Como falo em inglês: fazer sinal para o ônibus parar

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

May 01
Inglês Online fazer sinal para o ônibus parar

How’s it going?

Hoje eu falo sobre dois idioms com a palavra flag, incluindo “fazer sinal para o táxi/ônibus parar”.


How’s it going? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So I’m wondering how you get to work or school every day. Do you drive, or do you take public transport? In case you take the bus, you know very well that if you’re the only person standing at the bus stop, when you see your bus you have to raise your arm as a kind of signal to the driver that you want him to stop.

What you’re doing is, you’re hailing down a bus. To hail down something or someone means exactly that: to signal or wave at someone to let them know they should stop. We do the same thing for a taxi, right? If I’m out in the street and need a cab to go somewhere, when I see one approaching I’ll just raise my arm, maybe wave, and if the taxi is free the driver will stop and pick me up.

Have you ever missed a bus because, although you were standing at the bus stop, you forgot to hail it down? It’s happened to me. Actually, I’m not sure whether I was distracted or forgot to wave, or I just thought someone else was going to hail it down. Nobody did, and the bus just went right on past all of us. But that’s pretty rare – that actually happened out here in London. In São Paulo it was usually the opposite: I don’t think I ever had to worry about hailing down a bus because there were always so many people at the bus stop who were waiting for the same bus I was… So lots of hands went up as the buses approached.

Here’s a tweet I read the other day:

The woman who tweeted this is a former cast member on a reality show that I used to watch. Also, I didn’t get the “magneto” reference… I only watched the first X-man movie so, if you know what she’s talking about please let me know!

We can also say flag down – it’s the same thing as hail down. Sometimes you’re driving a car and the police will flag you down, won’t they? A police officer will sort of wave at you and you know you should immediately pull over. So police officers sometimes flag down cars.

And here’s another idiom with flag that you will hear a lot: red flag. I hear that one all the time. A red flag is a sign to you, or to someone else, that something is not right. Maybe you’re interviewing someone to be your new assistant – let’s say it’s a guy called Richard. So Richard says “I’ve had three jobs so far, and all my bosses were awful people. They were really horrible.”

OK. So you hear Richard say that the last three bosses he had were awful people – really? That raises a red flag. That’s a huge red flag to you. You keep going with the interview, but by now you’ve already made up your mind: either this guy has a problem with authority figures or he doesn’t think twice about badmouthing other people. Either way, it’s a no-go. Richard saying that all his previous bosses were awful people was a big red flag to you.

Or let’s say you’re a girl and you’ve been dating a guy for a few months now but he still doesn’t want you anywhere near his place. He’s fine with coming round to yours, but whenever you suggest going round to his, he’ll give you an excuse. That’s a red flag to you. Something smells fishy… Maybe he’s married? You end up breaking up with him because you can’t ignore a red flag like that.

OK, that’s it for today! Tell me about your red flags in the comments, and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • flag or hail something/someone down
  • red flag


I didn’t get the reference = não entendi a referência

badmouth someone = falar mal de alguém

either way = de qualquer uma das duas maneiras que você acabou de mencionar

a no-go = uma situação que você não quer, que não vai acontecer, você não vai aprovar, etc

Ana 05/06/2017

QUESTION for anyone that would know:

How would we say “a red flag” in Brazil? (the meaning i talked about in the podcast)

    José Antonio 07/06/2017

    Acendeu uma “luzinha”.

Marcos 08/05/2017

Hi, Ana. About flag down expression, I have a question. Using it as a verb, should I use it this way:
“He flags Down the car”. “They flagged down…” Is it right?
About red flags. I think an example of Red Flag is listening to somebody boasts about himself as very honest all the time.
Another example was when we were kids and when our mother’s called us by full name. It meant to be something was wrong and always raised a Red Flag.
I have been listening to your podcast since October 2016, I think.
It has been great and I love the way you explain the expressions and the topics you choose to teach.
I regret haven’t discovered it before.

PS: Magneto controls the metal made things.

    Ana 05/06/2017

    Hi Marcos,

    Yes, your questions were correctly phrased.

    True – I agree about people boasting that they’re honest! Red flag!

    Thanks for the examples :)

Eduardo 01/05/2017

Magneto’s superpower is to control whatever he wants by using telepathy. I’ve seen him making objects float around in the air, make things stop in the x-man cartoon. He usually puts his hands up while doing this.

Great podcast, as always : )

    Ana 05/06/2017

    I see!! Thank you for clarifying :-)

      Alexadre 05/06/2017


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