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quinta-feira, maio 26, 2011


Como se diz “pegar o jeito” de algo?


Ex.: You’ll love skiing once you get the hang of it. [Você vai amar esquiar quando você pegar a manha/jeito]

Outras citações:

To succeed in learning how to do something after practising it Ex.: After three weeks of using this computer I think I’ve finally got the hang of it. — Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006.

To learn how to do something. Ex.:  I wasn’t especially interested and never did get the hang of that stupid violin. — Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003.

Baixe essa dica!


terça-feira, maio 24, 2011

Structures using [Estruturas usando] ‘such’ and ‘so’ are similar [‘such’ and ‘so’ são similares] in meaning [no significados], but different [mas diferentes] in construction [na construção]. The main difference [a principal diferença] between the two structures [entre as duas construções] is that 'such' [é que ‘such’] takes a noun phrase [aceita um substantivo na frase], whereas 'so' [ao passo que ‘so’] takes an adjective [aceita um adjetivo].

‘Such … that’

‘Such … that’ takes a noun [‘Such … that’ aceita um substantivo] or modified noun [ou substantivo modificado] in a noun phrase [em uma frase com substantivo]. ‘That’ can be used [‘That’ pode ser usado] following the noun phrase [seguido de um substantivo na frase] but is not required [mas não é exigido].

Such + adjetivo + substantive + (that)


  1. The recording was such a disappointment that I didn’t buy any more from that artist. [O registro foi tão desapontador que eu não comprei mais daquele artista.]
  2. It was such an expensive car that I didn’t buy it. [Era um carro tão caro que eu não comprei]

‘So … that’

‘So … that’ takes an adjective [‘So … that’ assume um adjetivo]. ‘That’ can be used [‘That’ pode ser usado] following the noun phrase [seguido de um substantive na frase] but is not required [mas não é exigido].

So + adjetivo + (that)


  1. The game was so fascinating (that) he played for hours.  [O jogo foi tão fascinante (que) ele jogou por horas.]
  2. Our vacation apartment was so luxurious (that) we didn’t want to leave. [Nosso apartamento de férias era tão luxuoso (que) nós não queríamos ir embora.]

‘So’ for Results [‘So’ para resultados]

‘So’ can also [‘So’ também pode] be used [ser usado] to express a result [para expresser um resultado]. In this case [Nesse caso] ‘so’ is followed [‘so’ é seguido] by a full clause [por uma sentença completa]:


  1. I had a lot of time so I visited the museum. [Eu tinha muito tempo, então eu visitei o museu]
  2. She wasn’t happy in her current position so she looked for a new job. [Ela não estava feliz em seu cargo atual, então ela procurou um novo emprego]


4.1 Overview of categories

Adjuncts and complements expressing location and change of location in space are very frequent and quite varied in form and meaning. The most elementary case is that of spatial location itself, without any motion from one place to another:

  1. We met under the station clock.
  2. George remained at home. [(spatial) location]

We analyse the underlined elements as adjuncts or complements of spatial location, or simply location. More complex is the case where we have a change of location, or motion.

  1. John ran from the attic to the kitchen. [source + goal]
  2. She took her passport out of the drawer. [source]
  3. Kim put the key under the mat. [goal]

Example [1] specifies two locations: John began in the attic and ended in the kitchen. From the attic indicates the starting-point, to the kitchen the endpoint; we will refer to them in the domain of space as respectively source and goal. In [2] only the source is specified (her passport was initially in the drawer), and in [3] only the goal (the key was finally under the mat).

It is also possible to specify an intermediate location (or indeed more than one), which we call path:

  1. Don't travel via London if you can avoid it. [path]
  2. I drove from school through the tunnel to the station. [source + path + goal]
  3. John ran down the stairs into the kitchen. [path + goal]
  4. She has come from London via Singapore. [source + path]

In addition, one can indicate the direction of motion:

  1. We are travelling north. [direction]
  2. She ran from the car towards the house. [source + direction]
  3. They turned left onto the main highway. [direction + goal]

4.2 Location

Location elements can be complements or adjuncts:


  1. The stew is in the oven. b. We had breakfast in the kitchen.
  2. The books are stored next door. b. Next door they sell jewellery.
  3. The accident occurred at the corner. b. I read the report at home.

The underlined elements in the [a] examples are part of the complementation of the verb. In some cases they are obligatory, not omissible without loss of grammaticality (though they might be replaceable by complements of a different kind). In [1], for example, the stew is is not an admissible clause on its own (leaving aside the case of ellipsis: The vegetables aren't in the oven, but the stew is). Elsewhere, as in [2/3], the complement is not strictly obligatory, but nevertheless has a strong link with the verb: it represents an integral feature of the situation expressed in the clause. The adjuncts in the [b] examples are all optional and do not depend for their admissibility on the presence of a particular class of verb. Note also the difference with respect to the do so test (Ch. 4, §1.2):

  1. I read the report at home and Henry did so at the office.
  2. The first accident occurred at the corner and the second did so at the roundabout.

  • Location of situation or location of theme: 

  1. I saw your father in London. [location of situation]
  2. I saw your father at the window. [location of theme]
  3. I saw your father on the bus. [ambiguous]

In the natural interpretation of [1] the adjunct in London indicates where the event as a whole took place. In [2], however, at the window is likely to be construed as saying where your father was when I saw him: I myself was elsewhere — in the road, perhaps. Example [3] can then be interpreted in either way, as saying where the event took place or where your father was. The element whose location is described in cases like [2] has the semantic role of theme (cf. Ch. 4, §2.2).

The theme may be aligned with the subject or object of the clause, and the locative can then be said to have either subject or object orientation:


  1. The key remained in my pocket.
  2. The child was on her shoulders.

  1. I found the key in my pocket.
    She carried the child on her shoulders.

It is also possible for the theme to be the object of a preposition, as in I caught a glimpse of her at the window.

  • Some special cases of location elements

Contact with body-part
  1. She poked him in the ribs. b. She poked his ribs.
  2. He patted her on the shoulder. b. He patted her shoulder.
  3. He was wounded in the foot. b. His foot was wounded.

The locatives in the [1] examples do not specify the location of either participant (or of the event as a whole), but indicate which part of the patient's body was affected. These examples with two complements in the VP are approximately equivalent to their counterparts in [2], which have just one, with the body-part noun heading the object NP.(1) Note that where the location is questioned, as in Where did he hit you?, there is no corresponding [2] version: we need something like What part of your body did he hit? (see Ch. 4, §7.4, for further discussion of the alternation in [9]).

  • Temporal interpretation of locatives

  1. She wrote the book in Cape Town.
  2. I was ill in Calcutta.
  3. In the zoo he wanted an ice-cream.

Location adjuncts can often be used to give, by implication, the time of an event. A purely spatial interpretation might apply in [1] if, for example, Cape Town is connected with the content of the book. But it can also be taken as a shorthand way of saying She wrote the book when she was in Cape Town. Such a temporal interpretation is especally common for locatives in construction with stative verbs, as in [2—3].

NOTA: 1. The qualification 'approximately' is needed because in certain cases the two constructions are not interchange. A doctor, for example, might poke your ribs as part of a medical examination, but we would not describe a situation as 'poking you in the ribs'.

  • Metonymic locatives
  1. I met her at Jill's 21st birthday party.
  2. There may well be some unpleasantness at the meeting.

The NP complements of at here refer to events, but the association between such events and their venue yields a spatial location interpretation of the whole PP. (There is, however, some blurring of the distinction between space and time here: these examples can also be taken as giving the time of the event — cf. the discussion of [10] above.)

  • Metaphorical locatives

  1. Nobody would dare talk in Smith's class.
  2. I read this in a book on wildflowers.
  3. In our family birthdays are not celebrated.
  4. In medicine you can't afford to make mistakes.

Locative phrases with in often denote some metaphorical space. In [1] Smith's class is not a physical location, but a social location. In [2] it is the book as an abstract rather than a physical location that provided the information I obtained. And so on. Physical and metaphorical locations can combine: In my dream, I was walking with Paula in Hyde Park.

  • Iteration of location adjuncts and complements
  1. I heard him at the Albert Hall, in London.
  2. I heard him in London, at the Albert Hall.
  3. In London I heard him at the Albert Hall.
  4. At the Albert Hall I heard him in London.
  5. He is staying in the annexe, on the top floor, in Room 201.

Location may be given by a series of phrases differing in their degree of specificity: at the Albert Hall is more specific than in London, and in Room 201 is more specific than on the top floor, which is in turn more specific than in the annexe. The examples in [1] illustrate the relative positions of the phrases: note that preposing applies to the less specific, as shown by the contrast between [2] and [3].

  • Combination of location adjunct with locative complements
  1. In Brisbane we keep our cats indoors at night.
  2. Here lots of people go to the beach every week-end.

These examples have a location adjunct combining with a location complement in [1], and a goal in [2]. The adjunct is less specific than the complement.

  • Questioning

Location dependents can generally be questioned by where:

  1. Where did you have lunch today? [adjunct]
  2. Where are you living these days? [complement with subject orientation]
  3. Where do you keep the stickytape? [complement with object orientation]

FONTE: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language de Rodney Huddleston e G.K. Pullum, ed. 2002, páginas 680-682.


segunda-feira, maio 23, 2011

In everyday speech [Em conversas diárias], we fall into [nós caímos em] some bad habits [alguns maus hábitos], using prepositions [usando preposições] where they are not necessary [onde elas não são necessárias]. It would be a good idea [Seria uma boa ideia] to eliminate these words altogether [eliminar essas palavras juntas], but we must be [mas nós devemos ser] especially careful [especialmente cuidadosos] not to use them [para não as usarmos] in formal, academic prose [em prosa formal ou acadêmica].

1. She met up with the new coach in the hallway.
2. The book fell off of the desk.
3. He threw the book out of the window.
4. She wouldn’t let the cat inside of the house. [ou use “in”]
5. Where did they go to?
6. Put the lamp in back of the couch. [use “behind” no lugar]
7. Where is your college at?

The most important thing [O mais importante] is to pay attention to [é prestarmos atenção à] how prepositions are used [como as preposições são usadas]. However [No entanto], always bear in mind [sempre se lembre de que] the English you read [o inglês que você lê] is different from the spoken one [é diferente do falado].

See ya!


William Miller is perhaps [William Miller é talvez] the most famous [o mais famoso] false prophet [falso profeta] in history [na história]. In the 1840s [No ano 1840] he began to preach [ele começou a pregar] about the world's end [sobre o fim do mundo], saying Jesus Christ [dizendo que Jesus Cristo] would return [iria retornar] for the long-awaited [para sua tão esperada] Second Coming [Segunda Volta] and that Earth [e que a terra] would be engulfed [seria consumida] in fire [em fogo] sometime between [em algum momento entre] March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. He circulated [Ele circulou] his message [sua mensagem] in public gatherings [em ajutamentos públicos] and by using [por usar] the technologies of the day [a tecnologia da época] — posters [posters], printed newsletters [cartas impressas] and charts [cartazes]. Moved by those messages [Movidos por aquelas mensagens], as many as [tantos quantos] 100,000 “Millerites” sold their belongings [venderam seus pertences] between 1840 and 1844 [entre 1840 e 1844] and took to the mountains [e subiram as montanhas] to wait for the end [para esperar o fim]. When that end didn’t come [Quando o fim não veio], Miller changed the date to Oct. 22 [Miller mudou a data para 23 de Outubro]. When Oct. 23 rolled around [Quando chegou 23 de Outubro], his loyal followers [seus seguidores reais] explained it away [justificaram] yet again [mais uma vez] and went on [e continuaram] to form the Seventh-day Adventist movement [até formar o momento dos Adventistas do Sétimo dia].

FONTE: Times Magazine


sábado, maio 21, 2011

Kinds of modality

Adverbs such as necessarily, probably, possibly, surely belong among the quite diverse set of forms expressing modal meaning (see Ch. 3, §9.i.). Other items in the set include verbs, especially the modal auxiliaries, and adjectives, such as necessary, probable, etc. Verbs function as predicator, and in complement position adjectives too are predicative, so in these two cases the modality is expressed by means of predication, whereas the adverbs typically involve modification. Compare:


i a. He must have made a mistake. b. He has surely made a mistake.

ii a. They should be in Berlin by now. b. They are probably in Berlin by now.

iii a. It is possible that they are related. b. They are possibly related.

The adjunct may indeed combine with a verb in what we have called modal harmony, i.e. with dual or reinforced expression of a single modal meaning: He must surely have made a mistake; They should probably be in Berlin by now.

We saw in Ch. 3, §9, that modal auxiliaries can be used to express a range of different kinds of modality, epistemic, deontic, or dynamic. Modal adjuncts, however, are pre-dominantly used for epistemic modality, where it is a matter of the speaker’s assessment of the truth of the proposition expressed in the residue or the nature of the speaker’s commitment to its truth. Modal adjuncts are not used to express deontic modality (obligation, permission, etc.). Compare, for example:

[2] i a. You must return it to her tomorrow. b. You surely return it to her tomorrow.

ii a. He can/may stay until six. b. Possibly he stays until six.

In the salient interpretation of [ia] I impose on you the obligation to return it to her tomorrow, but [ib] cannot have this deontic meaning: surely has an epistemic meaning and the present tense is interpreted as a futurate: “Surely the arrangement is that you return it to her tomorrow”. The intended interpretation of [lia] is that he has permission to stay until six, but again [iib] can’t have that deontic meaning: it has an epistemic reading combining with either a multiple situation (“Perhaps he habitually stays until six”) or a futurate (“Perhaps the arrangement is that he stays until six”).

Modal adjuncts are, indeed, often referred to as ‘epistemic adjuncts’. We prefer the more general term because in spite of the above restrictions there are some uses that fall outside the epistemic category. Compare, for example, the two uses of necessarily in:

[3 ] i You’re his uncle, so necessarily he’s your nephew. ii Twice as many people turned up as we had been told to expect, so necessarily things were a little chaotic for a while.

In [i] necessarily has an epistemic interpretation: given that the proposition “You’re his uncle” is true, the proposition “He’s your nephew” is necessarily true: its truth is absolutely guaranteed. In [ii], by contrast, it’s nota matter of the truth of one proposition following from that of another, but of one situation being the result of another: the unexpectedly large number of people caused the chaos. Unavoidably could substitute for necessarily in [ii], but hardly in [i]. Examples like [ii] can be included in the category we have called dynamic modality, here a matter of the interaction between one situation and another.

Note also that while modal adjuncts are not used deontically on their own, possibly can be used in modal harmony with deontic can in requests for permission or action:

[4] i Could I possibly borrow your bicycle for half an hour? ii Could you possibly come a little earlier next week?

Consider, finally, the adverb hopefully, as used in:

[5] The good weather will hopefully last for another week.

Here we are concerned not with knowledge and probability but with desire. This is a type of modality not expressed by the modal auxiliaries, though it has some connection with deontic modality: if I say You must come in now this is likely to imply that I want you to come in now.[33]

Strength of modality

In discussing the meanings of the modal auxiliaries we distinguished three levels of strength, according to the speaker’s commitment to the truth of the proposition, or to the actualisation of the situation, expressed by their complement. Must, need, will, and shall are strong, should and ought are medium, can and may are weak. Necessarily, probably, possibly are then examples of adverbs belonging respectively to the three categories.

Modal adverbs, however, are considerably more numerous than the auxiliaries, and are not so easily classified on this dimension. In the following list, we distinguish four levels, adding a ‘quasi-strong’ category between the strong of necessarily and the medium of probably:

i. assuredly, certainly, clearly, definitely, incontestably, indubitably, ineluctably, inescapably, manifestly, necessarily, obviously, patently, plainly , surely, truly, unarguably, unavoidably, undeniably, undoubtedly, unquestionably.
ii. apparently , doubtless, evidently, presumably, seemingly,
iii. arguably, likely, probably
iv. conceivably, maybe, perhaps, possibly.

Some of these show the familiar contrast between manner and non-manner uses:


i a. I could see her clearly.
b. He had clearly been irresponsible.

ii a. He was flirting too obviously.
b. He was obviously flirting.

But such items are in the minority: most of the adverbs in [6] do not occur with a matching manner use.

The strong items (of which [6] gives only a sample) commit the speaker to the truth of the modalised proposition. An unmodalised assertion such as Kim chaired the meeting or Pat is in love also commits me to the truth of the propositions expressed: addition of a strong modal adjunct emphasises that commitment or makes it more explicit.

33. The modal use of hopefully (as distinct from the manner use of He was looking hopefully around) was quite rare until around the 1960s, when it acquired considerable popularity, but also aroused strong (in some cases quite intemperate) opposition from conservative speakers. It has become thoroughly established, and the opposition has abated somewhat in the last few years.

FONTE: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, páginas 767-768.

quarta-feira, maio 18, 2011

Hoje vamos considerar o uso e significado da expressão TO BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS. Obviamente, como expressão, não há como aplicá-la literalmente, o que é comum com expressões idiomáticas. Seu significado é de “desperdiçar energias sem repousar, exaurir as forças, estafar-se...” (GOMES, Luiz Lugani, Novo Dicionário de Expressões Americanas, 2003, pg. 67)

Vejamos um exemplo:

If you burn the candle at both ends it will be bad for your health. [Se você ficar se matando assim, isso vai fazer mal à sua saúde]

Vejamos outros exemplos e definições:

Fig. to work very hard and stay up very late at night. (One end of the candle is work done in the daylight, and the other end is work done at night.) Ex.: No wonder Mary is ill. She has been burning the candle at both ends for a long time. You'll wear out if you keep burning the candle at both ends. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw)

To get little sleep or rest because you are busy until late every night and you get up early every morning (usually in continuous tenses) Ex.: She'd been burning the candle at both ends studying for her exams and made herself ill. [Cambridge Dictionary of Idioms]

Outras referências e citações:

…bars and traditional pubs are complimented by a selection of clubs and late night bars for those of you who like to burn the candle at both ends, don? — Life in Maidstone by Paul Serellis / Travel, recreation and leisure community

And, compared to the rest of the UK, we're far more likely to burn the candle at both ends - hitting the sack after 1am in a typical week. Well-read in the bedroom; Sleepless Scots need a good book to help ... — Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)

Working within the confines of your family home makes it far too easy to burn the candle at both ends. — Avoid Home Based Business Burnout — Patrick Bankay / Business community