Hey, everyone. Neste episódio, falo sobre dois idioms em inglês com a palavra chance.
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So let’s get started today with a very simple and very useful expression that I don’t hear a lot when Brazilians speak English. So take a listen to this episode and start noticing every time you hear this term from here on out so you get used to it. I’m talking about the expression by chance. Have you heard it before? If you’re used to watching films or TV shows in English and paying attention to what is actually being said, chances are… you’ve heard “by chance” before.
“By chance” means accidentally; without planning. For example, I’m reading a book now that I found by chance at a used-books shop. I didn’t know I was gonna find it – it was a complete surprise. In fact, I wasn’t even looking for it. I’d tried to find this book before but quickly realized it was out of print. So one day I walked into a used-books shop just to check their stuff out and stumbled upon this book. I found it by chance.
Someone posted this on Twitter: “The best things in life don’t happen by chance; they happen because you worked for them.” What do you think? I think it depends. Some great things happen in our lives by chance (obviously, that’s true for bad things as well.) Some people are born into a great family, for example. Some people are born with great musical talent. Others are born with a gift for sports. All that happens by chance, right? Or does it? What do you think? Now, it’s true that you can achieve lots of amazing goals if you work hard for them. You can build a great career. You can become a specialist in something if you study hard. You can learn a second language! So those results won’t happen by chance, of course! Here’s what someone said: “My life experience has taught me that nothing happens by chance.” I guess it depends on your view of the world, or your beliefs.
So our second idiom for this episode is kind of a funny one. Here it goes: fat chance. Yep, fat chance. Fat chance this is gonna happen. You think your friend is going to lend you money? Fat chance… The expression “fat chance” is used in a sarcastic way. The word fat here is equivalent to large, or big or something like that. So it’s like you’re saying “Oh, really… There’s a great chance that this is going to happen.” Only you’re saying it in a sarcastic way so what you mean is… you guessed it, the opposite. What you think is that there’s actually no chance that that thing is gonna happen… And that’s where “fat chance” comes in.
Your friend says “Do you think I’m gonna win the lottery this week?” You say “Fat chance.” Mark thinks he’s getting a promotion next month. “Fat chance… He got hired just two weeks ago.” Do you think we can get cheap tickets for the next World Cup? Fat chance… Can we plan a one-month long vacation for twenty dollars? Fat chance.
So what are your examples? Where in your life would you use the idiom “by chance”? Please tell me about it in the comments and talk to you next time!
from here on out = daqui por diante
chances are = é provável que
Or does it? = Ou será que não?