Como falo em inglês: Ele agiu de má fé – Inglês Online

Como falo em inglês: Ele agiu de má fé

By Ana | Podcast Inglês Online

Dec 27
Podcast inglês agiu de má fé

How are you doing?

Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre dois idioms super comuns no dia a dia do inglês. Não perca!


How are you doing? 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, there’s a term in English that pretty much corresponds to what we say in Portuguese – “má fé”, and the term is bad faith. Check this out: my neighbour hired a contractor to do some work in her kitchen. After months had gone by, this guy was still working on her kitchen – and it was not a big kitchen, trust me. Part of the work he was supposed to do was install a heating system under the tiles on the floor. After almost three months – I kid you not – he said he was basically done. He also said that he had installed the heating system but there was some problem with it. It was just not working.

My neighbour spent a fortune on this system, so she was not happy. She got a hold of a woman who worked with this contractor before, and the woman told her the truth: this particular contractor wasn’t skilled in electrical systems. That means that he should not have agreed to install the heating system, right? So my neighbour had another contractor come over and take a look at the system. This new contractor said there was nothing wrong with it – the problem was the installation.

So there you go: the first contractor knew he didn’t have the skills and agreed to do the job anyway. Then, he didn’t do it right, and blamed the system instead of owning up to his lack of skills and returning the part of the payment that corresponded to that job (I think this is the least he could have done.) My neighbour spent her money on this guy, and then some more money on the second contractor for his professional opinion.

The first contractor acted in bad faith. To act in bad faith means to conduct yourself with a dishonest intent. Basically you know you’re doing something wrong, but you go ahead anyway with some kind of transaction – where the person at the receiving end will not get exactly what they are being led to believe they’re getting. I’m pretty sure this is something everyone has been through – dealing with someone who acted in bad faith and deceived you, gave you their word on something while knowing they weren’t going to hold up their end of the bargain.

So here’s another idiom, another term that is very appropriate as it helps explain what it means to act in bad faith: you enter a transaction with someone, you make a deal, you agree to collaborate in some way and you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. The difference here is that when you act in bad faith, you know, really, that you’re not going to be holding up your end of the bargain. You know it’s coming. You’re acting in bad faith.

Other times, people start out with good intentions, or so they say, but they end up not fulfilling their obligations or keeping their word about something they agreed on – here, again, they’re not holding up their end of the bargain. Whenever you don’t fulfill an obligation or any kind of agreement, whether or not you’re acting in bad faith, you’re not holding up your end of the bargain.

How about you tell me your examples? Let me know and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • act in bad faith
  • hold up your end of the bargain


I kid you not = sem brincadeira

  • Gabriel says:

    Well, once I kinda of hired a mason to remove all the tiles from the kitchen … they were pretty old-fashioned and cracked. Then, this guy came over and said that it would take him a couple of days to do the job I was offering him … but he asked me just one thing; he wanted us to pay him first, because he had to fill up his gas tank and so on .. we did it .. believe or not, this guy never showed up .. I went to his place to talk about our deal but he was never there .. I ended up forgetting it and I had to pay another mason to do the service. The first guy did act in bad faith.

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