Portuguese Language Blog

Sarcastic Depois Posted by on Feb 4, 2011 in Learning

We’ve learned about sarcastic expressions before, but here’s another one you can use. Depois is normally used to mean after or later, in this context:

Vou terminar o projeto depois. I’m going to finish the project later.

Ela foi para casa depois de ver o filme. She went home after seeing the movie.

But you can actually use it in a different sense as a way to use sarcasm.

Ronaldinho marcou três gols. Depois falam que não joga nada. Ronaldinho scored three goals. Yet they say he can’t play well.

Passei no vestibular. Depois falam que não sou capaz. I passed the college entrance exam. Yet they say I couldn’t do it.

Ela conseguiu o trabalho. Depois falam que ela não tem experiência suficiente. She got the job, even though they say she doesn’t have enough experience.

There’s another way you can use depois in a not so serious way. If someone asks you to do something you don’t really want to do, you can always say Depois! and even do a little gesture with your hand by pointing your index finger and making a small circle in the air. It can be a bit dismissive, so just be careful to be polite when you use it. It generally means you’re saying no to something, but in an indirect way.

For example, if you’re on the beach and a vendor offers you his wares, you can say Depois, obrigado. Or if an employee at a store asks you to sign up for special offers, you can cheerfully say Depois. And if your spouse asks you to do the dishes and you don’t really feel like you can say, Depois eu faço (I’ll do it later).

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  1. Anjana:

    Beware…… if using this word and the suggested hand/finger gesture to an English speaker. To us that is a very offensive gesture, usually accompanied with an expression that not many English speakers would use. It means literally ‘to go away’ but it is being expressed in a very crude/vulgar fashion.

  2. Francois:

    Very interesting post! This is the kind of material that you won’t find in a Brazilian Portuguese course. Keep up the great posts!

    In the time I spent working in Brazil, I found that the people, in general, did not use alot of sarcasm.