What’s up? Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu respondo a dúvida do leitor Tom Ballardini sobre algumas maneiras de se dizer “faz tanto tempo” e “falta um mês para” em inglês.
Hi, everybody. Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. Please subscribe to this podcast using the Podcasts app for iPhone and iPad, or listen to the episodes using the Inglesonline Android app.
Last week I got an email from an Inglês Online reader and he asked me about a few expressions in Portuguese, such as “Faz muito tempo que não estudo inglês” and “Falta um mês para o congresso”. So today let’s take a look at how we can say these things in English.
How can we say “Falta um mês”, for example? There are a few different ways to do that. So let’s say we’re telling a friend about this conference we’re going to attend, and let’s say you’ve got to put together five different presentations for that conference. You’ve started to work on the first one but you have a long way to go before your work is done. So you say to your friend “One month to the conference and I’ve only just begun work on my five presentations”. You could also say “One month before the conference and I still have to create five presentations from beginning to end”. You will notice, as you read or listen to English more and more, that most of the time when someone uses one of the expressions above, they’ll usually say something along the lines “I haven’t prepared yet” or “I haven’t done everything I needed to do to prepare for that event”. A couple more examples: “Two days to our trip to Jamaica and I haven’t even begun to think what I’m gonna pack”. “Three weeks to go before school starts and I feel I haven’t rested at all”; or we could simply say “Three weeks before school starts and I feel I haven’t rested at all”.
Here’s another way: that conference is just a month away, and I’ve yet to prepare and produce five different presentations. The championship final is just eight days away. Spring is nine weeks away. So, tell me: is there some big event in your life that’s just around the corner… and you still gotta prepare for it? Maybe it’s a trip, maybe a presentation, maybe it’s your wedding! I’ll give you an example that’s true for me: Two months to my trip and I still have so much stuff to take care of. What’s your example?
Alright, now on to “faz muito tempo” or “faz tanto tempo”. Let’s say that your example is “Faz muito tempo que eu parei de tomar refrigerante”. You could say “A long time ago I quit drinking soda”. A more literal translation to “a long time ago” is “muito tempo atrás”, but it works here. It communicates what you mean. A long time ago I quit drinking soda.
Now, here’s one thing I wanna bring to your attention. In Portuguese we say “faz tanto tempo que eu não vejo TV” or “faz tanto tempo que eu não vou ao cinema”, or, to go back to our previous example, “faz tanto tempo que eu não tomo refrigerante”. That’s a very common thing to say, right? All of them have a negative: não vejo, não vou, não tomo. Now, just notice that we don’t need a negative to say that in English. Listen: “It’s been so long since I watched TV”. What does that mean? That means that it’s been so long since the last time I watched TV. It was… three year ago, long time! No negatives there, right? It’s been so long since I went to the movies. Last time was months ago. It’s been so long; “faz tanto tempo”. It’s been so long since I had soda. I haven’t drunk soda in… let’s say, four years. It’s been so long since the last time I had soda.
So maybe our first instinct, when we want to say “faz tempo que eu não vejo TV”, would be to try and translate it more or less literally into English and try to fit a negative in there. But we don’t say it like that in English. We just say, it’s been a long time since we did something…or, it’s been a long time since we last did something.
So what are your examples? Talk to you next time!
I’ve only just begun work = acabei de começar o trabalho (work aqui é substantivo)
what I’m gonna pack = o que eu vou colocar na mala
I’ve yet to = eu ainda tenho que
(something) is just around the corner = (algo) está chegando, está próximo
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