Como digo em inglês: Três é demais

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Aug 22
Como digo em inglês Três é demais

Hey, all. Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre algumas expressões com two e three.


Hi, 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 and click Podcast Inglesonline.

Let’s take a look today at a few idiomatic expressions that have a number in them. An example? Our first idiom of today is “put two and two together”. That just means that you realize or figure something out because you have some information available which… helped you in figuring that thing out!

Let me give you an example that’ll make things clearer. You’re on the phone now telling someone about how you were at your friend Alice’s last night and then she felt sick. She said she was about to throw up, so you told her to stay put while you ran to the bathroom to get some toilet paper. While you’re getting the paper you glance at the trash can and see a used pregnancy test in it. That’s when you put two and two together: your friend Alice is pregnant.

So, first, Alice feels sick, which is a common indicator of pregnancy (although feeling sick doesn’t necessarily mean the woman is pregnant, of course). Then, you see a used pregnancy test in the trash. You put two and two together, that is, you realize from all the pieces of evidence you got, that Alice is pregnant.

You spot Michael's baseball cap on a chairHere’s another example: your friend Mary had told you she had broken up with Michael. You were happy for her because you think Michael is bad news… He cheated on his previous girlfriend, and there are a couple of people who say he owes them a lot of money. So you drop by Mary’s place and, when you guys are on your way to the kitchen to grab a beer you spot Michael’s baseball cap on a chair. You know it’s Michael’s cap because it’s the only purple hat you’ve ever seen. You think to yourself, maybe Michael left it here when they broke up and Mary just doesn’t want to contact him to return the cap.

You guys start talking though and you tell Mary you’d like to see a great movie that has just been released. Mary says she’s busy every night this week. You think that’s weird. You’d think that, now that she’s not seeing anyone, she’d have a lot more free time! But no, she’s busy, she says. By now you think something’s going on that she’s not telling you, but you’re not sure yet.

So Mary grabs her purse because she wants to show you some new pictures she’s taken and she accidentally drops her cell phone. It lands right next your left foot and so you pick it up, and that’s when you see that there was a 15-minute long phone call from Michael just this morning. So you finally put two and two together and realize that Mary and Michael are still dating.

So, again: you thought Mary and Michael were broken up, right? But then first you spotted his baseball cap in Mary’s place; then she said she was busy all week and, finally, you saw the call log on her phone, which showed a long phone call from Michael just this morning. So you finally put two and two together: Mary and Michael are still seeing each other.

You confront Mary, and she confirms: they’re still together. She says “Actually, we’re going to see that movie that you wanted to see. Wanna come with?” You say “Thanks. You know, three is a crowd”.

And that brings us right to our next idiom with numbers. This is the entire expression: two is company, three is a crowd.  People usually shorten that expression to just “three is a crowd”. It’s common for someone to say that when they’re declining an invitation to do something that involves just three people: the person being invited, plus a couple. Just like you said to your friend Mary: Thanks, but three is a crowd. What does that mean? That means that you don’t want to hang out with just a couple because you’re gonna feel like you shouldn’t be there.

Or sometimes people say that because they want to be alone with someone, so they let you know that. You say to your friend Tom “Hey, you and Lisa are going to the mall later? Think I’m gonna join you. I need to get some new glasses and…” Tom interrupts you and says “Hey, go on your own. Three is a crowd” and you get the message, of course: Tom wants to be alone with Lisa.

So what are your examples? Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • put two and two together
  • Two is company, three is a crowd



you were at your friend Alice’s = você estava na casa da sua amiga Alice

stay put = não sair do lugar

(someone) is bad news = (alguém) não é coisa boa

you spot = você vê, você localiza

you’d think = Dá a impressão que / A impressão que você tem é que

it lands = ele aterrissa, ele vem parar

…come with? = …come with us?

carla 26/08/2012

Hello Ana,

That’s the first time that I listen your podcast. It’s very good! Congratulations!

I think will help me to learn English


Gabriel Vítor 26/08/2012

Hi Ana Lucia, I’m here just to say thank you!!
Very nice podcast with a hight quality and very usefull too.

Bye, and please, keep your nice work!

    Ana 11/09/2012

    Thanks for stopping by, Gabriel ;)

Angela Bunn 25/08/2012

You’re very welcome Ana Luiza,

I lived in Allentown, Pennsylvania for 5 years. At that time, I was working in New Jersey. I go there quite often, my good Brazilian friends live there, in Union. I also go to the Day of Brazil and Brazilian restaurants in Newark, NJ. I’ve been living in Delaware since 2010.
If you put a “PortugueseOnline” course together let me know. I love your teaching technique. (Specially the one “Como se diz _____ em ______? “) I use the same one in my lessons. My students learn everyday information that they can use right way and all the time. Have a great weekend! I was nice talking to you.

Angela Bunn 25/08/2012

Hi Ana Luiza,

I live in Newark, Delaware. I like to take a look in your website/emails once I while. I teach Portuguese here and always
find nice ideas to incorporate in my lessons. Right now, I am about to introduce you to my new two students, so them can read some Portuguese in your site and list the idiomatic expressions. Meaning, they are going to use your work in the opposite way, to learn Portuguese. It will help them anyway, I am sure about that.
PS. I told about you to my dad (Raymundo de Jesus, post above). It was a surprise to see that he is actually sending posts! He always mentions how much he is learning with you. Thanks!!!!

    Ana 25/08/2012

    Hi Angela,
    This is so cool. Please let me know if your students were able to pick up/recognize a few terms in Portuguese. Sometimes I think about developing a Portuguese course (just like the Basic English course I offer)… The moment I read Newark my mind immediately went to Newark, NJ (I lived in Jersey City for a year)
    And, of course, I’m super glad to know that your dad has been enjoying the site!!
    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words;)

Raymundo de jesus 23/08/2012

Very good!

Thank you, once more!

P.S. 1- In your recent post – Friends Catching Up – you’ve rote ” (J) Awesome! ”
that I couldn’t translate correctly. 2- Do I have to type my name and e-mail
address every time I post a comment?


    Ana 24/08/2012

    Hi Raymundo,

    1) That’s a more informal term, and it means “Demais!”

    2) Nope, but you would have to turn on “cookies” on your browser, I think…

Nairon 23/08/2012

Cloud 9!

Ana 23/08/2012

Everyone, thanks for leaving your comments ;) Much appreciated!

    Luis 23/08/2012

    Ana, essa expressão seria algo como “somar dois mais dois” no sentido de juntar as evidências?

Ana Lúcia Melo 23/08/2012

How could I say? Just THANKS!!! For all the tips and for enlightening my english knowledge. LOve, Ana Lúcia

dbarboni 23/08/2012

Ana Luiza, sorry, but I didn’t understand the meaning of “put two and two together”. What does that mean in portuguese?
I would like to thank you for your podcasts that help me a lot. I listen to your voice everyday during the SP’traffic.
Do I speak correctly? Transito de São Paulo?
Thank you a lot!

    Ana 23/08/2012

    Yes, Debora, that’s correct, you can say “the São Paulo traffic”

    Put two and two together seria concluir que alguma coisa aconteceu ou está acontecendo depois de ver uma pista aqui, outra ali, etc. Não sei uma expressão em português.. alguém lembra?

      jennifer 23/08/2012

      Hi Ana! Seria como dizer ” como dois e dois são quatro “? Kisses

      Luis 23/08/2012

      Ana, eu achei esse indiom parecido com uma frase que eu vi em um filme de humor americano, ‘Ano 1’, no qual dois homens da floresta esbarram com Caim e Abel, e estes começam a discutir, sendo que Caim mata Abel, e vai embora com os outros dois homens. Na cena seguinte, quando a familia de Abel foi procurar por ele, Caim convida os homens a fugir e diz algo mais ou menos assim: “Eu tenho a impressão de que vão querer colocar a culpa em vocês dois.” “Por que?”, um deles pergunta, Caim responde: “Bom, por que quando eles virem o corpo de Abel, vão querer por a culpa em alguém, vocês dois são viajantes, eles vão somar dois mais dois….” Você acha que essa poderia ser uma tradução?

      Ana 23/08/2012

      Está me parecendo que foi exatamente a expressão usada no original! Put two and two together.

      Ana 23/08/2012

      Não sei… Você está acostumado a ouvir aqui no Brasil “somar dois mais dois” para significar “chegar à conclusão que”? Eu não estou.

Eu fico muito feliz quando ouço algo que aprendi com o podcast, muito maneiro mesmo.

Fiz maratona pra ouvir todos.

um abrax

    Ana 23/08/2012

    Já tem mais de 100!

Ayanda 22/08/2012

I love all your podcasts!

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