Como digo em inglês: Não vou muito com a cara dele

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Oct 17
Como digo em inglês Não vou muito com a cara dele

Hi, everybody. Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre expressões do inglês com a palavra rub.


Hello, 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.

He's rubbing her shouldersToday I’m gonna talk abouta couple of idiomatic expressions with the word RUB. R-U-B, rub. I guess the most trivial meaning of rub… Probably one of the first meanings you’re gonna find in the dictionary is “to apply pressure and friction.” You know when you rub your friend’s shoulders? Or your boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s, your spouse’s shoulders? You rub their shoulders to help them relax, for example.

That’s not really the meaning we’re focusing on today, so let’s move right along and I’ll give you an example to illustrate the first expression. Imagine there’s a new guy at work. He started in your department a couple of weeks ago and at first he seemed like a really nice guy but after two or three days you started to feel a little annoyed by him. After a while you figure it’s something about the way he talks – you think he is being insincere to everyone.

So your friend Melissa says “Michael seems like a nice guy, don’t you think?” And you say “Hmmm, I don’t know. There’s something about him I don’t like”. And Melissa asks you “What is it?” You’re not even sure about the reasons yourself, so you say “He just rubs me the wrong way”. Again: He just rubs me the wrong way.

When someone rubs you the wrong way, you’re not very inclined to like them. Sometimes you know you don’t like them. You may not know exactly what the reasons are for that because… you haven’t given it much thought, but you know that they’re not your favorite person in the world. “He just rubs me the wrong way”. So when a person says that about someone else, they usually can’t be very specific about the reasons why they don’t like the other person. This is more generic in meaning than “I don’t like him because he stole my money”.

He rubs me the wrong way, or she rubs me the wrong way, is for… when you have a feeling about that person; something about them bugs you. Maybe it’s the way they talk, maybe it’s the way they act… They just rub you the wrong way.

And here’s another one with RUB: rub it in. The dictionary definition says that “to rub it in” means to make someone feel worse about something or to keep talking about something that makes that person feel embarrassed or upset.

Here’s an example: let’s say your friend Jane was supposed to make reservations for your friend Mark’s birthday dinner. Well, she screwed up. She forgot, she thought you were supposed to do it, then she remembered but it was too late… So you see Jane today and you say “Well Jane, I’ll never ask you to take care of reservations again…” And then on Saturday when you and Jane meet with some other friends, you bring it up again: “Don’t ask Jane to make reservations… She’ll screw it up” Now Jane is upset and she says “Hey, I know I screwed up but you don’t have to keep rubbing it in”. You don’t have to keep talking about this thing that makes me feel bad; you don’t have to keep reminding me of my screw-up. Stop rubbing it in! One way to say this in Brazil is “Não precisa ficar esfregando na minha cara”.

Here’s another situation where people might say that – let’s say your friend had the opportunity to meet a famous actor and now she wants to rub it in on her friends. She keeps bringing it up in any way she can. You tell her “Ok, quit rubbing it in”. You don’t need to remind us that you talked to him for an hour, and we didn’t! Stop rubbing it in.

And people will often say this in an ironic way, when someone talks about some experience they had, and it sucked. For example, your friend Joe tells you that this weekend he’ll have to help his boss clean up the storage room at the company he works for. You say “Oh, rub it in!” You’re obviously kidding… you don’t feel bad because you envy your friend or anything like that. If anything, you might be relieved you’re not the one who’ll have to spend the weekend cleaning up a dusty old room. So you joke; when your friend says that’s how he’s gonna spend the weekend you say “Oh, rub it in!”.

C’mon, any examples? Let us know in the comments and I’ll talk to you next time.


Nota: o “rub it in” usado em sentido irônico, no último parágrafo, seria como dizer “Ai, que inveja” em tom de brincadeira.


Key expressions

  • (someone) rubs me the wrong way
  • rub it in



you haven’t given it much thought = você não pensou muito sobre isso

she was supposed to (do something) = era pra ela (fazer alguma coisa)

screwed up = fez tudo errado

if anything = se bobear



About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • Adrian says:

    Always funny hear your voice in portuguese, don’t know… I think it’s because I hear most of time in English. Btw, great podcast I always wanted to know this expression, but never looked for it. Thanks Luiza.

  • Roberto says:

    Oi, Ana Luíza.
    Não tenho recebido e-mails com as lições do Curso de Inglês Online. Recebi a última em 17/10/12 (Como digo em inglês: Não vou muito com a cara dele). Fui excluído por alguma razão?

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Acredito que não, mas vc pode procurar a última mensagem q recebeu, clicar unsubscribe lá no fim, e então assinar de novo. Quem administra isso é o site Feedblitz, e geralmente não dá problema. Será que é o antispam do teu email?

  • Ana Luiza says:

    Great examples, everybody!!

  • Charles says:

    Woow! Good example.
    I like your lessons.

  • Morgana says:


    I have been visiting this site for a long time and your podcasts are great!
    I would like to suggest a topic: Eglish for trips. Some expressions in English that can be
    useful when you travel abroad.

  • Débora says:

    I can say that “Haddad rubs me the wrong way.” That’s it.

  • beto says:

    what up ana!!!?
    I got some coworker who really act that way, they din’t have enough time to get to know you and than out of the blue you are the worse person in all the world, go figure it………. everone rubs them on the wrong way .bye

  • Morgana says:

    When I want to say that a person “não vai com a minha cara”, can I say: That person rubs me the wrong way?” Is it correct?

  • Mauricio Carvalho says:

    I Have a Supervisor at work and he just rubs me the wrong way, because he talks a lot about everyone and don’t say soo much good things.He always rub it in. (Ana nessa ultima frase ficaria +- assim… Ele sempre tira vantagem de tudo. É isso?)

  • Maiara says:

    I have a schoolmate that “she just rubs me the wrong way”, because she always has an advantage over the money her have and rub it in all the time.

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