Podcast: The sky’s the limit

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 02
Podcast The sky’s the limit

Hi, there. Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre expressões em inglês com a palavra sky.

Estou achando que tenho aumentado a velocidade da fala nos últimos episódios. Que acham?


Hi, you guys. 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.

So today let’s take a look at a couple of expressions with the word SKY. You know, sky, that thing that looks blue from where we stand. We have to look up to see it and it is also a place, so to speak, that we think of as very high, very far away from where we are right now. So there’s a little expression that we use to communicate that… something is at a really high level. Of course, it has to make sense: we could be talking about prices, we could be talking about inflation, or the temperature when it’s really hot. We use the expression sky-high for that.

So what does “sky-high” mean? It means as high as the sky, and I think we can all agree that that’s really high. Here’s one example I found, from a tweet. It is a question, so just listen: “How many times has your anxiety, stress or worry reached sky-high levels?” What that person is asking is, how many times have you felt really intense anxiety, stress or worry; so intense that we could say that the levels of anxiety, stress or worry you felt were sky-high? In other words, as high as the sky. So you can see that this expression, sky-high, here works as an adjective. Listen again to the question: How many times has your anxiety, stress or worry reached sky-high levels?

Or let’s talk about inflation. Maybe younger listeners won’t remember but inflation in Brazil, in the 80’s, was out of control and prices were sky-high. No surprises there, right? Prices usually go sky-high when inflation is out of control. Here’s another example I got from the Internet… “Never get your hopes high because it would mean the disappointment would be sky-high.” So this person is advising others to not get their hopes high. Don’t be too hopeful, don’t expect things will go just the way you want them to, ’cause if you do that your disappointment will be sky-high.

Here’s what another person said: “I’ve been eating a lot of cake and sweets the past few months… I had my blood tested last week and my blood sugar went sky-high! What to do?” Well, I’d say… Cut down on the sugar, right? But that’s just me. Sometimes when people move to another city, their expenses go sky-high. Why? Well, because everything is more expensive in the new city: rent, groceries, utilities… So their expenses go sky-high. What are your examples? When did something like that happened to you? Maybe your emotions got to a sky-high level after something happened? Maybe your performance at work went sky-high after you started your new job? Let us know in the comments.

And now listen to this: There is no limit to what we could achieve or create. Sky’s the limit. “Sky’s the limit”, or “The sky’s the limit”, is a popular way of saying… what? That actually there is no limit. Of course, this term, or this expression comes up a lot when we’re talking about dreams, creativity, or what we can achieve in life, how far we can go, or prosperity, things like that. The sky’s is the limit. I have a feeling many listeners here will like this phrase. What do you think about that? Do you think there are real, actual limits to what a person can do? Sometimes we hear those unbelievable, incredible stories about people who achieved something that just seems impossible. It could be someone who was dirt poor as a child and went on to build an empire (I guess Silvio Santos would be an example of that if I’m not mistaken). Or it could be a person with some kind of physical disability who manages to climb the Himalayas. There are some incredible stories out there and every time we hear about one of them, it just reminds us that the sky’s the limit, right?

What are your stories? Talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • sky-high
  • the sky’s the limit

tweet = um post na plataforma Twitter

dirt poor = muito pobre, miserável

What to do? = O que fazer?

Mattheus 19/02/2013

I just discovered this incredible site, and from now, the sky is the limit for improving my english skills.

Marcia 11/02/2013

Poderiamos entender “sky- high”como algo em niveis estratosféricos, ou no minímo elevado, nas alturas…?

Iramaia 06/02/2013

Ana, I always wanted to be an astronaut but they told me that the sky is the limit. :D

Sandra Monteiro 19/01/2013

Hello Ana Luiza, I’m a big fan of you and I’ve first started reading inglesonline.com.br nearly 4 years ago. Since I moved to Norway I stopped studying English to start learning Norwegian. it’s been a year and a half and I haven’t improve my Norwegian yet and I realized my English became poor even though this is the language I speak here everyday. So I decided to use your website again to improve my English. I really enjoy your posts and take it serious as if I was back at school again. Since I am so focused in learning as much as I can, I just realized that there is a typing mistake in the glossary. it says, what do to? instead of what to do? as it’s in the transcript. Well, thank you very much for sharing with us all your knowledge.

    Ana 25/01/2013

    Thanks, Sandra :) Fixed.
    Wow… good luck with your Norwegian-learning. Hopefully you’ll be able to find some audio material that you’ll be able to comprehend – that’s what I would try find anyway..

jennifer 09/01/2013

Hi Ana! I think dreams,hard work,and high expectation is what the life is about.Of course, disappoitments always gonna happen,but ours fears can’t boss in ours decisions,well this is my opinion about this topic.The sky is the limit.Why not?I rather believe in it.Kisses!!!!

    Ana 10/01/2013

    Sounds great, Jennifer :)

Mara 09/01/2013

Olá , Ana Luíza
Parabéns pelo site d+. Depois de estudar muito e não conseguir falar quase nada, estou seguindo a sua dica de listening compreensivo. Estou muito animada , baixei no pen drive do site que você indicou http://www.listenaminute.com. Entendo 95% mas to achando difícil memorizar. Ouço mais ou menos à 3 ou 4 semanas.,escolho uns 4 e ouço várias vezes . Sera que é assim mesmo? Será que a fala virá com o tempo?



    Ana 09/01/2013

    Sim, Mara, é assim mesmo. Vc está ouvindo todo dia?

Débora 06/01/2013

I can say that after my daughter “Rafaela” was born my emotions got to a sky-high.

Diogo Higino 05/01/2013

Hi Ana, thank you a lot.

Ten times out of ten I surprise me with content of your podcasts. They are really awesome. I feel until a little bit shame by can not share for more people this excellent work you’ve done here.

What about your question on your voice speed. I have not paid attention in this topic, but I have been spent much more attention on your podcasts than before, they seems are really near of a real speed conversation. That is great for me and help to improve our perception of the accent of the words and sentences.

This podcast made me record of our company’s sales manager. He likes to use this expression a lot. He always says, the sky’s the limit. We were working together this week in a new income plan to hire a new employee to São Paulo city. There is a part of the financial income that depends of the amount of sales. In this part he always likes to tell me, don’t worry with this, the sky’s the limit. Though there is a sky-high limit evalueted in previews studies, of course, working hard that person can consider the sky’s the limit.

I sorry for not keep in constant touch on your blog with comments, I have been quite busy these lasts months in travels and appointments on the company. I have ever lose a podcast of yours and download it through the app or website.

I wish you and all the bloger’s users a happy new year and excellent podcasts as usual always.

Have a great weekend.

    Ana 10/01/2013

    Hi Diogo,

    Please share! Thank you :)

    Great that you’re already familiar with The sky’s the limit. That’s a really common one in business settings (the optimistic settings, at least)

    Great to have you here…

Alisson 04/01/2013

This podcast is excellent, as all of previous are. The only thing I’d like to notify is the audio is working only on the left channel.

See ya,

    Miriani 07/01/2013

    Thank’s Alisson. I thougth my phone was broking. I’m so glad for your information

      Ana 10/01/2013

      OI – engraçado porque a semana passada eu tive essa impressão, mas eu vi q o meu headphone tava quebrado.

      O áudio está OK, gente (estou ouvindo agora)

Andre Felipe Lemos 03/01/2013

Obrigado pelo tempo que vc dedida a todos nós no aprendizado do ingles. Grande abraço.

    Andre Felipe Lemos 03/01/2013


    Ana 10/01/2013

    You’re very welcome :)

Comments are closed