Hello there,

This is Marcela Harrisberger and this is Inglês Bom Pra Negócio Podcast. As you already know, every week I collect my students questions and I explain them here to help you improve your English fluency as well. Here’s what I prepared for you today.

How do you say in English: ter condições de pagar alguma coisa? In English we don’t say ‘I have conditions to pay for a car’, we say ‘I can afford a car’. We use the expression ‘to afford something’, which means that you have enough money to pay for something.

Do you know the future form of ‘can’? How would you say in English: Eu não vou poder almoçar com você amanhã? The future form of can is ‘to be able to’. This sentence in English would be: I won’t be able to have lunch with you tomorrow. 

Two verbs that are very confusing in English are to remember and to remind. Listen to these examples:

I can’t remember his name.

Remind her to come earlier tomorrow morning.

Remember means to bring something to your own memory.

Remind means to inform someone, tell someone they need to remember something. The verb remind is always followed by an object, the person you are helping to remember something.

Some things we say in Portuguese are very hard to find an equivalent way of saying in English. Last week a student asked me how to say “Eu sou mal acostumado”. I told him he could say ‘I’m spoiled’, but I confess I wasn’t 100% happy with this answer, so I searched in Google for a better idea. But it turns out this is one of those expressions that you can’t find an accurate equivalent in both languages, so we can use different expressions. I’ve got some examples to show you:

  • A mãe dele deixou ele mal acostumado. = His mother spoiled him.
  • Desse jeito vou ficar mal acostumado com tanta mordomia*. = I’ll end up getting used to all these privileges.

FYI (for your information), the word mordomia in English also has several possible translations, but the literal translation you find in Google Translate has nothing to do with the meaning we imply in Portuguese. For example, if you’re talking about privileges at work, you could refer to it as ‘perks’.

Here are some other expressions you may find interesting:

  • When we say in Portuguese: O que for preciso: In English we can say: Whatever it takes. For example: I will do whatever it takes to get a promotion. Vou fazer o que for preciso para conseguir uma promoção. 
  • When we say in Portuguese: Se livrar de alguma coisa: In English we can say: to get rid of something. For example: She found a way to get rid of the competition. Ela encontrou um jeito de se livrar da competição.
  • When we say in Portuguese: Acontece que: In English we can say: It turns out that. For example: It turns out that the company was taken over and now they are restructuring. Acontece que a empresa foi comprada e agora estão reestruturando.
  • When we say in Portuguese: Fazer vista grossa: In English we can say: To turn a blind eye. For example: They knew he wasn’t right for the position, but they turned a blind eye. Eles sabiam que ele não era adequado para o cargo, mas fizeram vista grossa porque era ele quem trabalhava ali há mais tempo.
  • When we say in Portuguese: Muito para digerir: In English we can say: a lot to chew on. For example: We need time to think, you’ve given us a lot to chew on. Precisamos de tempo para pensar, você nos deu muito para digerir.

This is the end of this week’s podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Feel free to leave your comments and questions. Thank you for listening. 

I’ll see you next week!

Have a nice day!

Bye, bye!

Marcela Harrisberger
Business English Trainer & Coach

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