Como falo em inglês: O que significa isso? – Inglês Online

Como falo em inglês: O que significa isso?

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 09
Como falo em inglês O que significa isso

Hello, all. Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre alguns errinhos comuns de inglês.


How’s it going, everyone? 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 go for some practice today. What kind of practice? I’m gonna talk about a couple of structures that are frequently misused by English learners, especially those learners who haven’t had enough input in English… well, not enough input on those two little structures, anyway.

The first common mistake can be illustrated by this example: “I’m used to wake up late on Saturdays“. That may make sense to our Brazilian ears in the beginning, but it’s really not how English natives speak. So what I’m going to do here is give you several examples so that you get a little more exposure to the correct usage of “used to” to express some activity that is a habit to you.

First of all, when someone says “I’m used to wake up late on Saturdays” – and, remember, this is the incorrect way to say it – this person is trying to communicate a habit; something that he or she does regularly. That’s how he or she usually does things. That’s what this structure communicates. What’s the correct way to say it? We’re gonna use the -ING form here: I’m used to wakING up late on Saturdays. I’m used to waking up late on Saturdays. That means that I usually wake up late on Saturdays. I have this habit of waking up late on Saturdays. I probably like waking up late on Saturdays. I’m used to waking up late on Saturdays.

Like I mentioned before, the incorrect way might make sense to ears that are accustomed to Portuguese. Let’s get that straightened out right away by listening to several examples. Here are a few habits of mine and some people I know as well.

  • I’m used to walkING my dog in the evenings.
  • I’m used to writING posts in the morning.
  • My friend Mariana is used to sleepING late on weekends.
  • One of my friends is used to drinkING milk at dinner. She really likes it.
  • I’m not used to drivING in Rio de Janeiro, so I would avoid it.
  • Sometimes when you start at a new job you have to become familiar with people who are used to doING things a certain way; and that way might not be what you’re used to.

Tell us about your lunch or dinner habits. Examples: “I’m used to having just a salad at dinner. I’m never too hungry at night, so a salad is usually enough”. Or “I would never eat feijoada at night. That’s heavy food and I’m not used to going to bed after eating that much”.

And here’s the second structure for this podcast. It is, yes, a really simple structure and it’s considered very basic. And yet, I hear people say it wrong all the time, including quite a few TV personalities. How do you ask what something, or some word, means? You say “What does that mean?” or “What does it mean?”, or “What does “truck” mean?” Truck means caminhão.

The most common mistakes here are “What means truck?” or “What does mean truck?”. Those are wrong. “Mean” is a verb, and it behaves the same way as… have, go, take and all other verbs. What does “mean” mean? It means “significar”. So let me give you several examples of the correct way to use this. These are all gonna be questions, of course, so if you know the answers… leave a comment! Notice how I always ask the question exactly the same way:

  • What does “in retrospect” mean?
  • What does “speculate” mean?
  • What does “deception” mean?
  •  What does “twice as much” mean?
  • What does “persimmon” mean?
  • What does “resumé” mean?
  • What does “resume” mean?
  • What does “touch base” mean?

So if you remember saying “What means…?” or “What does mean…?” recently, this podcast is for you. Enjoy, and I’ll talk to you next time.

Ouça mais sobre used to

Leia mais sobre used to para passado


Key expressions

  • What does (something) mean?
  • I’m used to doing something


Let’s get that straightened out = Vamos dar um jeito nisso

  • Very rapidly this web page will be famous amid
    all blogging people, due to it’s good articles or reviews

  • lucas lima says:

    good evening

  • lucas lima says:

    hello i m from brazil so long

  • Alex says:

    Hello Ana, What do you think about the Guns and Roses’s song that says “I used to love her”?

    • Ana Luiza says:

      I love the melody… can’t remember the lyrics beyond that sentence!

      • Alex Sousa says:

        I mean… The sentence should be not “I used to loving her”? according with your explain.

        • Neusa says:

          Ana, I saw another music with this expression “American Pie”, “I can remember how that music make used to make me smile” and not “used to making me smile”. Which is the correct form?

  • Rodrigo says:

    oh, now I realize that I made a mistake: I refered to the structure “I used to + infinitive verb”, but in the podcast you were refering to another one. it’s due to an inattentive reading. My bad!

    • Rodrigo says:

      Please, disregard my previous message. It was an addition to a former message I tried (and failed, now I realize) to post.

  • Rodrigo says:

    Ana Luiza,

    First of all, thanks for the interesting website. It is really hopeful! Secondly, I would ask you something. I heard a lot a times the structure “I used to + infinitive verb”, for instance, I used to love her, I used to think of this. Are they wrong? I thought when we use this kind of structure “I used to love her” we are trying to refer to a kind of former habit, not a current habit. So, I think that the difference between the two structures it that one is refering to former habits and the other to current habits. Does it make any sense? I am not sure about this, really.

    Thanks anew for the website!

  • Hello Ana, this post is very useful, tks.

    Talking about things that are habit, may I say “I use to have just a salad at dinner”, instead of “I’m used to having just a salad at dinner”? Do they mean the same thing?

    See ya.

  • Débora says:

    ■What does “in retrospect” mean? thinking now about something in the past.
    ■What does “speculate” mean? when you guess possible answers to a question without having enough information to be certain.
    ■What does “deception” mean? when people hide the truth, especially to get an advantage.
    ■ What does “twice as much” mean? two times
    ■What does “persimmon” mean? a very sweet orange tropical fruit.
    ■What does “resumé” mean? a short form for CV.
    ■What does “resume” mean? If an activity resumes, or if you resume it, it starts again after a pause.
    ■What does “touch base” mean? to talk to someone for a short time to find out how they are or what they think about something.

  • marco brainiac says:

    Thanks Ana,

    Your podcast is big opportunity to remember important estructures.


  • Al says:

    Na frase: “That may make sense to our Brazilian years in the beginning, but it’s really not how English natives speak.”, a palavra correta não seria “ears” no lugar de “years”?

  • Sálvian Cotrim says:

    Hi Ana,

    I really liked this podcast and I tried answer the questions. So, I don’t know if they are correct.

    What does “in retrospect” mean?
    Retrospect means looking for the past.

    What does “speculate” mean?
    Speculate means suppose something

    What does “deception” mean?
    Deception means to be fooling by somebody

    What does “twice as much” mean?
    twice as much means double

    What does “persimmon” mean?
    Persimmon means tropical fruit (caqui)

    What does “resumé” mean?
    Resumé means Curriculum Vitae

    What does “resume” mean?
    Resume means take up again

    What does “touch base” mean?
    Touch base means to contact somebody


    • Ana Luiza says:

      Great job, Sálvian…
      Yep, deception is a false cognate; good that you caught that. And for persimmon I’d say simply “persimmon means caqui”
      In retrospect means something like “in hindsight” or “looking back, considering what happened in the past”

  • Ira says:

    Hey Ana,

    I’m used to having my coffee with milk every day in the morning and in the afternoon. The lack of it can trigger a headache. So I make sure to have my two cups a day. I’m also used to having bananas and cereal for breakfast.


    HI, ANA!

  • Ailson says:

    Hello Ana, I have a sugestion to your podcast. You would put an option with a botton with the facebook’s like in your text and in the comments. Your site will stay more interactive right?

    Your friend and all day reader, Ailson

  • Debora says:

    Hi Ana I have a question about some words in this podcat.
    What does “misused” mean?
    Other question…I didn’t understand this phrase: those learners who haven’t had enough input in English… well, not enough input on those two little structures, anyway.
    What does “input in” and “input on” mean?
    I looked for this words in the dicionary, but I haven’t found yet…
    Thank you very much. I have learned a lot with your podcast.

  • catia says:

    Oi, por indicação estou conhecendo o site do curso.

  • Daiane says:

    Olá Ana Luiza!
    Está correto perguntar: “What’s the meaning of…?

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Yep, that’s correct. In my experience, I’d say that question is more frequently used when you’d like to know the meaning of an expression.

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