Como falo em inglês: O gato comeu a sua língua? – Inglês Online

Como falo em inglês: O gato comeu a sua língua?

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 25
Inglês Online O gato comeu a sua língua

How are you doing? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre idioms relacionados a dizer alguma coisa e dar opinião. Não perca!!

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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 here’s our first idiom of today: has the cat got your tongue? Or just “cat got your tongue”? That is mostly similar to what we say in Brazil – see the title of today’s episode to see what I mean. People say “Cat got your tongue?” a lot when they sort of want someone to react to something and that person is keeping quiet.

For example, let’s say your friend Mary is very opinionated about tomatoes. She thinks everyone should eat green tomatoes. Yes, it’s very important to her that everyone around her knows that green tomatoes have some kind of nutrient that you can’t find anymore when the tomato has ripened and turned red. Mary keeps yapping about it everywhere you go. Whenever you’re around food she’ll say “They should be serving green tomatoes. Green tomatoes are so important for your health.”

So it turns out you all go to a party one night and there’s food at the party. You see a beautiful bowl of salad full of leaves and vegetables, including tomatoes. Red tomatoes. You know Mary is going to say something about it. So you’re just waiting. You’re helping yourself to the salad, of course – it looks delicious. However you fully expect Mary to say something.

Well, she doesn’t! This is so unexpected, it’s almost unsettling. You look at her and she’s helping herself to the salad, then she grabs a bit of pasta, all without saying a word about the lack of green tomatoes! All you can say is “Hey, Mary? Cat got your tongue? Where’s your commentary about the importance of green tomatoes in a healthy diet?”

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And Mary says “Oh. Yes, for sure. They should have green tomatoes in this salad, absolutely. I just can’t stop thinking about our exam tomorrow! I’m so worried that I didn’t even pay attention to the colour of the tomato. You’re right, though. I’m going to have a chat with the caterers and explain to them why they should include green tomatoes in all dishes.”

“Cat got your tongue?” You could say this every time you’re in a meeting, or with a group of people and you expect someone to have an opinion about something that they’ve been waiting to voice, and then when the moment comes, they don’t. Of course, it can be a bit of a pushy thing to say and it can sound rude depending on the context, so be careful! You wouldn’t say that to someone you don’t know, for example.

Here’s another related idiom: chime in. Let’s say you’re having a discussion at work. It’s you and three colleagues, and you’re talking about next steps regarding a plan of action to increase sales. You’re presenting your ideas about the product, and they’re listening. However, you know that one of them, Richard, knows the product a little bit better than you do. You would like Richard to correct you if necessary – just in case you say something that is not entirely accurate. So you begin: “Let me tell you my ideas for increasing sales for our product – Richard, feel free to chime in if necessary.”

You’re asking Richard to contribute, to give his opinion, even correct you if he sees the need. “Feel free to chime in” is an invitation for someone to contribute and give their opinion or share their knowledge about the topic of discussion. We can also use this idiom any time someone gives their opinion in a discussion: “John and Nick were talking about the history of football, and Andy chimed in a few times. All three of them know quite a bit about football.”

Do you usually chime in in discussions? Let us know and talk to you next time.


Key expressions

  • (has the) Cat got your tongue?
  • chime in



helping yourself to the salad = (você está) se servindo de salada

unsettling = desconfortável de uma maneira que te deixa sem jeito


Latest posts by Ana Luiza (see all)

  • Messias says:

    Hi Ana,
    Thank you!


    Hello, Ana!

    How are you?

    How can I subscribe your podcasts by RSS (feed) at my app “beyondpod”?

    Thank you very much.

    O love your podcasts.

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