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Hi, everyone. Neste episódio, eu falo sobre dois idioms do inglês que você não vai querer perder: um equivale ao nosso “dá um desconto” (quando alguém é iniciante, por exemplo); e o outro é para quando alguém está folgando… Sabe como é?
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Alright. So how about when you get to the office on Monday and as soon as you step in, your boss calls you to introduce you to your new colleague, Johnny? It’s Johnny’s first day in the office. So on Thursday you overhear another colleague, Mike, telling your boss that Johnny has messed up a couple of spreadsheets. Your boss says “I’ll talk to Johnny and train him to use the spreadsheets, don’t worry. Now cut him some slack, the guy has been with us for less than a week.”
Your boss asks Mike to cut him some slack. Cut Johnny some slack. Johnny is the new guy, and he hasn’t been fully trained in his new job yet. He hasn’t learned all the ins and outs of the job. So cut him some slack. Cut Johnny some slack. Give him some time to get used to the office, get used to the job, get used to the spreadsheets… Don’t be too hard on Johnny – cut him some slack.
So when you cut someone some slack, you’re treating them in a way that is less severe than usual, or being less demanding with that person. Why? Well, there’s more than one reason why you may want to do that. Let’s say you have just lost your job and your friend Mary came over to your place to keep you company and make sure you’re alright. She’s being a good friend. So, right now she’s setting the table for lunch. Your sister looks at what she’s doing and says “Hey, your friend Mary can’t set a table… She’s doing it all wrong!” And you say “OK, I’ll fix it later. Please cut her some slack… She’s just trying to help.” So here’s your sister criticizing your friend Mary, because Mary just isn’t very good at setting a table. You know Mary’s just being sweet and trying to help, though. So you tell your sister “Cut her some slack, she’s just trying to help.”
I found an interesting examplo someone posted on Twitter: “When you make a mistake, fix it, but also be sure to forgive yourself. Cut yourself some slack… Nobody’s perfect.” So this one is for when you mess up and then start beating yourself up for it. Cut yourself some slack. Everyone makes mistakes. So, here’s a plan: learn from your mistake and next time hopefully you’ll do better.
OK, so… You know when a person all of a sudden, for some reason, starts working less hard than usual? Their work, or effort, used to be OK. Now, it’s like they’re not working as hard. They’re not putting in the same amount of effort. Something has changed. Maybe they’re preoccupied with other things, maybe they’re not so interested in this activity any longer, or… who knows? Whatever the reason, this person is slacking off. This person has become inefficient, or maybe they have become a bit lazy. They are slacking off.
There are other slightly different meanings for this idiom, “to slack off”, but the one I just illustrated is, by far, what I hear the most. And we use it just like that: Susan is slacking off; he’s slacking off; they’re slacking off. It’s common to say where or when you or someone else slacked off. For example, someone posted on Twitter “I regret slacking off in high school.” So the girl who posted that was probably not a great student in high school. Maybe she missed some classes, or she just didn’t study much. And now she regrets it. She regrets slacking off in school.
So imagine you’ve gone to a beach house with a group of friends and every one has a job. Your job is to take the trash out every day. Your friend Mary’s job is to wash the dishes. Tony’s job is to sweep the floor, and so on. So after a few days you notice that dirty dishes are piling up in the sink. What’s going on? Well, Mary’s slacking off. She hasn’t really been doing her job of washing the dishes. The first day she did it, but now she’s slacking off and there’s a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and it has been there for two days.
Sometimes we can tell that someone is slacking off – they’re just not doing their job as well as they’re supposed to. Has that happened to you? Have you had to talk to someone at work, or maybe fire someone because they were slacking off? Let me know in the comments, and talk to you next time!
overhear = ouve (a conversa ou fala de outros, sem estar participando dela)
setting the table = pondo a mesa
beat yourself up = se torturar por causa de um erro que você cometeu
preoccupied = tem outras coisas na cabeça
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