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  • Writer's pictureCristina Loureiro

Idioms can be incredibly fun!

In Portuguese you can say “tenho a barriga a dar horas” if your stomach is growling because you are hungry.

Here are 5 idiomatic expressions for you with possible English equivalents. Can you think of other English phrases that would convey the same meaning?

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

1. Não pregar olho – not sleep at all, not sleep a wink

Ontem à noite não preguei olho, por causa do barulho. I didn't sleep a wink last night with all that noise.

2. Pôr as mãos no fogo por alguém – to completely trust someone, to stick up for someone, to bet big on

Podes não confiar na Joana, mas eu ponho as mãos no fogo por ela. You may not trust Joana, but I bet big on her.

3. Dar o berro – to stop working, to be broken, to be kaput; to have had it.

O meu computador deu o berro. My computer has had it.

4. Abrir o jogo – to tell the truth, to lay your cards on the table

Antes de continuarmos a conversa, tens de abrir o jogo e dizer-me o que sentes. Before we can talk further, you have to put your cards on the table and tell me how you feel.

5. Dar conta do recado – to be able to do something successfully, to handle it, to deliver the goods

Pede à Filipa para escrever o relatório. Tenho a certeza de que ela dá conta do recado. Ask Filipa to write the report. I'm sure she will deliver the goods.

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