Hello! Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre idioms super comuns com as palavras light e lighten – não perca!
Hello! 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 you know when you tell someone about a problem that you’re having, and then… they go ahead and make a joke about it? Or they think it’s not that bad – maybe you’re exaggerating. Doesn’t sound that important! You happen to know all the particulars of the problem though, and therefore you’re aware that it’s actually kinda serious.
That other person is making light of your problem. To make light of something means to treat something as if it were nothing. It’s unimportant. Ok, maybe it has some importance, but it’s not that serious. This is how someone sees that thing, if they’re making light of it. They treat it as something… trivial.
Maybe the other person doesn’t mean to be disrespectful, of course. Maybe they just don’t know or they don’t understand what you’re saying. You could say “I wish you wouldn’t make light of this issue. It’s actually quite serious.” And then they may ask you for further information and you can gauge whether or not to share additional details.
Let’s say you told your friend that you’re quite upset because you can’t find your pen anywhere. Yes, a pen. Your friend finds this funny and points out the fact that there’s an office supplies shop just around the corner where you can get ten pens for a dollar. You say “Well, I wish I could make light of it… It’s an heirloom pen that has been passed down in my family for generations.” Obviously now your friend understands the importance of the pen. It would actually have been a good idea to lead with that bit of information. Now your friend knows, so he’s not making light of your problem anymore. He actually thinks you should go to the police.
Now, our next idiom is a bit different in meaning and in form: lighten up, or, as you’ll hear often, lighten up a little. The word lighten derives from light, obviously, and “lighten up” can be used in the literal sense. An example: the walls in your bedroom are gray and it all looks a bit lifeless. If you hang a few colourful paintings on the wall, they might… brighten it up a little bit, and if you painted the walls white, that might lighten it up a bit. Do you hear a pattern? Brighten up, lighten up. Colourful paintings may brighten up your room and white walls will lighten it up. White walls may brighten it up as well, to be fair.
And what about a person? When someone lightens up, it means they’ve become less serious, or demanding, or worried – in other words, they have relaxed a little bit. If someone says to you “Lighten up!” basically they’re saying “Oh, chill” or “Relax!” Relax, however, can be totally friendly and even comforting, when you realise that someone’s tense and you want to assure them that everything is going to be fine. You can tell them “Hey, relax…” When someone tells you to lighten up, on the other hand, it’s like they’re kind of, sort of giving you a little tap on the shoulder and going “Please calm down. You’re overreacting a little bit. Lighten up!”.
So there you go! Let me know what you think of today’s idioms and talk to you next time.
gauge = avaliar, medir
to lead with that bit of information = iniciar a história com essa informação
brighten (something) up = dar mais brilho, cores vivas, vivacidade a algo
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