Podcast: No offense, but…

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 24
Podcast No offense, but…

How are you? Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre a expressão do inglês No offense.

Eu estou gravando os podcasts num MacBook agora e parece que não peguei o jeito ainda, pois estou achando que o som está saindo estranho. Se alguém tiver notado isso também – taí!


Hello, everybody. 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 here’s our first expression: no offense. Offense means… what you probably think it means, at least in this case. When you offend someone, you have caused them offense, they are offended because of something you said or did. We say that this person has taken offense to something you said or did. So, if you have the habit of watching American TV series and movies, there’s no way you haven’t heard this before. You may not have recognized it when you heard it, but this is such a common expression… People say that all the time on TV. No offense.

And why do people say “No offense”? Well, listen to what someone posted on Twitter: “Whenever you hear someone say to you ‘No offense… Get ready to be offended”. People use that expression before they say something potentially offensive. It’s like they’re letting the other person know in advance that they’re gonna say something offensive, you know? ‘No offense’. I guess it is short for ‘I mean no offense’ or ‘No offense intended’. And what’s kinda funny is that right after someone says ‘No offense, but…’, you kinda know that the next thing they’re gonna say is an insult, or at least something a little unpleasant.

I mean, listen to one example I found on Twitter… Some guy wrote “No offense to Selena Gomez, but I think every guy she dated was for publicity”. Selena Gomez is an American singer, I think, and this guy is saying that he thinks that she dated guys not because she really liked them, but because of the publicity that the relationship would get her. Now, I mean, how can that not be offensive? I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but when you say “No offense” and then you follow up with “I think every guy you dated was for publicity” – how would that not be considered offensive?

Urban Dictionary has a great definition for the expression “No offense”: it’s an excuse to insult someone. Now, sometimes people use that expression with something that really is not offensive anyway, to be fair, and in cases like this I don’t even understand why they would say “No offense”.  For example, when someone says “No offense, but you should have turned right, not left”. How is it offensive to say that? Of course, this person could have said something before the driver made the turn… but that’s not an offensive thing to say, I think.

Anyway, like it or not, “no offense” is a pretty popular expression and many times when you say something like “No offense, but your report sucks” the other person isn’t really offended. Many people say “None taken”. What does that mean? That means “I didn’t get offended, I didn’t take offense to what you said”. So let me present you with a few examples that I got from Twitter posts, and you tell me if you think it is offensive, or if it’s something that would make you say just “None taken”:

  • “No offense, but don’t make me choose between pizza and you ’cause I’ll definitely choose pizza.” Do you think that’s offensive, or would you say “none taken”?”
  • “Paul is such a boring name, no offense to anyone who has it but I’m glad I’m not named Paul”. Offensive, or “None taken”?
  • “No offense, but you represent everything I despise in the world”. Offensive, or “None taken”?

And before we wrap up, here are a few more comments I got from people on Twitter. One girl said “I only take offense to statements if they start with No offense”. Another one asked “Why do people say ‘No offense’ right before they offend you?”

So what do you think? Can you think of any situations where it would be valid and useful to say “No offense, but…”? Let us know in the comments, and talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • no offense
  • none taken


it is short for = é uma forma mais curta para

and follow up with = diz em seguida

to be fair = pra ser justa

I despise = eu desprezo

Johnny 02/12/2013

I think ”no offense is like: ”SEM QUERE OFENDER” in Portuguese. I’ve never been to an English school and I can understand this podcast easily. Teacher Renata, which level do you think that my English is? Basic or intermediate? I enjoy listening your podcasts while I’m sitting on the bench square near my work and that takes my mind far away from the place where I’m. I really like English, Actually I love languages a lot , please, I beg you, return my question! I’m looking forward to this. Thank in advance.

    Ana 04/12/2013

    This podcast is intermediate English, I would say…

Juliane Souza 06/02/2013

Ana, I just wanna know if ” No offense” is an expression used in all countrys of English language or it’s common only in the USA.
And congratulations, your Podcasts are really good!

Ana 30/01/2013

Pessoal, “No offense” é uma expressão que você usa apenas se dirigindo à pessoa para quem você está dizendo “No offense”, OK?

Se vc estiver contando uma estória pra mim, não funciona vc dizer “No offense” pra mim. No momento em que vc disser isso pra mim, vou achar que vc vai me fazer uma crítica ou algo assim.
Vc pode dizer “Eu disse a ele, No offense”.

Deu pra entender o sentido de “No offense”?

Edson Nascimento 30/01/2013


Once I heard from my boss: No offense, this project could be better.
I just said him: All right but this project was yours idea, not mine.

No offense, he got in trouble.

Anyway your podcast is great.

Lucas 29/01/2013

Hi Ana ! I’m starting studying english, so, I can understand ALL you said reading it but just listening I can’t yet. Is it normal for a beginner?

    José Carlos 30/01/2013

    Hi Lucas, It’s so normal for beginners. I bought the course of Ingles Online and I come to my work every day listening to CD in my car. I’ll advise you for do that too and your listening had been better.

      Ana 30/01/2013

      Awesome, José Carlos! (ouçam pronúncia de awesome aqui)

    Ana 30/01/2013

    Hi Lucas,

    Pra começar… você não é beginner, né? Um beginner não escreve o que vc escreveu em inglês.

    O fato de vc precisar ler a transcrição pra entender tudo indica q meu podcast está um pouco acima da sua compreensão (de áudio) atual. Se vc tem disposição pra ler e ouvir junto, sem problemas. Não recomendo só ler, pois vc precisa aprender também os sons do inglês, ou vai começar a aportuguesar as pronúncias.

    Vc pode também olhar as sugestões na dica 5 da série Como Falar Inglês… lá tem vários podcasts legais, e talvez vc encontre algum que possa acompanhar sem a transcrição.

      Lucas 31/01/2013

      Thank you !! I said that I’m a begginer ’cause at the course that I’m taking I’m basic two yet rs, but I studied english before at home ’cause I love the language ! I’ll take all advices, Thanks ;))

Nina 28/01/2013

Achei que a voz ficou meio robotizada.. As gravações anteriores estão mais nítidas.

wilson 27/01/2013

“No offense, but don’t make me choose between pizza and you ’cause I’ll definitely choose pizza.”
None taken!!

“Paul is such a boring name, no offense to anyone who has it but I’m glad I’m not named Paul”.
It’s kinda offensive.

“No offense, but you represent everything I despise in the world”.
It’s definitely offensive!

BTW, the record is a little bit strange. Anyway, thanks Ana for one more podcast!

André 26/01/2013

I think no offense it´s similar to “me desculpa mas” in portuguese.
After “mas” we can take something not so polite.

Adrian 26/01/2013

“No offense, but don’t make me choose between pizza and you ’cause I’ll definitely choose pizza.”
None taken, I would choose pizza too. Over-all.

“Paul is such a boring name, no offense to anyone who has it but I’m glad I’m not named Paul”.

“No offense, but you represent everything I despise in the world”.
Offense level troll

André 25/01/2013

Yeah, Ana, I agree with you totally. It seems to me that people use it (no offense) as apologies to offende somebody, but

they do it wearing masks.

1st sentence: none taken – 2nd sentence: Yes, it’s offensive. Mainly my name was Paul – 3rd sentece: certainly it’s offensive.

I had a Boss when I was fifteen, he was elderly and always that he says something, before he does it, he said:

“No offense, but …” Once he told me: “No offense, but your clothles are really ugly, look your pants, are they XL?” Gosh!

Ayla 25/01/2013

Dizer “No offense” é mais ou menos como dizer “Pardon my French”, certo?

Merari 25/01/2013

No offense, but don’t make me choose between pizza and you ’cause I’ll definitely choose pizza.”
depending on how hungry I do not feel offended hehehe

“Paul is such a boring name, no offense to anyone who has it but I’m glad I’m not named Paul”.
I think is None taken

“No offense, but you represent everything I despise in the world”.
definitely offensive

    Ana 25/01/2013

    hehe… Agreed on the pizza. Depending on how hungry I am I won’t even see you!

Diogo Higino 25/01/2013

Hi Amazing thanks for leave another great podcast. I was thinking about people that always say “I will learn English right here!” but instead of doing it squeeze up the way to get there. No offense, but they are very shame. Why do you promise to make something you aren’t prepared for? I don’t know the sky- high English student, but I do it every day. Who knows one day I will get there. You have performed such a good work on your blog. Congratulations.

    Ana 25/01/2013

    Hey, Diogo… Thanks :)

Guilherme Costa 25/01/2013

Hello Ana,

First of all I’d like to say that I enjoy too much your work here on Ingles Online, for me as a intermediate english student your podcasts help a lot.

So, as you said is pretty commom to heard this expression ” No offense ” I’ve seen several times, and I like it.

I’ve used once, I said to my cousin ( who understand english too ).

” Hey man, no offense but these pants don’t suit you that well, you’d better try another one”

That’s it. ;)

See you.

    Ana 25/01/2013

    hahaha… great example.

Sergio 24/01/2013

Does this expression. have similar meaning of no hard feelings:

    Ana 25/01/2013

    Não, Sérgio. A pessoa diz “no hard feelings” pra comunicar que não levou a mal algo que outra pessoa fez ou disse.
    Veja os exemplos de “no offense” no pod , pra sentir como é usada.

      Marcia 11/02/2013

      “none taken”poderia equivaler a “no hard feelings”?

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