6 Portuguese expressions with “mão” (hand)

Posted on 20. Jul, 2015 by in Culture, Idioms, Slang, Vocabulary

Today we are going to take a look at some expressions that Brazilians use in day-to-day conversation that use the word mão (hand).

  1. Estar com a faca e o queijo na mão – literally to have the knife and cheese in your hands
Photo by David Mellor

Photo by David Mellor

Have the power to do something or have the power over something or someone.

Exemplo: Agora que Jorge é senador ele está coma faca e o queijo na mão para mudar as coisas. – Now that Jorge is the senator, he has the power to change things.

 

  1. Estar/ficar com uma mão na frente e a outra atrás. – literally with one hand at the front and other at the back.

Not to have any money left.

Exemplo: Fred gastou todo o salário desde mês, agora está com uma mão na frente e outra atrás. – Fred has spent all his month’s salary, now he is penniless.

 

  1. Mão na roda – literally hand on the wheel.

Something that makes life easier, something useful.

Exemplo: Com este aplicativo novo eu posso olhar mapas sem precisar de internet, é uma mão na roda. – With this app I can look at maps without the need for internet, it’s very useful.

 

  1. Deixar (alguém) na mão – literally leave someone in hand.

Not to help someone when they expect you to or have something not working when you need it.

Exemplo: Eu pedi para Marina me ajudar com as crianças, ela disse que sim, mas me deixou na mão. – I asked Marina to help me with the children. She said yes, but then left me to do it myself.

Exemplo 2: O carro de Marcos parou de funcionar quando ele estava indo para o trabalho, o carro sempre deixa Marcos na mão quando ele precisa. – Marcos’s car stoped working on his way to work. His car never works when he needs it to.

 

  1. Lavar as mãos – wash the hands

Not to get involved.

Exemplo: Eu te disse para não fazer isso, agora eu lavo as minhas mãos. – I told you not to do this, now I’m not getting involved.

 

  1. Abrir mão (de algo) – literally open hand of something.

Give up something you didn’t want to give up.

Exemplo: Ricardo teve que abrir mão de seu emprego para cuidar dos filhos. – Ricardo had to give up his job to take care of his children.

 

 

Por que, por quê, porque, e porquê – What’s the difference?

Posted on 16. Jul, 2015 by in Grammar, Uncategorized, Vocabulary

Por que, por quê, porque, and porquê all look pretty much the same, but they all mean something different. Show your Portuguese prowess by mastering each of them.

Por que is the basic form. This literally means por qual razão or por qual motivo, or “why.”

Por que você não gosta de chocolate? (Why don’t you like chocolate?)

Por quê is the same as por que, but the acento circunflexo is added when the “why” or motivo is at the end of the sentence.

Você não gosta de chocolate. Por quê? (You don’t like chocolate. Why?)

Porque can literally translate to “because.” In this form, it’s a conjunção explicativa (a conjunction that explains something).

Eu não gosto de chocolate porque é muito doce. (I don’t like chocolate because it’s very sweet.)

Porquê is a substantivo (noun). This is the actual motivo (motive) or razão (reason).

Diga-me um porquê para gostar de chocolate. (Tell me a reason why I should like chocolate.)

porque

6 expressions with animals in Portuguese

Posted on 13. Jul, 2015 by in Culture, Entertainment, Learning, Slang, Vocabulary

Different animals can mean a variety of things for different cultures. Let’s take a look at some expressions with animals, what they mean as well as when to use them.

  1. Pagar o pato
Photo by Tom Simpson

Photo by Tom Simpson

This expression translates literally as to “pay the duck”, but it has nothing to do with money or ducks. It means to have to deal with something gone wrong when it is not your fault.

Exemplo: Gustavo não foi trabalhar, mas sua colega de trabalho pagou o pato, pois ela teve que fazer hora extra.

(Gustavo didn’t show up for work, but his workmate got it bad since she had to work extra hours.)

 

  1. Pegar o boi

This expression translates literally as “to get the ox” and it means to get something easily even when you do not deserve it (as by luck), and it is slightly annoying to other people.

Exemplo: Mariana me pediu carona de novo, ela pegou o boi que a casa dela é no caminho.

(Mariana asked me for a ride again, she is lucky her house is on the way.)

 

  1. Estar no mato sem cachorro

This expression translates literally as “to be out on the fields without a dog” and it means to be in a difficult situation.

Exemplo: Júnior deve muito dinheiro ao banco e ele acabou de perder o emprego. Ele está no mato sem cachorro agora.

(Júnior owes a lot of money to the bank and he just lost his job. He is in a really difficult situation now.)

 

  1. Ter sangue de barata

This expression translates literally as “to have cockroach’s blood” and it means to be insensitive.

Exemplo: Manuel não ficou triste ao ver a foto da criança abandonada, ele tem sangue de barata.

(Manuel wasn’t sad when he saw the photo with the abandoned child, he is very insensitive.)

 

  1. Ficar uma arara

This expression translates literally as “to become a macaw” and it means to become extremely angry.

Exemplo: Quando eu bati o carro da minha mãe ela ficou uma arara!

(When I crashed my mom’s car she was very angry!)

 

  1. Pagar mico

This expression translates literally as “to pay the monkey” and it means to do something embarrassingly funny.

Exemplo: Lorena pagou mico na aula de educação física, quando ela foi pular a calça dela rasgou na parte de trás.

(Lorena had an embarrassingly funny experience today in Physical Education class. When she jumped her pants got ripped at the back.)