Podcast: Cover your tracks

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Sep 28
Inglês Online Cover your tracks

Hello, everyone.

Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre um idiom muito comum com a palavra cover – não perca!


Hello, everyone. 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 listen to this: when people do something wrong, sometimes they remember to cover their tracks. Many times they don’t! In those cases, it’s easy to figure out what that person did. For example: let’s say your work colleague Richard one day decides to steal from your company. Steal… office supplies. Yeah, pencils and notepads. He opens the supplies cupboard and takes, like, fifty pencils and about twenty notepads. However, Richard does all that while he’s eating cherry ice cream. Yes, cherry ice cream. That’s bright red.

So what happens? When Mary, the admin, opens the cupboard a few hours later she notices it’s been raided. As she wonders who stole all those office supplies, she sees some cherry ice cream on the floor. She immediately remembers that Richard loves cherry ice cream. In fact, he’s the only person in the entire office who likes that particular flavour of ice cream. She finds it very strange that Richard would have come to the office supplies cupboard to get stuff without speaking to her first. Why?

Well, because Mary is in charge of office supplies. So when someone in the office needs a new pen, or an eraser, or a notepad, they usually tell her what they need, and then Mary herself goes to the cupboard and brings the supply to that person. That way she always knows what’s in stock and what’s not. So right now she’s looking at the notepads and the pens, and she can see they’re running low. She’s suspicious. She looks at all that cherry ice cream on the floor – she’s actually a bit mad ’cause she stepped on it – and she knows it was Richard!

Richard stole office supplies but he didn’t cover his tracks, he just didn’t. Maybe he forgot. If Richard had remembered to cover his tracks, he could have looked around and searched for evidence that he’d been in the supplies cupboard. Maybe then he would have spotted the cherry ice cream on the floor, and cleaned it up. That way Mary wouldn’t be able to immediately figure out that it was him who stole all the supplies.

There’s more, though. As you may remember, Richard stole fifty pencils and about twenty notepads. That’s a lot of supplies, and he hid them all under his desk. Well, when Mary came back from the supplies closet she headed straight over to Richard’s desk. He wasn’t there, but Mary took a peek under his desk and she obviously saw the stolen pencils and notepads. I think it is clear that Richard definitely didn’t cover his tracks!

Not only did he leave cherry ice cream on the floor near the cupboard, but he also did a poor job of hiding what he stole. In order to cover your tracks, you would have to to hide or destroy anything that shows where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing – in other words, the incriminating evidence!

So, yeah, Richard did a poor job of covering his tracks, and he got caught. His manager called him into his office for a little chat… and Richard got suspended for a month and had to go through some HR training.

Can you think of a similar story where someone covered their tracks… or maybe they didn’t, and got caught? Let me know and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • cover my/your/his tracks


cupboard = armário

admin = administrative assistant

raided = atacado de surpresa (aqui, num sentido mais figurado – não é um ataque de verdade)

Dias 07/10/2017

Legal acompanhando podcast…

Fátima Regina 06/10/2017

Hello Ann!

Thanks for your podcasts.

    Ana 11/10/2017

    welcome :-)

Felipe 04/10/2017

Olá Ana, tudo bom ?!
Bom sou novo por aqui, conheci seu site a poucos dias, venho acompanhado desde então e confesso que tenho gostado bastante. Bom minha dúvida é com relação ao texto do podcast que ao ler fiquei meio com duvidas na seguinte frase do paragrafo 6º: “[…],and he hid them all under his desk[…]” o correto não seria “and he hiden all under his desk ?”

Enfim gostaria de salientar que sou novo para o inglês, comecei a 3 meses e ainda estou cheio de dúvidas quanto a gramática, então se eu estiver errado por favor me corrija.

Thanks a lot for your lessons, bye :)

    Ana 11/10/2017

    Hi Felipe – tudo ok, e você?

    He hid them all under his desk = Ele escondeu todos eles sob a mesa dele

    Está correto sim.

    Talvez você tenha confundido o uso de HIDDEN, que é o particípio passado de HIDE (esconder).

    Não se preocupe muito, pois isso acontece quando estamos aprendendo.

    Continue ouvindo bastante (de preferência coisas que você já entende) e vc verá que o progresso não demora muito para acontecer. Abs!

Ana 02/10/2017

Thanks :-)

Rômulo Melo 01/10/2017

Welcome back Ana Luiza !!! I missed you so much!!!

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