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  • Writer's pictureCristina Loureiro

Five idioms with the verb ter




Are you a Learner of Portuguese, a Teacher of Portuguese, a Native Speaker, a Lusophile? Enjoy the reading and add your comments below!


How many idioms with the verb ter do you know?

You may be familiar with the idiomatic expressions below. Check them out!

1. ter a faca e o queijo na mão

Meaning: to be in a stronger position or to have all the advantages or means to do something; to hold all the cards

Example: Gostaria de ser eu a decidir, mas é ela que tem a faca e o queijo na mão.

I would like to be the one to decide but she is the one who holds all the cards.


2. ter mais olhos que barriga

Meaning: to be greedy and overestimate the amount of food you can eat

Example: Ontem, o Gil teve mais olhos que barriga e pediu comida a mais no restaurante.

Yesterday Gil was greedy and ordered too much food at the restaurant.


3. ter maus fígados

Meaning: to be bad-tempered and resentful; to be a bad lot

Example: Ouviste a resposta torta que lhe deu? Ele tem mesmo maus fígados!

Did you hear his rude answer? He is really a bad lot!


4. ter dois pesos e duas medidas

Meaning: to have double standards; to assess the same thing unfairly in two different ways

Example: A minha chefe parece que tem dois pesos e duas medidas sobre este assunto. Nunca se sabe como vai reagir.

My boss seems to have double standards on this matter. You never know how she will react.


5. ter as costas largas

Meaning: to shoulder all the responsibility and blame

Example: A culpa é sempre minha! Na tua opinião, eu tenho as costas largas!

It's always my fault! In your opinion, I should be shouldering all the blame!



What other idioms with ter pop into your head? Do you know the meaning of “ter sangue na guelra” or “ter muita garganta” ?




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