Como falo em inglês: Ele me chamou de lado

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

May 31
Como falo em inglês Ele me chamou de lado

Hi, everyone! Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu vou falar sobre expressões com pull em inglês.


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So today we have a few expressions with the word pull: P-U-L-L. You know, pull, the word that does not mean “pular” – most of the time I guess we can translate pull as “puxar” in Portuguese. “Pull”, however, like so many words in English, is used in several idiomatic expressions such as “pull someone aside”. What does that mean? When you pull someone aside, you take that person to one side away from other people, usually because you wanna have a word with them… a private conversation. So that’s why you pull that person aside. Imagine you’re in this group with lots of people talking to each other and all of a sudden your friend Matt says something and you remember you’ve got something kind of urgent to discuss with him.

The thing is, this is a private matter and you wouldn’t want to discuss it in front of other people. So what do you do? You pull Matt aside, away from the group, and then you discuss that private matter with him. You pull him aside. That’s a fairly common thing to happen, isn’t it? It could happen at a party, or while you’re with your classmates in school, or you’re at a shopping mall with a bunch of friends and you’re all talking and waiting in line to get in the movie theater and then it just occurs to you that you’ve got something a bit urgent and a bit private to tell one of your friends. You don’t want to just start whispering in front of everyone so you discreetly pull your friend aside, and then you tell him what you wanted to tell him. You pull your friend aside. You pull him aside, or you pull her aside, away from the group.

Alright, so here’s another expression with the word “pull”: when we say something is like pulling teeth, we mean to say that this thing is very difficult to do. It’s very common to say that making someone do something is like pulling teeth. This means that making someone do that thing is very difficult and they don’t wanna do it, for one reason or another. So, I don’t know about you but the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about pulling teeth isn’t really how difficult it is, but rather how painful that is. Yeah… so, this idiom isn’t really about pain – it’s more about something being difficult to get done.

It's like pulling teeth

Check out these examples: one girl tweeted “Getting people to do the dishes around here is like pulling teeth”. I mean, this is the perfect example, isn’t it? Anyone who’s ever shared a house with other people knows that there is always someone who won’t pull their weight. You try to get them to do their share of the work, you talk to them, but somehow some people always find a way to be some place else when everyone is home doing housework. Getting that kind of person to help with house chores is like pulling teeth. They don’t wanna do it, they’ll give you excuses, they’ll change the subject, you’ll feel like you’re wasting your time… It’s like pulling teeth; it’s just very difficult to make that happen.

Here’s what another person tweeted: “Getting my six-year-old to do her homework is like pulling teeth”. If you’re a parent and you got kids in school, maybe you know what that’s like? Yes? Let us know in the comments! Someone else said “Teaching my parents to use Twitter is like pulling teeth”. I sort of agree on that one… I’ve tried to explain Twitter to my parents more than once but they didn’t really get it. Trying to teach them how to use Twitter? That could be like pulling teeth… I don’t know.

So I’m pretty sure you’ve all got some good examples of things you try to get other people to do, and these things are like pulling teeth. What are they? Let us know in the comments and talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • pull someone aside
  • like pulling teeth



fairly common = relativamente comum

start whispering = começar a sussurrar

who won’t pull their weight = que não vai se esforçar tanto quando os outros



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.

  • paulopereira says:

    Muito bom!!!!!!!

  • Ale says:

    Teach math for my cosin it’s like pulling teeth.

  • cass says:

    doing my math exercises it’s like pulling teeth

  • Ailson Calaça says:

    Once I was in front of the club dance with my friend, and some friends said to me who others guys wanted to fight with my friend, I think that was because stupid causes. I pulled my friend aside, said him this and we left the party.

  • Carol says:

    Thanks Ana!
    Great post ;-)
    Getting my mother to understand me is like pulling teeth!

  • Al says:

    Ouch! What painful image that you chose to illustrate your post!

  • André says:

    Wow, Ana! It sounds a little strange for me, but I’m going to try to write something, ok?

    My father in law made a little mistake other day, and I had to explain to him it. However, how we were next to other strange people, soo I understood that it would be better if I pulled him aside and told it him.

    Do it was like pulling teeth, because he’s a difficult person,

  • Débora says:

    Hi Ana! Congrats, great post!
    Getting my three-year-old to brush her teeth is like pulling teeth.

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