Hi, everyone. Neste episódio, eu falo sobre uma expressão que traduz perfeitamente aquelas nossas indagações do tipo É pra esperar aqui? É pra preencher a ficha? O que é pra fazer? Veja que nem sempre a gente diz É pra…?, que é português bem informal. Às vezes começamos a pergunta de maneira diferente, como O que eu tenho que…? ou Eu tenho que assinar aqui? Se você ainda não é muito familiarizado com o uso de supposed to, ouça bem esse episódio e os exemplos, e comece a reparar nessa expressão daqui por diante.
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Everyone, I love talking about idioms that I don’t hear people use a lot. And by people, I don’t mean native speakers… I mean Inglês Online visitors and Brazilians in general who are learning English. There are so many little expressions and idioms that are insanely useful and pop up all the time in native conversation – and they are usually mentioned in an English lesson along with some examples and all you need to do for English school purposes is know how to use them on the test. Memorising will help you do well on the test, but it won’t really help you a lot with speaking with confidence and becoming progressively more fluent.
So I’m happy to present to you today the expression that you will use whenever you wanna say, in English obviously… stuff like “É pra gente esperar aqui?” and “O que que é pra gente fazer?” Now, granted. There’s more than one way of saying those. For many of the examples I’m gonna give, we could use ‘should’. That’s not the term I’m gonna focus on, though. I’m going to focus on supposed to with the meaning I just exemplified in Portuguese.
So listen to this: Are we supposed to wait here? That means – Is there an expectation that we wait here? Is that what we are expected to do? Do you expect us to wait here? Is that what we should do, according to the rules, or according to the process, or according to what you want…? Are we supposed to wait here? When you ask the question “Am I supposed to do this or that?”, you’re asking “What am I expected to do?” “What do you or other people expect me to do?”
So let’s imagine you’re a student and you go somewhere with a couple of your classmates to register for a national exam or something. You guys arrive at the place and see a reception desk. The receptionist looks up, says “Good morning”, and looks down again. You look at one of your classmates and ask “Are we supposed to wait here?” but he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know what the three of you are supposed to do. What are you expected to do? Walk up to the receptionist and speak to her? Take the elevator to the second floor, maybe? No one knows. So finally you decide to walk up to the reception desk and say “Good morning. I’m here to register for the exam. I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do first.” And the receptionist explains that she’s just put in a call for the exam representative who will be with you in a minute.
“What am I supposed to do?” is something people say a lot when things don’t go the way they expected. You will hear it in movies and TV shows very often, when there’s a couple – boyfriend and girlfriend, for example, and one of them suddenly has to go away for a long time. The other one will say “What am I supposed to do without you?” That means, I will be so lost without you, I won’t even know what to do next. How will I live my life? What should I do if you’re not here? What am I supposed to do if you leave? Just wait here? Just be on my own? I don’t know what I’m supposed to do!
Let’s say your favourite TV show, Fantástico, which used to be on every Sunday night, has just been canceled. You say to your friend Fantástico has just been canceled – what am I supposed to do with my Sunday nights now? Let’s say your boss said she would text you by 5 o’clock with instructions on how to finalize a very important report that is due by 6 o’clock the same day. It’s now 5:50 and she has not texted you yet! You call your colleague and say “The report is due in 10 minutes and she hasn’t contacted me with instructions! What am I supposed to do?” And how about this one: on your third day on your new job, your supervisor calls you a for quick meeting and says “When you come in every day you’re supposed to say good morning to everyone in the office and you haven’t been doing that!”
What are your own examples? Please let us know in the comments, and talk to you next time!