe <Liked it!

Ailson 12/01/2012

I have a woman boss ( I said woman boss because I don’t know the translation to the english of the portuguese language expression ” mulher chefe”) that I like her but some ideas is dfificult of go ahead. Sometimes I try talk with her bus is a little difficult…

André 12/01/2012

Hi Ana. I have one doubt about that lesson.
When green light is written joined, is it a verb? And when it’s written separated ,is it a noun?

    Ana 12/01/2012

    I wasn’t sure at the moment of writing the podcast, so I googled both and the result of what I found to be the most common ways is what I ended up using in the podcast. If you do your own search let us know what you find out!

      Ana 12/01/2012

      Ooops! I just realized I totally did not answer your question.

      So here’s the answer to your question.

      you need your boss to give you the green light

      THE green light , so it is a noun.

      you need him to greenlight your project

      Eu preciso que ele “greenlight” meu projeto, ou seja, verbo.

Marcos Vinicius 11/01/2012

– Hi Ana !! peoples like you are very important by the way how you work and help us. Your pronunciation is very understandable and clean. thank you so much.

Nivaldo Leôncio 11/01/2012

I have learned a lot with podcasts of yours. Thanks a lot. Take care!

Ana 10/01/2012

Hi everyone! Thanks for the comments.

Wallace Rodrigo 10/01/2012

This podcast is awesome! Your podcasts have been helping me to practice my listening a lot. I’d like to suggest you to make a podcast to speak about “linking words” because they appear in every american movies, series, and so on and are too difficult to listen to and understand them. How about that?

Congratulations and Keep helping us.

Bye, bye!

Luciano 09/01/2012

Hi Ana
I’d like thank you so much. Your podcats are wonderful and has helping to improve my listenig.
Keep on this great job. Congratulations!
A blessed 2012 for you!

    Luciano 09/01/2012

    *I’d like to say thank you so much :D

Marco Silva 05/01/2012

Uma forma mais formal de dizer isso também seria ” I´m waiting for my boss’s approval”

Raphael 05/01/2012

Hey Ana, how are you?
I have already seen the expression “straightfoward” in a magazine, but I haven´t understood it… Very good this podcast! It contains many expressions used in business english (that is the most dificult to find translations).


Juliana 04/01/2012

Hi, Ana
I always need my manager greenlight my plan before to implement the project. Sometimes it’s necessary the greenlight from the administrative director as well.

Ana 03/01/2012

By the way, pessoal – tem uma outra expressão bem comum pra “tô esperando meu chefe dar o OK”:

I’m waiting for my boss to okay my report”

É o “okay” usado como verbo!

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