quinta-feira, 31 de julho de 2014

O que significa a expressão "tit for tat"?

I was watching Friends as usual and something funny happened: Chandler walks into a room and unintentionally sees Rachel naked. After that accident, they can't get along anymore because Rachel won't get over the fact she's been so exposed. So Ross comes up with a very childish idea to try to solve the problem. He says that since he saw her boobies, he should also let her see his "peepee" [that's the term he used]. Rachel thinks for a second and then she agrees that's fair. So she says: C'mon, he's right. Tit for tat. Do you know what that means?

By the context, you must have figured its meaning yourself. But just in case, tit for tat is "an equivalent given in return, retaliation". It's much more common to see children using that expression. Just imagine a child hurts one of his friends and as a kind of repayment for that injury, the hurt kid will have the right to do the same thing. So he says: tit for tat! There are other expressions we could consider similar to that one: like for like; measure for measure; an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth; blow for blow. That's it for today guys. Take care!

To be on the fence about something: o que isso significa? [expressão dita no seriado Friends]

Here's what was going on in one of the episodes of Friends when an expression came up: Chandler and Monica are looking to buy a house and while they're talking to the house seller they find out Janice, Chandler's ex-girlfriend, is about to buy the house next door. When Janice sees them, she gets shocked by such coincidence and confesses she was on the fence about the house, but now that she knows her new neighbors she can't wait to get it. But wait, have you ever heard of the expression "to be on the fence about something" before?

When you're on the fence, it means you're undecided about something. So imagine you have a big decision to make like what house to buy and you're not sure what exactly you want yet. Maybe you need to look for more houses, try different neighborhoods or consider living somewhere closer to your job. Whatever the reason might be, there's something that puts you on the fence, you can't decide. There are many situations where that can happen. Try to think of this: Now that you're about to go on vacation, you're thinking of travelling to a foreign country. The thing is, you're on the fence about which country you'd like to go to: Mexico or Canada. That's it for today guys. Take care!

quarta-feira, 30 de julho de 2014

Um uso menos conhecido do adjetivo funny

I was watching a movie the other day when I heard the word funny in a less conventional way. If you're a beginner, I encourage you to keep reading. Here's what was happening when the word came up: After witnessing the death of a friend, some guy had to break the bad news to the deceased's girlfriend. When he approached her to tell her about the unfortunate news, she noticed a very different expression in his face and saw that something was wrong. So she said: Why do you look so funny?

If you're not used to that way of using the word funny, you must have found it weird for someone to look funny when he's about to tell such bad news. I mean, what's funny about saying someone has died? The thing is, in that case funny means weird, odd, something strange. It's not that he was making funny expressions or laughing in the most inappropriate moment. He looked funny because he looked different from the usual, a little bit odd. It's very common to hear many English speakers using the word funny as synonymous with weird. You'd better get used to it.

Here are some other examples: 1) you walk into a room and you feel a different and strange smell, so you say: what smells so funny? 2) you taste some different food for the first time and then you find it really weird, so you say: what's in it that tastes so funny? That's it for today guys. Take care!

terça-feira, 29 de julho de 2014

O que significa a expressão "it's no skin off my nose"?

One of these days while I was scrolling down on twitter, I saw someone saying something like: It's my twitter and I can post anything I want on it. If you don't like it, feel free to block me. It's no skin off my nose. We can see that person was a little upset at people trying to tell her what she should say on twitter. But can you understand what she meant by "it's no skin off my nose"? Let's find out!

When you say it's no skin off your nose, it means you do not care about something because it will not affect you. In other words, that's just a more enthusiastic way of saying "I don't care". You don't have to be angry or rude to use that expression like that person I mentioned from Twitter. You might also simply be saying that you don't mind something, that you're okay with whatever people decide for you. For example, you go out with your friends and now that it's time to go back home, they're trying to decide whose car you're going in. You really don't care which car that is as long as it takes you home. So you say: I can go in his car if he prefers. It's no skin off my nose. It's also possible to see people saying "it's no skin off my teeth", but that's very informal. That's it for today guys. Take care!

O que significa a expressão "someone's heart is in the right place"?

I was watching a sitcom when an intriguing situation was created: There's a man who's trying his best to make his girlfriend forgive him for a couple of stupid things he's done. While talking to a friend of his, he remembers his girlfriend loves surprises and comes up with the idea of secretly arranging a wedding party. The thing is, he hasn't even proposed to her girlfriend yet and decides to do that on the same day as the wedding.

When the day comes and he finally puts his idea into action, his girlfriend can't believe how much of a stupid idea that was. She said she likes surprises, but being surprised by a wedding is nuts. Then she tried to calm herself and recognize the gesture of goodwill of her boyfriend. Here's what she said when everything was settled: I know your heart is in the right place, but you had to ask me first. When someone's heart is in the right place, it means they mean well even though what they did doesn't seem like it. It's like trying to please someone by doing something over the top like secretly throwing a wedding party. The intentions are good, but there's lack of good sense.

You can also use that expression to describe anyone kind that occasionally has bad attitudes. Imagine you have a friend who's very annoying. He has no idea when he's crossing the line or when he's doing something that may be hurting someone else, but you think that he's not actually a bad person; he's just immature. One day somebody tries to speak ill of him, and you defend him by saying: You have to be patient with him sometimes, but his heart is in the right place. That's it for today guys. Take care!

domingo, 20 de julho de 2014

O que significa "to leave someone/something in the air"?

Yesterday, I was talking to a cousin of mine trying to set a time and place to meet before leaving for a skating event today. Although the conversation went on and on for quite a lot of time, it seemed we never got to what really mattered. So I told him: Please don't leave me up in the air. Nothing has been decided on when and where we're meeting tomorrow for the event. Do you understand the expression in bold text?

When you're left up in the air, it means you've been kept waiting for a decision. That happens when you need other people to reach an agreement but for some reason they can't. Maybe because they don't agree with your suggestions, they don't care for what's being discussed, they want things done their way, and so on and so forth. The thing is, when you're in a situation like that, you can say you don't want to be left up in the air, because in some way that decision you're waiting for is important to you.

Here's a different situation: You've been set up with a group for a very important assignment in school, and now you're trying to decide whose place the meetings will be held at. The problem is that everybody seems to have a problem at home. You're having your house renovated, one of your classmates' house is too small, the other's too noisy, etc. You think that'll delay the assignment forever and your group needs to get that matter settled immediately. So you say: Let us not leave this up in the air til the last minute, any place will do for now. When you leave a decision like that up in the air, you leave it undecided. It's like leaving something drifting in the air, moving neither up nor down. Actually that's what the expression alludes to. Many people have a hard time making decisions, they have a tendency to leave everything up in the air. That's it for today. Take care!

sábado, 19 de julho de 2014

O que significa "the bearer of bad news"?

One of these days, while I was watching an american sitcom, I heard a very useful expression. Here's what was going on when it came up: a woman was at a neighbor's party trying to fit in when on her way to the bathroom she unintentionally saw the party host's husband kissing another woman. She didn't think twice before telling his wife about what had just happened. Here's what she said when she approached her: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I just saw your husband kissing another woman. Do you know what the bearer of bad news means? Read on!

When you're the bearer of bad news, you're the first person to tell someone about something bad. Nobody likes to be that kind of messenger because they know delivering bad news can ruin anybody's day. So imagine you're going on a trip to Europe with your family and everybody's looking forward to it. When you're only one day to go, you receive a call from the airline company saying your flight's been canceled. You're very sad to have to be the first person to deliver such bad news to your family, but here's what you say: I don't like to be the bearer of bad news, but we're going to have to postpone our trip for a couple of weeks.

Delivering bad news like that can cause a lot of anxiety. Imagine how difficult it is for doctors to deal with the job of being the bearer of bad news every time something bad happens to their patients and they have to tell it to their families. Do you have a story like that to tell us? Leave them down below on the comment section. Talk to you next time!

sexta-feira, 18 de julho de 2014

Como dizer "ter sangue de barata" em Inglês?

I was watching TV the other day when one of the characters in a soapopera said: eu não tenho sangue de barata. That made me wonder how we say that in English. Do you have any idea? If not, keep reading. Here's what was going on in the soapopera when that expression came up: A man was really mad because some people were ploting against him thinking that he would never react to their provocations or that he's too scared to fight. When you're in a situation like that, you can say "you're not milk and mild". Let's think of a different example.

Imagine your boss treats you badly in front of your coworkers. He yells at you, makes you do things that's not part of your job and even teases the way you act, speak and work. He's definetely crossed the line. While you're talking to one of your coworkers about it, who's also a close friend of yours, he tries to open your eyes and make you stand up for your. Here's what he says: I don't think you should put up with the humiliations just because he's your boss. I know you need this job, but prove him you're not milk and and mild!" About the vocabulary in the expression, mild refers to someone very gentle, softhearted, calm and gentle. Those are actually all synonymous with mild. As for milk, that can be an analogy with the way a gentle person is: smooth and soft. That's it for today guys. Take care!

quinta-feira, 17 de julho de 2014

O que significa "littering"?

Since I talked about a very common sign on the previous post, I thought it'd be a good idea to insist on that topic. During the World Cup here in Brazil, signs in English were very common around the cities where the matches were being played. While I was watching one of the many news reports on that big event, I saw right behind the newsman a sign reading "no littering please". Do you know what that means?

To litter means to make a place or area untidy with rubbish or a large number of objects left lying about. For example, you go to a beach and see a sign that says "no littering" or "please do not litter here". That means they don't want you to leave any kind of object or trash on the beach. They expect you to be decent enough to pick up after yourself, that is to say, to clean up your own mess. Littering can be even a crime in some places.

If you litter a place, you do not necessarily make it dirty. The simple act of taking the objects out of order and making the place untidy can be what we call littering. So imagine you have a wife that throws all her clothes around the room every time she wants to pick something to wear. You can say her clothes littered the room because they made a mess out of it, they made the room look like hell. The room is littered with clothes. On Twitter, someone wrote "If I was a police officer, I would just drive around and give people tickets for littering. That's all I would do." He was just trying to express how upset he is at people who have the habit of throwing trash on the streets. That's all for today guys. See you next time!

O que significa "loitering"?

Imagine you're in one of the hallways of a hospital when you bump into a sign that says "no loitering". What would you think that means if you'd never heard of that word before? Loitering means to stand or act aimlessly and idly. In simpler words, it means to do absolutely nothing, to remain in a place wasting your time with nothing to do. The reason people hang signs saying "no loitering" at certain places is that it is inconvenient [and even illegal in some situations] to have people hanging around. Just imagine how bad it can be for people at a hospital to have to walk down the hallways having to deal with so many people in the way. It is irritating and it could even be dangerous for people who are there for an emergency. So that sign reminds you that if you have nothing to do at the hospital, you should immediately leave.

"No loitering" signs can be found in many other places besides hospitals. But while loitering can be considered illegal in those areas, there are many places where you can go to when you have absolutely nothing to do. For example, a lot of people spend many hours of their time loitering around shops without actually buying anything. They're just there existing, maybe only window shopping, but with nothing important to do. When teenagers are bored, they usually get together to loiter around the neighborhood, maybe they go to a park where they can sit and talk. On Twitter, I saw someone saying that after reading a sign saying "no loitering", he realized he was loitering his way through life. That's an exaggerated way he found to say that maybe he's not been doing anything important in his life. Maybe he's unemployed and has a lot of spare time to be filled with loitering. That's it for today guys. And it's okay if you want to loiter around my blog. There's a lot more to see. Take care!

quarta-feira, 16 de julho de 2014

O que significa "to stoop low"? [expressão tirada da música Somebody that I used to Know, de Gotye]

Today I have an expression I got from the very famous song "Somebody that I used to know", by Gotye. I'm sure you've heard about it before and chances are you're a big fan of that singer. The song talks basically about a man who's just got out of a troubling relationship. Despite not loving his ex anymore, he didn't expect her to leave his life in a way that made it seem like she's become only "somebody that he used to know". In one of the lines, he says as if talking to her: but you didn't have to stoop so low. Do you know what "to stoop low" means? Let's find out!

When you stoop low, it means you've willingly fallen to a level of a person with low morals, you've done something that's considered wrong by some. In the case of the song, what made that brokenhearted man think his ex stooped so low was that she was treating him like a stranger, she even had her friends collect her records and changed her number. In other words, he wouldn't mind breaking up with her as long as she didn't erase him from her life as if he'd meant nothing. Have you gone through a situation like that with any of your exes? In what way have they stooped low? That expression applies to any kind of situation where someone does something that in your opinion is very wrong, even unethical. Imagine you have a friend you trusted very much and then you heard he's been secretly going out with your girlfriend. You never dreamed in your wildest dreams your best friend would be capable of doing such a bad thing to you. Your friend stooped very low. He has no morals whatsoever. That's it for today guys. By the way, take this chance to enjoy the song I've been talking about:

sexta-feira, 11 de julho de 2014

Como se diz goleada em Inglês?

Não precisaria nem dizer de onde tirei a inspiração para criar este post, certo? Depois duma vitória esmagadora sobre o Brasil, a Alemanha acabou desencadeando uma onda de matérias jornalísticas que poderiam muito bem vir em destaque através deste título: Brazil gets hammered by Germany. Você consegue entendê-lo?

Em Inglês, To get hammered/thrashed equivale ao que nós dizemos "levar/tomar goleada" em Português. Portanto, o título acima em destaque da matéria em Inglês que eu criei seria "Brasil leva goleada da Alemanha". Se você percebeu bem, essa expressão está na voz passiva, isto é, o sujeito não é quem pratica a ação, mas o agente da passiva. Para convertê-la em voz ativa, usamos simplesmente to hammer/thrash, o que resultaria em "Germany thrashed/hammered Brazil" [Alemanha deu uma goleada no Brasil.] Simples, não é? Talk to you next time!

Aprenda o significado de duas expressões encontradas na música Royals, de Lorde [see something in the flesh/cut your teeth on something]

Royals é um dos hits mais importantes da cantora recém-chegada Lorde. Além do ritmo ser super catchy [cativante, que cola], a música ganha um gosto ainda mais bacana quando você começa a entendê-la melhor. Por isso, hoje nós vamos estudar duas das principais expressões que aparecem ao decorrer da letra.

Aqui vai o videoclipe da música e, em seguida, as expressões a serem estudadas. Enjoy!

Clique aqui para ver a letra da música completa.

see/meet somebody/something in the flesh: a música trata basicamente de se ter orgulho às origens humildes e não se importar com o estilo de vida rico propagado pela mídia. Por isso, logo no início da música, a cantora diz: "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh". To see something/somebody in the flesh significa vê-lo pessoalmente ao inves de assistí-lo na televisão, através de fotografias ou vídeos. Então imagine que você tem um namoro virtual há muitos anos com alguém que apenas viu através do Skype, fotografia, vídeo, etc. Quando finalmente vocês decidem se encontrar pessoalmente, você pode dizer: I've finally seen him/her in the flesh. Da mesma forma, Lorde só conhecia o diamante através da mídia. Essa é uma maneira de demonstrar as faltas de oportunidades que a sua condição financeira oferecia. Mas ela não se importa!

cut your teeth on something: Essa simplicidade cantada pela cantora demonstra, além de outras coisas, uma tremenda falta de interesse pelo que a mídia diz ser muito importante: riqueza, luxo e poder. Por isso, parte da música se trata dela descrevendo sua própria falta de familiarização com artigos para pessoas ricas. Por exemplo, no segundo verso ela diz: "I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies". To cut your teeth on something significa ganhar as primeiras experiências, aprender o básico de alguma coisa. Para você entender melhor, to cut teeth, literalmente, refere-se a fase que toda criança passa quando os primeiros dentes de leite estão nascendo. É que os dentes surgem através dum corte que a gengiva sofre para deixá-los à mostra. Duma forma figurada, to cut teeth on something faz referência a qualquer primeira experiência com algo novo, assim como a primeira experiência da criança com seus dentes. No caso da música, Lorde teve seus primeiros contatos com alianças, artigo de luxo, através de filmes. Isso, mais uma vez, descreve a sua humildade.

That's it for today guys. See you around!

quinta-feira, 10 de julho de 2014

What does second nature mean?

I've mentioned here on my blog about my new hobby: roller skating. The thing is, it's not as easy as I thought it would be, and as better as I am compared to the first day I put on my rollerblade I thought I'd be so much better by now at it. What I do in order to better my skating skills though is to watch some video tutorials on Youtube. One day, while I watched one of those videos on how to balance on in-line skates, I heard the guy saying something like: your balance will get better, you'll get better in a lot of different ways and eventually it will become second nature. I could understand through context what he meant by "second nature", but it was the first time I'd ever heard that expression, so I thought I should talk about it on here.

When you say that a habit, an acquired behavior or in my case a hobby becomes second natures, it means it's become innate, automatic, etc. In other words, If I said skating became second nature, it means I've finally got the hang of it, I've finally mastered it. It's like I've practiced it so long that it's become a natural part of my body like any other instinct. Well, I hope one day I'll be able to use that expression referring to my skating skills. Till then, I'll just keep practicing. What about you? Do you have any acquired ability you can say has become second nature? Maybe you can play a musical instrument, dance really well, or even skate like I never will. Leave us your comments down below on the comment section.

And here's the video tutorial on how to balance on in-line skates where you can hear the expression we've just learnt today:

quarta-feira, 9 de julho de 2014

O que significa "to pour cold water on something"?

Assim que eu falei sobre a expressão "to pour oil on troubled waters" no post anterior, encontrei uma outra expressão bem parecida mas cujo significado é muito diferente. Você já ouviu falar em "to pour cold water on something"? Analise bem a tradução literal palavra por palavra da expressão e tente imaginar qual seria a nossa correspondente na língua portuguesa. Isso mesmo. Em Português, nós dizemos jogar água fria em algua coisa, ou um banho de água fria pra designar uma frustração, desânimo, etc.

Por exemplo, imagine que você marcou de sair com seus amigos no carro de seu pai este fim de semana pra praia. Quando o fim de semana chega e todo mudno se mostra empolgado com a ideia, seu pai vai até você e diz que vai precisar do carro pra resolver assuntos profissionais e que a sua viagem deve ser adiada. Você não acredita no banho de água fria que acabou de levar. Então você liga para um de seus amigos e diz: I can't believe what just happened. I was about to pick you up at your house, but my dad just poured cold water on that by taking the car. [Eu não acredito no que acabou de acontecer. Eu estava prestes a te pegar na sua casa, mas meu pai acabou de meu dar um banho de água fria ao pegar o carro.] Essa expressão tem variáveis. você pode dizê-la das três seguintes formas: to throw / dash / pour cold water on something. That's it for today guys. Take care!

terça-feira, 8 de julho de 2014

O que significa "to pour oil on troubled waters"?

When I was in college, some of my classmates and I were invited to a meeting where people gathered together at least once a month to discuss politics. The person that was talking about that meeting made a point to warn us about something before though. She said we should be prepared once we agreed on joining the meeting because it was not unusual for people to go a little rough and throw at each other's throats. But before we got too scared and turned down her invitation, she said there was always someone in charge of pouring oil on troubled water. But wait, do you know what that expression means?

According to a great book called Why do We Say That?, by Jack Scholes, that expression means to do or say something in order to make people stop arguing and become calmer. So imagine you're in the middle of a discussion where people are far from being diplomatic. You're really scared they might get physical, so before that happens you pour oil on troubled waters by changing the sensitive topic to anything else less controversial. That's actually one of many ways of switching off angry people. That's it for now guys. Take care!

Thank one's lucky stars: o que isso significa?

Imagine you're attending a test tomorrow and you decide to go over some of the topics you think might be on the test. You haven't actually touched your books up to this point and now you're trying to make it up by burning the midnight oil, that is to say, you're studying late into the night. The next morning, while you're doing your test, you see that the hours you spent last night studying really paid off. You were lucky enough to have studied the right things for the test. You knew the answer to all the questions as if you'd been studying in months, when actually you just spent one night studying. When you're done with the test, you can't wait to find your classmates to tell them what just happened. When you finally see one of them, you say: I thank my lucky stars that I studied the right things for the test.

When you thank your lucky stars, you're grateful you've avoided an unpleasant situation. You had all the odds against you, but then thank your lucky stars, you turned out fine. Suppose your classmates didn't have the same kind of luck as you and when they find out about your success, they think it's unfair. Here's what they say: You can thank your lucky stars now that you've avoided failing this class. That's all for today guys. See you around!

O que significa a expressão "get one's claws into someone"?

On the previous post, I talked about a very famous expression with the word claw which was "one's claws are showing". If you don't know what that means yet and would like to check that out, click here. This time, we have a second expression with the same word. Those expressions are all too interesting to be left out. Somehow, they're more related to women than men cause if you think well, they're the ones who have long well-kept nails, something closer to what we call claws. So let's get into it.

Imagine you have a friend who's head over heals in love with a guy that's actually already taken. You tell her she shouldn't be flirting with a guy that has a girlfriend and encourage her to look for someone else. Your advice however falls on deaf ears. A few weeks later you find out she has managed a way to make him break up with his girlfriend and finally get her claws into him. When a you get your claws into someone, you manage a way to start a relationship with them, maybe in a not very honest way. That happens when a girl does anything to get a guy she likes. So maybe she lies, manipulates, turns friends against each other, all because she wants to control the boy of her dreams, gets something from him. Sometimes it's not that she likes him to that point, she just wants to get revenge, boost her ego, anything like that. That's it for now. Take care!

O que significa a expressão "one's claws are showing"?

Imagine you went for a night out with your girl friends last night and now as usual you're gossiping about every little detail of the party. That's when one of your friends starts speaking ill of this mutual friend of yours that's not even around to defend herself. She insults the way she was dressed, the way she behaved, talked, pretty much everything about her and you're not sure you're comfortable with that situation. So you say: Hey, my dear, I think your claws are showing.

When you say someone's claws are showing, it means they're saying spiteful and cruel things. Just think of when a cat feels threatened and then suddenly it shows its claws as a way to prepare for attack. Figuratively speaking, that's what happens when someone's using hurtful words as a weapon to attack somebody else. Their claws are showing. That's a humorous way to tell someone they've gone a little too far with the gossip or the insults, but it doesn't mean necessarily you don't agree with what they're saying. That's it for now. See you around!

segunda-feira, 7 de julho de 2014

Expressões com a palavra YESTERDAY

Have you ever used the word yesterday to express how urgent something is? For example, in Portuguese, when we want to make it really clear our need is urgent, we say something like: eu preciso disso para ontem. That's an exaggerated way of saying how badly and desperately you need something. In English, people say it the same way. So imagine your boss left you a little note at your desk asking you to write a very urgent report but now you're too tied up with other things. A few minutes later, when your boss returns to your office asking about it, you tell him you haven't even started it yet. He gets mad and then you ask him "when do you need this?", and he says "I need it yesterday" or "yesterday wouldn't be too soon". Notice that these answers come usually after the question "when do you need this?". It's a way to let the other person know how urgent the thing you need is. I wouldn't say it's always rude to use that expression. It will depend on the way you express it and who you're addressing it to.

Still talking about the situation I just described, imagine that when your boss walks in your office asking you about the report, you get so surprised you come up with an excuse for not having it yet. You tell him you hadn't seen the little note he left you at your desk and had no idea how urgent this was. Your boss can't buy your little story and tells you: I wasn't born yesterday! Do you understand what he just said here? When you say someone wasn't born yesterday, it means he's not stupid to be so easily deceived. That's an expression you can easily hear from parents. Every time their child comes up with an excuse for doing something wrong, it's very likely they'll say "Do you think I was born yesterday?" or "I wasn't born yesterday". That expression comes from the idea that someone too young is easily deceived. That's it for today guys. Take care!

domingo, 6 de julho de 2014

3 atitudes de um estudante de Inglês bem-sucedido

1 - Ele evita questionar as irregularidades gramaticais do idioma: eu ainda me lembro que quando eu iniciei os meus estudos em Inglês, eu possuia uma resistência muito grande em relação as diferenças entre minha língua materna e a língua alvo. Eu queria sempre entender porque eles falavam duma forma diferente daquela que estamos acostumados na nossa língua. A maioria dos estudantes iniciantes de Inglês são assim. É uma reação natural resultada pelo impacto linguístico da nova língua a ser adquirida. A boa notícia é que essa fase tende a passar naturalmente conforme o nível do estudante é elevado. Para as pessoas que ainda acham que essa atitude questionadora traz benefícios, ao menos que você seja um linguista e precisa saber de todos os porquês, seus estudos vão ganhar um ritmo bem mais lento do que aconteceria se você simplesmente aceitasse a língua do jeito que ela é. Portanto, uma das principais característica do estudante bem-sucedido de Inglês é aprender por intuição e não por dedução.

2 - Ele assume o controle do seu aprendizado sem delegá-lo a cursos, professores, etc: É algo muito recorrente que eu percebo entre as pessoas que pretendem começar a aprender a língua inglesa. Há sempre uma expectativa exacerbada em relação aos benefícios que um cursinho de inglês ou um professor particular podem trazer. É como se só através deles o seu sucesso pode ser definido. É claro que essas são ferramentas muito importantes, mas jamais devem ser delegadas o papel principal no desenvolvimento da sua aprendizagem. O estudante de Inglês bem-sucedido é aquele que busca por meios mais autônomos formas de reforçar ainda mais o que ele viu no seu curso de Inglês. Antes de depositar todas suas fichas em outra coisa ou outra pessoa, é melhor assumir todos os riscos em seus estudos. Caso você fracasse [o que não é de se esperar caso você adote essa atitude], a única pessoa a quem você pode culpar é você mesmo. Por isso, use a internet ao seu favor, pratique seu Inglês com amigos virtuais, assista filmes sem legenda, procure exercitar o hábito da leitura, ouça Inglês o máximo possível, saia da sua zona de conforto, etc.

3 - Ele tem consciência de que a linguagem é um fenômeno oral e, portanto, deve ser aprendida através dos ouvidos e não olhos: É senso comum que aqui no Brasil o estudo de língua estrangeira na escola regular beira o fracasso. A maioria dos estudantes, apesar de lidarem com a língua inglesa desde muito cedo no currículo escolar, deixam o ensino médio com a sensação de que nem o básico eles conseguem dominar. Parte da culpa desse fenômeno acontece porque a linguagem na sala de aula é pautada quase que exclusivamente através de livros didáticos entediantes. Espera-se do estudante que ele aprenda Inglês da mesma forma que Matemática, História, Biologia: através da leitura e atividades escritas repetitivas. O máximo que alguém pode tirar desse método é uma boa noção gramatical da língua, mas todo mundo sabe que isso não é suficiente para tornar alguém fluente. É por isso que muita gente, apesar de possuir um vocabulário enorme ou tirar nota máxima em toda prova gramatical, é incapaz de manter uma conversação oral em seu nível mais básico possível. Por isso, aposente por um tempo os seus livros didátivos de Inglês e se exponha ao máximo à linguagem falada.

fonte: http://www.sk.com.br/sk-gdstu.html

Are you a thick-skinned or thin-skinned person? Learn the difference between the terms

Today we're talking about two different kinds of people. One concerns the kind who doesn't mind criticism and never takes things very personally and the other concerns the kind who's very sensitive. If someone is thick-skinned, it means he or she ignores personal criticism. So, take some public people as an example. They're mostly thick-skinned because even though they're exposed to a lot of pressure, they have to learn how to not let it get to them. On the other hand, if you know someone who's always thinking everybody's against him and is very sensitive, you can call him a thin-skinned person.

If you're dealing with someone sensitive like that, you can tell him to grow a thick skin. That means you're encouraging the person to develop a more strong attitude towards criticism and not to be sad about it. If there's someone thick-skinned you admire, you can say "Sally has a thick skin. You should be like her. She never spends one second of her time worrying about what people might think about her". Many people think it's imperative to have a thick skin to survive in today's world because if you take everything personally, you'll end up going insane. There's too much competition and it's not difficult to find someone willing to pull the rub from under your feet. So it is no surprise if during a job interview you get asked "do you have a thick skin?". If you say you do, which is the answer the interviewer is expecting, that can count as a point in your favor. Just imagine the expression in its literal meaning. Someone with a thick skin would be at advantage for owning a natural protection against harm of others. That's all for now. Take care!

sábado, 5 de julho de 2014

Entenda porque em Inglês a sequência sujeito+verbo+complemento é tão importante

Todos nós já fomos apresentados àquela velha sequência básica: sujeiro+verbo+complemento. O que acontece no Português, entretanto, é que nem sempre nós seguimos essa sequência fielmente. Ou seja, é muito comum falarmos frases como "ontem caiu um avião", "apareceu lá em casa um vendedor", "acabou de fracassar a estratégia", etc. O que esses exemplos tem em comum é que todos os seus sujeitos se encontram no final da sentença seguidos logo pelo verbo. No Português, isso é absolutamente normal e na verdade serve como uma grande ilustração de como nosso idioma é maleável. Infelizmente, no Inglês essa história funciona um pouco diferente. Vamos entender o porquê!

A língua inglesa é uma lingua extremamente padronizada. Isso significa que coisas como sujeito oculto, indeterminado, inexistente são figuras gramaticais muito incomuns. Um sujeito no começo das orações é algo absolutamente imprescindível. Para melhor ilustrar isso, perceba que o pronome IT é sempre usado na falta dum sujeito específico como na frase "it's raining today". Por isso, sempre que for pensar em usar a língua inglesa, lembre-se que a sequência sujeito+verbo+complemento deve sempre ser respeitada. Veja alguns exemplos: An airplane crashed yesterday./ A salesman came to the office the other day./ One of the most creative publicity strategies has just failed. Isso é tudo por enquanto pessoal. See you next time!

Clichês em Inglês ditos pelas mães [ou pais em geral]

Todo mundo já percebeu o quão recorrente são alguns discursos das mães. É que na tentativa de educar uma criança teimosa, qualquer um acaba se tornando repetitivo demais. Com o Inglês isso não é diferente. Há até um ditado que diz que mãe é tudo igual, só muda de endereço. Por isso, hoje eu quero trazer pra vocês algumas das expressões mais comuns que toda mãe já disse alguma vez na vida. O legal é que a maioria dessas expressões tem a palavra tongue. So let's dive right in!

Imagine que você pegou o seu filho fazendo alguma coisa de errado e agora você quer que ele se retrate com você. O problema é que, depois de ter sido pego no flagra, ele ficou tão chocado que é incapaz de dizer uma só palavra. Nessa situação, em Português a gente pergunta: o gato comeu a sua língua? Em Inglês, é praticamente a mesma coisa. Nós dizemos "cat got your tongue?" ou "has the cat got your tongue?". É uma forma de demonstrar o quão irritado nós estamos por alguém se recusar a falar.

Se a criança se recusar a falar por muito tempo, é bem capaz da mãe se irritar ainda mais e falar duma forma muito zangada com ele. Em Inglês, falar com alguém duma maneira muito irritada é "to give someone the rough side of your mouth". Então imagina que você está contando para alguém o que o seu filho fez de errado e o que você fez logo em seguida. Você diz: I gave him the rough side of my tongue after I found out what he'd done.

Agora suponha que, depois que você pegou seu filho fazendo algo de errado no flagra, a reação dele contigo foi justamente o contrário: ele não para de dizer coisas ofensivas pra você para se defender. Nessas situações, como uma forma de pedir respeito e mais atenção para o que seus filhos dizem, as mães poderiam dizer em Inglês "watch your mouth!" ou "watch your tongue!". É importante dizer que todas essas expressões que você aprendeu até aqui geralmente são usadas com bastante ênfase. É uma maneira de conseguir mais autoridade. That's it for today guys. Take care!

O que significa as expressões to be on the line e to put it on the line? [expressões com a palavra LINE em Inglês parte 1]

Okay imagine you have a job that gives you authority enough to hire other people. The only thing that your boss demands is positive results - that means he doesn't care who you're hiring as long as they bring more money into his company. So suppose you have this very close friend of yours who's unemployed and he keeps asking you for a chance to work for that company. The thing is, despite knowing how difficult it is for him to get along with other people, you feel you can't say no to him. So you give him a chance. When a mutual friend of you two knows you've hired him, she says: I don't think you should give him this job just because he's your friend. If he causes you any trouble at work, maybe your boss will blame it on you. Your job is on the line.

When something's on the line, it means it is in a situation in which it could be lost or harmed. So if your friend tells you your job is on the line, what she means is that you can lose it. You can use that expression referring to anything that's at a lot of risk. For example, imagine you're a very well known writer and you're about to release the last book of a series everybody's dying for. You think too much expectation and pressure might lead to a lot of disappointed readers and therefore your pride is on the line when your book is published. What's on the line? your pride. Why's it on the line? Because it's at the risk of being harmed. Imagine how hurt you'd be if the last book of an entire series came to be a disaster. Your pride would be very harmed, wouldn't it? Our pride's always on the line when our name's involved. People try to avoid being under such pressure, but some professionals need to put it on the line everyday because it's part of their job. But wait, here's another way of saying that: to put it on the line. So take lawyers as an example. They have to put their own pride at risk everytime they have to defend someone. In other words, they have to put it on the line everyday - especially when their clients are not innocent. That's it for now guys. Take care!

PS: The expression to be on the line can also be taken literally as in "I'm trying to use the telephone, but my mom's on the line". That means she's speaking on the phone.

O que significa to be in hot water?

Imagina que você descobre que o seu irmão adolescente sai às escondidas na noite passada pra ir a uma festa. Quando ele volta lá pela manhã do outro dia, só você vê ele chegando silenciosamente pela janela do quarto. É aí que você diz: you're in hot water with mom and dad for sneaking out last night. A expressão em negrito signfiica estar numa fria, encrencado com alguém. O interessante de se notar é que, enquanto em Português nós dizemos que alguém está numa fria, em Inglês acontece praticamente o contrário. To be in hot water, se traduzido literalmente, seria algo mais ou menos como estar em água quente. Estranho não é? É por isso que a melhor coisa a se fazer é ficar de bem com o Inglês e aceitá-lo do jeito que é [sem contestar o tempo inteiro porque dizemos assim e não assado]. That's it for now. Take care!

Uma maneira simples de melhorar a forma com que você se comunica em Inglês

Quando comecei a estudar Inglês, eu tinha o hábito de me delongar em tudo que dizia. Eu achava que isso partia apenas do meu desejo de conseguir reproduzir sentenças mais avançadas, mas então eu percebi que também era influência do Português. Claro que você não precisa levar isso ao pé da letra, mas você já notou o quão objetiva a língua inglesa é principalmente se comparada ao Português? Eu não quero levantar a discussão sobre se isso é um ponto negativo ou positivo. Isso realmente vai depender duma série de fatores. O fato é que, o que geralmente dizemos com mais palavras em Português, na língua inglesa ganha um poder incrível de concisão. Pra ilustrar o que eu estou dizendo melhor, veja só a forma correta e incorreta de se expressar em Inglês:

As a matter of fact, I'm absolutely tired. Actually that's the reason why I don't really want to go to the movies tonight.

I don't want to go to the movies tonight because I'm tired.

Perceba que as duas sentenças transmitem absolutamente a mesma ideia, mas o que torna a segunda alternativa correta é a sua característica concisa que representa muito bem a língua inglesa. Você pode estar se perguntando: mas por que considerar a primeira alternativa errada se todos os aspectos gramaticais estão corretos? A gramática não tem nada a ver com esse ponto de vista. Só quero demonstrar que, o que vimos na nossa língua como uma sentença complexa e digna de admiração, em Inglês é considerada errada. No Brasil, quando alguém não entende um texto complexo, a culpa é dele por ser um mau leitor; por outro lado, se um texto em Inglês é escrito de maneira complexa ao ponto de fazer o leitor confuso, a culpa é do escritor que não foi conciso o suficiente. Eu sei que essa é uma ideia que pode parecer tola para muitas pessoas, mas é capaz de fazer total diferença na vida dum estudante de Inglês recém chegado!

Por isso, tente se expressar com mais clareza. Se sentir que sua sentença não foi clara o suficiente, a refaça usando termos que você está mais familiarizado. Isso não significa que você vai se privar de conhecer vocabulário mais complexo e deixar de se expor a sentenças mais elaboradas. Isso significa que você vai começar a entender que entre o complexo e o simples, a melhor escolha é sempre a segunda. Se você levar isso em consideração, você vai ganhar aquela fluidez que todo mundo quer. That's all for today. Take care!

sexta-feira, 4 de julho de 2014

O que significa to touch base with someone? Expressões com a palavra BASE

I was watching one of the episodes of The Middle, a very cool american sitcom, and an expression came up: to touch base with someone. One of the characters was going through a tough time and she believed it was all because she had asked God for the wrong thing. So in order to take the weight off her back, she said she needed to touch base with God and straighten things out. When you touch base with someone, you talk briefly with him/her [usually as an attempt to know what the other person thinks about something]. So imagine you're working with a few people on this very important project at school and now you need a minute of their time to discuss an issue that just came up. You need to know their opinion on the matter and what they think you should do. So while you're walking through the halls of your school trying to find them, you ask someone: Have you seen my project group? I need to touch base with them about something.

Still talking about that situation, imagine the issue you needed to talk to your group about was that you just found out you'd have to ask for the principal's permission to perform an idea you had. Suppose that idea included bringing a band into school to help promote your project, but now you know that won't be possible if the principal doesn't allow it. While touching base with your project group, one of them says: We won't even get to first base with the director if we propose something like that. When you can't reach/get to first base with someone or something, you don't begin to have success especially in the early stage of something. So take your project as an example. You come up with the idea of the band and now you need to talk the principal into it, which is very unlikely to happen. Your project group thinks they won't even get to first base with the principal because he won't even want to know about it. As soon as he understands what the proposal is, he'll interrupt them and they won't even reach the first base. That expression is based on the literal meaning of first base [the first place a player must run to after hitting the ball in a game of baseball]. Take a look at the picture below to understand better what I'm talking about. That's it for today guys. Take care!

quarta-feira, 2 de julho de 2014

Expressões com a palavra BUTT [very informal]

If this was a movie and not a post, some kind of warning would pop up saying viewer discretion is advised. Okay, that's actually a bit of an exaggeration. I'm saying that because all the expressions we're going over today contain a very informal word, sometimes considered offensive: BUTT. Therefore, if you don't want to take the risk of sounding rude or impolite, please don't use these expressions. On the other hand, I think it's important for you to know and understand them in the case you hear them [and you probably will]. So without further ado, let's dive straight in!

You know when someone is being bullied? There are actually many things that can happen when that's happening. One of the most common practice among bullies is to make someone the main target of ridicule, wit, etc. So suppose you get into your classroom and a friend of yours is the aim of every joke. Everybody seems to be enjoying that moment, but you are very bothered by the way your friend's embarrassed. As soon as your class is over, you call your friend aside and give him a piece of advise. You say: I don't think you should be the butt of every joke. If I were you, I'd go straight to the principal and let him know about what's happening to you. But wait, what do you mean by "the butt of every joke"? When you're the butt of a joke, you're the one people are laughing at, making fun of. Maybe they say something funny or embarrassing about you, and you become the butt of the joke. That's a position nobody likes to be in, but it's very usual to see people having fun at other people's expense. When was the last time you became the butt of a joke?

Since we're already in the context of a school, imagine you've been paired up with some of your classmates to do an assignment. You're actually not very happy with a specific person you've been set up with, so you tell one of your friends: Have you seen who's working with us? He can't find his butt with both hands in broad daylight, let alone contribute to this assignment. That's actually something very rude to say. When someone can't find his butt with both hands in broad daylight, he's very stupid and incompetent. Just take the literal meaning of the expression and imagine how stupid someone would have to be to not be able to find his butt with both hands. You can replace the word butt with ass. But make sure you're using caution with these expressions. Butt is not as offensive as ass, but it is also very offensive to some people. That's all for today guys. See you next time!

terça-feira, 1 de julho de 2014

Expressões com a palavra FLIRT

English students usually get in contact with the word flirt very early. That's because not only is flirt a very basic word, but also a very common practice among people. Do you know what flirt means? In a very technical way of putting it, flirt means to tease or trifle with someone alluringly. You go out with your friends and spot a really fine woman sitting at a bar. You approach her and start flirting with her. That means maybe you make a pass at her [dar uma cantada], buy her a drink, tell her nice things so she'll trust you more. There are actually many ways of making people think you're attracted to them. It goes by your personality and the way you deal with the opposite sex. But there's something more to the word flirt that I'd like to share with you guys. It's an expression I found very interesting: to flirt with the idea of doing something.

So imagine you've been stuck in this dead-end job for a lot of time and now you're kind of thinking of quitting it. The problem is that although your job doesn't give you much joy, you don't have a lot of perspective towards any other direction; plus you need a job to pay your bills. So you keep getting up every morning to go to work, but always flirting with the idea of quitting it. But wait, what does that mean? Well, when you flirt with an idea, you consider it briefly but not too seriously. The reason differs depending on the situation. In your case, it's not that you don't want to quit your job badly enough, you just don't know what to do once you quit it. Maybe one day, when you figure out a way to get a job you really like, you'll stop only flirting with the idea and take real measures. Have you been flirting with any idea lately? Many English students flirt with the idea of going on a trip abroad. What about you?