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Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online vamos falar sobre algumas expressões muito comuns no inglês, todas com a palavra ‘would’.
Hello, everyone. How’s it going? 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.
Today I’m gonna focus on a few very common ways to use the word ‘would’. Would, as in… If I had a million dollars, I would travel around the world. There are some short phrases with ‘would’ that… They’re almost set phrases that people say very, very often in everyday conversation. They’re not hard to understand and I’m pretty sure that most of you listening would get the meaning if someone said one of these phrases, but the goal here is to expose you to them a little bit more and, who knows? Tomorrow one of them might come out of your mouth just like that.
So in order to introduce the first phrase with would, I’ll ask you to imagine that you’re at work right now, and just casually chatting with a colleague. There’s been a rumor going around the office today that everyone is going to be asked to leave at 3PM because of some kind of safety inspection or something… You’re hopeful. You feel super tired and you would love to be able to take a nap before dinner. So you ask your colleague – let’s say her name is Helen – so, you ask Helen, ‘Do you think we’re going home early today?’. And what does Helen say? She says ‘I wouldn’t count on it’. She seems so sure about it; you’re devastated. You ask her “Why?” and she says “I just talked to the boss and he said it’s business as usual until 5 o’clock”.
Helen’s answer to your question was “I wouldn’t count on it”. That means she doesn’t believe that that’s gonna happen. She doesn’t believe that people at the office are going home early today. Why does she think that? Because she talked to the boss, and the boss basically said that today is just another regular day at the office. So Helen is saying “I wouldn’t count on it. I don’t believe we’ll be going home early today. I talked to the boss, and he indicated that that’s not gonna happen, so… going home early today? I wouldn’t count on it.”
So whenever someone asks you if you think something is going to happen, and you’re relatively sure that that’s not going to happen, you can say “I wouldn’t count on it”. Is Brazil going to be the next World Cup champion? I wouldn’t count on it. Honestly? I wouldn’t. Are soapoperas going to be banned from our TV programming? I wouldn’t count on it. Are cats gonna start barking? I wouldn’t count on it.
But you haven’t given up yet. Helen thinks today’s business as usual, but she could be wrong so you move on to another colleague. You see Steve coming through the glass door so you think you might as well ask him what he thinks. “Steve, rumor has it that we’re all leaving the office early today. Do you think that’s true?” And what does Steve reply? He says “Oh, I wouldn’t know. I’ve just come in. I just arrived in the office, I haven’t talked to anyone yet, so… Sorry, I wouldn’t know”. There’s no way Steve would know whether this rumor is true or not. How could he know? He has just stepped into the office, he has just arrived, he hasn’t talked to anyone today, so there’s no way he would know anything about this. So when you ask “Steve, do you think it’s true?”, he says “Oh, sorry, I wouldn’t know”. That means, there’s no way he would know the answer to that question. Maybe someone who’s been in the office all day would know. But Steve? He wouldn’t know.
So if someone asks you, for example, “Is soccer a popular sport in India?” you can say “Oh, I wouldn’t know”. Unless you do know the answer, of course… I’m assuming that, like me, you don’t know which sports are popular in India. Or someone may ask you “Is it going to rain next week?” and you can say “I wouldn’t know”. How would I know? I wouldn’t know.
And, finally, here’s another very common expression with ‘would’… Let’s say you’re still at work, and you need a ride home today. So you ask your friend Michael: “Michael, can you give me a ride home today?” Michael drives to work and he lives in your neighborhood. So, again, you ask Michael “Can you give me a ride home today?” and Michael says “I would if I could. My car’s at the shop. We can share a cab”. So Michael can’t give you a ride today. Why not? Because his car is at the shop. He doesn’t have his car right now. If he did, he would give you a ride, of course! He would, if he could. He can’t, because his car is at the shop. So when you ask Michael if he can give you a ride today, he says “I would if I could”.
Picture a situation where someone asks for help, and you would be very happy to help, if you could. You would help, if you could, but for some reason you can’t. In cases like this, you can say “I would if I could”. Maybe someone asked you for a ride, but your car’s at the shop. Maybe someone’s asking to borrow your umbrella right now. “Would you loan me your umbrella real quick?” You say “I would if I could! I left it in the car, sorry”. Or someone asks you to give them a hand with their Math homework. You say “I would if I could! I’m hopeless at Math”.
What’s your example? Tell us about when someone asked you a favor and you wanted to help, but you couldn’t. Is this a time when you could have said “I would if I could”? Talk to you next time!
just like that = de repente, sem que você espere, sem mais nem menos
you’ve been told that = te disseram que
you need a ride home = você precisa de uma carona pra casa
my car is at the shop = meu carro está no conserto (ou na manutenção)
hopeless at Math = sou péssimo com matemática
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