Como falo em inglês: A situação saiu do controle – Inglês Online

Como falo em inglês: A situação saiu do controle

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Aug 20
Como falo em inglês a situação saiu do controle

How’s it going? Hoje, no podcast, eu falo sobre idioms ultra-comuns para expressar que algo fugiu do controle!


How’s it going? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Download the Inglês Online app at the Google Play Store or the Apple Store – search for “inglês online Ana”. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

So let me tell you about this little expression that is so, so common in the English language – and I’m only getting around to talking about it now! Amazing. And it’s also pretty easy to get – you won’t have any trouble :-) However, that doesn’t mean you’ll immediately start using it all the time – you might do so, but it usually takes a bit of listening for new language to get in our heads so that it’ll come out easily when we open our mouths and want to express those things.

So, here we go: you know when a situation gets out of control? That’s pretty much it, you guys. If something gets out of hand, that means it’s getting out of control. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean someone was controlling it and lost control. Very often it just means something became excessive; it became too much – to the point where it was no longer acceptable, or it started to get in the way of other people’s well-being, for example.

A party can get out of hand. In fact, I have some experience with that. When I still lived in Brazil, one of the residents in a neighbouring building used to have really loud parties till the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes there were people screaming out the window – I’d say that’s when it really got out of hand since no one seemed to be able to make them stop. Good times!

Anything that has the potential to escalate into a really bad state could get out of hand. An argument between two people, for example. Have you ever witnessed it happen? If you’ve ever watched reality shows, you probably have indeed witnessed it. It starts as a disagreement, then it escalates into an argument, then a shouting match where they’re practically at each other’s throats. That’s when you know things have gotten out of hand, and someone will usually interfere and break the two people apart.

On to our second one: spin out of control.  Picture someone driving a car really fast on a slippery surface, and then they lose control of the car and it starts spinning… out of control. That’s a very concrete way to use this idiom. The car spun out of control (yup, spun is the past tense of spin).

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So spinning out of control is something we can say about some machine that stopped responding to our attempts to control it and is just doing its thing and looking pretty crazed in the meantime! However, for this episode we’re focusing on the meaning that is similar to ‘get out of hand’. Whenever we see something getting progressively worse and it looks like no one’s able or willing to get it back on track, we can say it’s spinning out of control.

For example, some people feel like they obsess about things and think about it way too much, but they can’t seem to control their thoughts. These people often say “My thoughts are spinning out of control”. “Things are spinning out of control” is also a very common one and you’ll have heard it before if you’re used to watching American TV.

What do you think? Any examples? Let me know and see you soon!


Key expressions

  • get out of hand
  • spin out of control



I’m only getting around to talking about it now = só fui falar dela agora, só consegui falar dela agora

wee hours of the morning = altas horas da manhã, madrugada

good times = expressão usada em geral ironicamente, com o significado oposto do literal

doing its thing = fazendo o que ela quer

  • Gerardo says:

    Thank you for the podcasts every week!
    Well, about the amazing sentences: something gets out of hand and spin out of control. I always search to have all things under my control. But sometimes its gets out of hands, especially when all is said and done about cancer and the person stay into God’s hands. (observation: I’m surgeon).

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Thanks for the comment, Gerardo – stuff gets out of hand sometimes. Like you, I try to control a few things as well (I think everyone does)

  • José Antonio says:

    Muito bom.

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