Como falo em inglês: Não posso me dar ao luxo de não ir

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Apr 03
Como falo em inglês Não posso me dar ao luxo de não ir

Hey, what’s up? Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre uma situação interessante que começou em Nápoles.


Hello, all. What’s up? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. Please subscribe to this podcast using the Podcasts app for iPhone or iPad, or listen to the episodes using the Inglesonline Android app.

So I registered on this website,, but I haven’t really used it for anything so far. Well… that is, until today. Have you heard of Quora? Are you a frequent user, or participant? For those of you who’ve never heard of it, I’m gonna give you a very basic explanation: Quora is a place where you can ask a question and get answers from people all over the world, so it’s a place with lots of discussions being generated every day on pretty much every topic you can imagine. Anyway, I signed up a while ago and I probably checked the box for weekly digests… Oh, here’s an update: I just looked at the Email preferences page and it doesn’t seem like I opted into any kind of newsletter, so I guess they’re sending this to me without my permission.

Anyway, today that’s a good thing ’cause through reading their newsletter I found the story that inspired today’s podcast. So, just listen:

“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave.
I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.”
Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a suspended coffee ?’
It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.

OK, so here’s a recap of the story: in the city of Naples, in Italy, there’s a café… probably more than one, where certain clients will pay not only for what they are ordering for themselves, but they will also pay in advance for people who don’t have enough money to be buying their coffee. In other words, some clients will pay in advance for beverages for people who can’t afford to buy them.

I think most people will agree this is a nice story. What’s your personal opinion about it? Like I said, I think most people will agree this is a nice story, a nice thing to do – that’s actually my personal opinion. So if you disagree, if you think that these people shouldn’t be paying for other people’s coffees, let us know what you think in the comments! And let me give you a few more examples with the expression “I can afford” or “they can’t afford”, “he can afford” and so on. Are you familiar with this? That means simply “I have or don’t have enough money to pay for this”. For example, I can afford my dog’s food but if I owned a thousand dogs then I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to afford all the necessary dog food. When people go out househunting, they have an idea of what kinds of houses they can afford. They usually go to neighborhoods where they can afford to buy a house. If they’re tight on money, they won’t waste time visiting houses in super-wealthy neighborhoods because they can’t afford those houses.

And there’s a very nice use of the expression “can’t afford”: it is not really related to how much money you have or not, but rather to an opportunity that you should not miss. Let’s say it’s very hard to schedule an appointment with a certain doctor, but you try and try and one day you get it. On the day of the appointment, your friend calls you and says “Hey, I got two free tickets for… this new Twilight movie! You’re coming with me, right?” And you can’t go, because you’ve got that doctor appointment at the same time the movie starts, and you can’t afford to miss it! You can’t afford to miss this doctor appointment. In this case, it’s not about money or how much the consultation is going to cost you. When you say “I can’t afford to miss this appointment”, you’re saying that this is something really, really important to you and maybe you won’t get the opportunity to do this again any time soon. Maybe you had to work really hard to get it; or maybe you have no idea how you got that appointment, how you got that opportunity, but you feel so lucky and you know that an opportunity like that may come around once in a lifetime so there’s no way you’ll miss it. You can’t afford to miss it.

Someone who gets in a very competitive school may think “I can’t afford not to go”; or there’s an industry event happening tomorrow and your boss tells you “You can’t afford to miss it. It is essential that you go”. So, tell us: is there anything coming up in the near future that you can’t afford to miss?

Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • I can afford this or that
  • He can’t afford to (not do or miss something)



weekly digests = resumos (do que foi postado) semanais

I opted into (a newsletter) = eu optei por receber (uma newsletter, marcando o xizinho)

househunting = procurar casa para morar, olhar casas

tight on money = com pouco dinheiro

but rather = mas (ao invés disso)



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.

  • josilene says:

    oiii te mandei um e-mail falando minha situação ,mas ai vc mandou outro dizendo pra que eu escrevesse aqui .É por meus interesses gostaria de reiniciar o curso se for possivel.agradeço por sua compreensão .

  • Ricklustosa says:

    Good story Ana, it’s good to know and see people aroude the world making actions.

    Its reminde me of the coca-cola advertising “Let’s look at the world a liltte differentily”

    We can’t afford doing good actions!

  • kaewan says:

    From the time I saw this site and realized its importance I couldn’t afford to miss the opportunity to thank you all for everything

  • Débora says:

    Ana, I perceived that you caught a cold by your voice. Am I right? I hope you get better soon.

  • Débora says:

    Hi Ana! I have already heard about this story on facebook. I must say, it really impressed me. This is without a shadow of a doubt a nice thing to do and a good example to follow.

  • Marianna Gualberto says:

    Lembrei de uma música do Billy Joel (Vienna) em que ele diz : ” It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two”…

  • Karina Machado says:

    Hi Ana, :)

    Yes, I can’t afford go to the Australia – Sydney, because is my dream, if I have a opportunity, of course I will go.

    Thanks, Bye.

  • William says:

    This is a big podcast, I like it. I’m improve my english with this podcasts. Thanks!!!

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