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  5. I have a doubt !


I have a doubt !

How do I say "Hoje o Carlos deu uma de João e chegou atrasado" ? I just finish my tree but I have no idea how to say it in English !!

January 28, 2015



Don't sweat it!

Every now and then I will pull a Dumbledore and I will answer some questions, but don’t count on it!

So here we go;

Today Carlos pulled a João and arrived late. Simple as that !

A side note: You should have said, "I have a question". because the word doubt has to do with uncertainty, indecision, or disbelief, it does not have to do directly with not understanding something. So, for example, you can say "I doubt it" when someone tells you something and you don't believe it ! It's very easy to think that 'I have a doubt' would be the correct thing to say, because in Portuguese we say "Eu tenho uma dúvida". But bear in mind that doubt isn't used that way!


I had no hope of getting a correct answer so quickly and I didn't know about the correct use of the word 'doubt' ! I can't thank you enough !!! By the way, it was an honor to be noticed by the most powerful dark wizard of all time He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named !!!


LOL don't be a show off ! We're just muggles !


Wow, seu inglês é otimo


I quite agree, but he is the Dark Lord isn't he !! That's why


Estava falando com você! Mas ele tambem. O inglês dele é perfeito.


Tom, I asked my english teacher the same question, he didn't know how to answer!


Is that an idiom: "dar uma de Joao"?


I don't even know! haha ...its very common to say (dar uma de fulano, dar uma de beltrano / so-and-so) My guess, it's not...since i can't think of another way to say "dar uma de João" !!


We also have "Eu dei uma de João sem braço e perguntei a ele o que tinha acontecido" which in this case is an idiom, because the formal way would be "Eu fingi que não sabia e perguntei a ele o que tinha acontecido." (Pretend not to know/see something) I pretended not to know about it and I asked him what had happened. Here's another one "Você sempre da uma de Migué só para não fazer isso." "Você sempre arruma desculpas para não fazer isso" (To give an excuse / to find an excuse) You always find an excuse to keep yourself from doing this.


It must be an idiom because it does not make sense in PT-PT!


I think it can be considered an "idiom" or an "expression" because if you translate it literally, it doesn't make much sense or it means something completely different than what you meant to say.

For instance, if I translate "dar uma de João" word by word to English it gets something like this: "giving one of João". However that's not what you meant when you said the Portuguese sentence. You actually meant that he did something similar to what João usually does. So like Tom Riddle said, you'd have to translate it to "pull a João", because that has the same meaning as the sentence in Portuguese.


Can we say "pulled a + person's name"? I'm not familiar with that expression in English I think. It's probably idiomatic.

However I was going through Urban Dictionary and found this:



So it can probably be used to refer to doing something like someone else. In this particular situation arriving late like João usually does.


Yep, we can!

First of all we need to know the characteristics of a person we are talking about:

>Taylor loves to cook. She cooks every day and her food is delicious. Vanessa isn't much of a cook, but last weekend she pulled a Taylor and made a great meal.

>Jeff always reads the newspaper from start to finish. Barbara usually doesn't care about the news. This morning she pulled a Jeff and read the newspaper for hours.

> Chris is a very good student. She does great in school. Tim didn't do very well on his English test, so last week he pulled a Chris and studied really hard.

> Travis never takes his car to the mechanic. He always fixes it himself. I didn't know Carl was good with cars! He totally pulled a Travis this afternoon and fixed the car all by himself.

If you want to assistir essa expressão em uso: Série Friends, temporada 4, episódio 3 (The One With the ‘Cuffs). Nesse episódio a mãe da personagem Monica diz a ela que talvez a própria Monica desse uma de Monica!


Thank you! Makes sense. I would've understood the meaning of the sentence if I saw it without the translation but I didn't remember seeing that expression. I love learning idiomatic / native expressions. Pop culture is a great provider of those. :)


I have to say, I'm English but I have no idea what that entry in urban dictionary is even talking about. It's horrible on so many levels.

On the other hand, what Tom-Riddle says above makes perfect sense to me, although I think it might be more American English, because over here in Blighty we would say ' I did a Dave' when we mean to say that we did something that Dave is famous for. But we can also 'pull a fast one' meaning to cheat something or be sneaky with something, or 'pull a sickie', meaning to take the day off work due to illness real or imaginary :)


Thank you! So, you're saying (I did a someone) would be common to say in British English !? I didn't know that!


Yes, although I wouldn't use it in English class, it is very colloquial to say something like 'I did a Tony the other day and lost my keys', assuming that you have a friend called Tony who often loses his keys, and you that happened to also lose your keys.

Frustratingly, I can't find much written evidence of this saying on google to share with you, and I am stuck in that little box where you can't think of examples to explain what you want to say. The only thing that gave me any search results was 'I did a Rambo', which I think is pretty much self explanatory :)

So you'll have to decide whether to take my word for it :)


Thank you very much!


What is your native tongue, Tom-Riddle? you are masterful with the english language, but it shows you here as having been once a student (lvl 25) Also Kudos on your translational skills in portuguese! Muito bem!


I'm a native Portuguese speaker who’s been learning Portuguese for the last 21 years and I would still say my Portuguese is far from perfect!


Your command of the english language is remarkable. Perhaps I will achieve this level of expertise in portuguese someday. And my English is far from perfect, and it is my native tongue!!! :)


I'm sure you will, you're already in a Portuguese speaking country ! ... there's no excuse!


I would say "Today Carlos was late, like João usually is." Though it's not exactly what you want, it transmits the same meaning.


Take a look above ! I'm sure you'll learn some english!


Here is only masterful levl 25 or english native speaker, i hope to arrived in your level of english, you're really awesome. Congratulations for all and thak you for help. If i made a mistake, please correct me.


I'd say "I hope to achieve your level of English, you're really awesome. Congratulations for all and thank you for your help. If I made any mistakes, please correct me.

I really didn't understand what you meant to say in the beginning of your sentence, before the comma! Maybe "He is only masterful" I dont know!


Thank you for advice, "achieve" really is better than "arrived". Eu quis dizer> aqui só tem nivel 25 ou nativo.


I think that there should be more levels besides 25. As soon as I got to that level here, I stopped actively practicing English on Duolingo, besides watching series I usually watch or read what I usually read in English and occasionally talking to foreign people. And also, some people (like myself), get quickly to level 25 because they already had previous knowledge of the language, and not because they've learned it from scratch. I think the Immersion is a great way of keep on challenging yourself after you complete the tree and when you start to find those tree exercises easy. Maybe one day we'll have more trees, with more advanced levels to challenge ourselves.

Also, not always the levels are accurate of what we know. I'm on level 10 of German and duolingo says I'm ready to translate about 56% of the words in German. I've been trying and I can barely translate anything on the Immersion texts accurately and I'm still missing on some very basic knowledge of the language. That's why I always advise people to chose about 2 or 3 tools extra besides Duolingo to get in touch with the language and get there more organically than just memorizing. For instance, series or music, films (even if at first with subtitles in your native language just to get used to the sound of it), reading for pleasure or child tales if you're a beginner, writing small texts on Lang-8.com for natives to correct you, etc.

Eu acho que deviam haver mais níveis para além dos 25. Assim que cheguei a esse nível aqui, parei de praticar inglês ativamente no Duolingo, para além de ver séries de TV que vejo geralmente, ou o que costumo ler em inglês e falar ocasionalmente com pessoas estrangeiras. E também, algumas pessoas (como eu), chegam rapidamente ao nível 25 porque já tinham conhecimento prévio da língua, e não porque a aprenderam de raiz. Eu penso que a Imersão é uma forma muito boa de continuarmos a nos desafiar depois de ter completo a árvore e quando começamos a achar os exercícios da árvore fáceis. Talvez um dia teremos mais árvores, com mais níveis avançados para nos desafiarmos.

Também, nem sempre os níveis são rigorosos relativamente aquilo que realmente sabemos. Eu estou no nível 10 a alemão e o Duolingo diz que eu estou preparada para traduzir cerca de 56% das palavras em alemão. Eu tenho tentado e mal consigo traduzir seja o que for com precisão nos textos da Imersão e ainda tenho falta de algum conhecimento muito básico da linguagem. Por isso é que aconselho sempre as pessoas a escolher cerca de 2 ou 3 ferramentas extra para além do duolingo para ter contacto com a língua e chegar lá de uma forma mais orgânica do que apenas por memorização. Por exemplo, séries ou música, filmes (mesmo que com legendas na língua nativa só para se ir habituando aos sons), ler por lazer ou contos de criança se ainda for iniciante, escrever pequenos textos no Lang-8.com para que nativos o corrijam, etc.


I share your point, we need more trees !!


That'd be thriven and thro!

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