How have you been?
Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online a gente fala sobre algumas expressões comuns com a palavra better.
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’s word is “better”. As in, Coke tastes better than Pepsi, or Pepsi tastes better than Coke, whatever your opinion is. Better, as in I like coffee better than tea. As in, I’ve had a cold since Saturday but I’m getting better now. I think you get the gist.
So I’m gonna talk about three really common expressions, or set phrases, with better. So for the first one, picture this: you’re about to get out of the house for the whole day. It’s early in the morning and you won’t be back home till after the sun has set. It’s been raining a lot where you live, but you take one look outside and you can’t see a cloud in the sky. All you can see is the clear, blue sky… no clouds in sight. You think to yourself that maybe today is going to be different – it’s not going to rain. But then you think again, and you remember that, sometimes, the weather can be unpredictable. Sunny in the morning, rainy in the afternoon. Who knows? So, again, you think to yourself: You know what? Better safe than sorry. It’s sunny right now, but what if it rains later? I’m gonna take my umbrella with me, just in case. Better safe than sorry.
So that’s what this expression means: it’s better to take extra precautions than to take risks and maybe suffer some undesirable consequences. So maybe you’re in your car early in the morning and the tank is only half full, but you know you’re not gonna need to drive too far today. Then you remember your boss might ask you to do a last minute delivery… It’s not likely, but… who knows? You decide to stop by the gas station anyway and fill up the tank. Better safe than sorry.
The other two phrases aren’t very pleasant things to say, but hey, we’re not always pleasant, right? So let’s move right along to the next set phrase. Let me give you an example: imagine that you and your friend are visiting some touristic town for the first time and, actually, you guys have just returned from a day-long tour. You’re both tired and starving, and the first two restaurants you stumble upon are closed already. So you finally spot this little place that looks like a bar, and you guys get a table and, after a quick look at the menu, order some sandwiches. As you’re taking a sip of your Diet Coke, you ask your friend “How do you like your sandwich?”. Your friend says “Better than nothing”.
That means your friend doesn’t really like it. It’s the same in Portuguese, right? Better than nothing. It’s not good, to be honest, but I’m starving and it’s food, so it will do. Better than nothing. Can you remember the last time you had this thought? “Eh, better than nothing”. Maybe you had been wandering in the streets somewhere, looking for a restroom and just when you’re about to give up and call a cab, you finally find a public restroom. It’s dirty and it stinks, but you think to yourself “Better than nothing”. That’s based on a true story, by the way and… that’s all I’m gonna say.
And here’s the last one. You’ll say this one when you’re kinda annoyed at something or someone. Again, it’s very similar to what we say in Portuguese: Tenho mais o que fazer. You can say “I’ve got better things to do”, or simply “Better things to do”. Imagine someone asks you how your conversation with your neighbor went. So here’s the question: How did things go with your neighbor?” And you answer “Oh, I gave up. We simply can’t see eye to eye on this. I’ve got better things to do”. So what does that mean? That means you wanted your neighbor to agree with you on something, but that’s not gonna happen. You guys do not see eye to eye on this, trying to convince your neighbor is a waste of time, so you gave up. You’ve got better things to do with your time.
So give us your examples: when was the last time you thought “better safe than sorry”? And what about “better than nothing”, and “I’ve got better things to do”? Talk to you next time!
as in = assim como em
you get the gist = você pegou a ideia
till after the sun has set = antes (até) do sol ter se posto
no clouds in sight = nenhuma nuvem à vista
a day-long tour = um tour que durou o dia inteiro
taking a sip = dando um gole
It will do. = Serve.
We don’t see eye to eye = a gente não concorda, não vê as coisas do mesmo jeito
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