Podcast: I can't draw to save my life – Inglês Online

Podcast: I can’t draw to save my life

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Apr 09
Inglês - Podcast I can’t draw to save my life

Hello, everyone. Neste episódio, eu falo sobre dois idioms super comuns com a palavra LIFE… Nenhum dos dois pode ser traduzido literalmente para o português, mas acredito que não seja difícil pegar o sentido deles. Por isso, ouça bem o episódio e me diga se tiver perguntas!


Hello, everyone. This is the 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. Thanks for all the comments at the iTunes store and if you haven’t yet left a comment for this podcast please do so: the more comments for the Inglesonline podcast, the more people will find out about it and listen to the episodes. Thank you for telling your friends, your neighbours, your family and keep listening.

OK, so today we have got a couple of very interesting terms – they’re really idiomatic expressions, or idioms, and they’re both used when you want to communicate that you can’t do something. So listen to this: I can’t draw to save my life. I can’t make a good drawing, I can’t draw anything. I can’t draw to save my life. If I needed to draw in order to save my life, I’d be dead. If my life depended on my drawing abilities, I’d be dead. I can’t draw to save my life.

Listen to this – someone posted on Twitter “I’ll remember a face but can’t remember a person’s name to save my life.” Are you that way? I have to say, I am a lot like that. I will always remember a face, but I can’t remember that person’s name to save my life. There are exceptions, of course… In general, though, I can’t remember a person’s name to save my life. Then if I meet them again, and they tell me their name again… That’s a different story. I’ll remember it. But the first time I’ve met them? Forget it.

Now think about your life. Try to remember something you have tried to do – an activity like dancing, singing, playing soccer, cooking… What is it that you can’t do to save your life? What is it that you can’t do at all? For me it would have to be singing. I can’t sing to save my life. What’s your example?

Now here’s another idiom that is kinda funny. Listen to this: I know I parked my car in this lot but I can’t for the life of me remember where. I’m sure this is the parking lot where I’ve parked my car, I know that much. However now I can’t find it. I don’t know where I’ve parked it. I can’t remember at all where I’ve parked it. I can’t for the life of me remember where my car is.

“For the life of me” is one of those expressions that sounds a bit dramatic because, well, it’s making a point, really: it’s giving emphasis to that thing you can’t do, or can’t remember. Here’s another example I found on Twitter: “For two days I’ve smelled like cigarettes and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why.” I get what this guy is saying. If he doesn’t smoke and nobody in his office smokes, and his housemates don’t smoke – how can he be smelling like cigarettes? Of course, these are only my assumptions but I think they’re good assumptions ’cause the guy sounds pretty confused. He has smelled like cigarettes for two days, and he’s saying “I can’t for the life of me figure out why.”

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inglês: curling iron

Can’t remember if I turned off the curling iron

One girl said “I remember what I did 10 years ago but I can’t for the life of me remember if I turned off the curling iron this morning.” I think that happens to lots of people – they can’t remember whether they switched the lights off, or the TV, or the oven… I had something similar happen to me this afternoon – I couldn’t for the life of me remember if I had locked the door when I left.

So I would like you to think about some recent event in your life – a situation where you had a thought like “Geez, I can’t for the life of me remember something, or do something.” Please let me know in the comments when that happened and what it was about. Talk to you next time!


Key terms

  • can’t (do something) to save my life
  • for the life of me


it’s making a point = está comunicando uma ideia específica

Geez = caramba (provavelmente vem de “Jesus”)

  • Marcelo Pimentel says:

    Wonderful, Ana!

    Just like you, I can’t sing to save my life. Although I’m not a bad singer, I’m very shy to do it in public.

  • Hello Ann! How is it going?

    This is my example: “These helpful and interesting podcasts with new idioms are really coming to improve and save the life of many learners and lovers of English.”

  • jonata fontela says:

    Well, my example is , I can’t play soccer to save my life, I’m a terrible player lol I guess I’m not Brazilian…
    If I needed to play soccer to save my life I’d already be gone a long time ago.. hahaha
    I disagree on something, though.you’re a good singer Ana! Once I heard you singing a little bit on english experts podcast… lol you can sing to save your life ..

  • Júlia says:

    Sorry Ana, but I don’t understand this podcast.

  • Silvana says:

    Hello, how are you?

    Sorry because of the question that is not about the english.
    But, I would like to you to tell me why caramba (provavelmente
    vem de “Jesus”)?

    Ps. Sorry for any mistake

  • rafael says:

    Since i have started to learn english, your podcats is being realy helpful in my learning process… This is one of the best sites about english i have found in the internet, congratulations, you are doing a such nice job here!

    Once in the past, i have thought that i could not speak english to save my life… Fortunatly i was wrong… Thank you very much :)

    Obs: Plzzz ana, when the windows phone users will have thei own ingles online app?

  • Rômulo says:

    I can’t for the life of me remember what I had for lunch today. Lol

  • maria aparecida says:

    Thanks a lot, good job I learn with you.

  • Tawer says:

    Pretty good! keep saving our lives, thank you!

  • Adrisse Mafuiane says:

    Hello my friend, firstly I thank you for all your updates, but to be serious I didn’t catch anything in today’s tip, so, if it’s possible I’d like to have more explaination.

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