Meaning of se roer de inveja, santo dia, elas por elas and à paisana

learn the meaning of se roer de inveja, santo dia, elas por elas and à paisana

À paisana officer

Hello there and welcome to our Portuguese Basic Tips 88, called Meaning of se roer de inveja, santo dia, elas por elas and à paisana

On today’s podcast, we are going to improve your Portuguese vocabulary by speaking about the meaning of se roer de inveja, santo dia, elas por elas and à paisana.

Click on the link to visit our previous episode called Portuguese grammar – Important prefixes in Portuguese

Let’s get started!

Se roer de inveja

First, let’s learn the meaning of “roer” in Portuguese. Roer means “to eat something piece by piece”, like “roer as unhas” (to bite your nails). Actually, the verb “roer” is the same as “to gnaw” in English. So, note that when we say that someone is “se roendo de inveja”, we mean he or she is poisoning himself or herself slowly. We also use in Portuguese  “morrer de inveja”. However in this case we don’t use the reflexive form “se”. See: se roer de inveja or just “morrer de inveja”, with no “se” reflexive.

Let’s see some examples:

– Meu novo carro fez meu vizinho se roer de inveja (My new car made my neighbor green with envy)

– Meu novo carro fez meu vizinho morrer de inveja (My new car made my neighbor green with envy).

Todo santo dia

See, santo dia is different from dia santo in Portuguese. Dia santo is a day dedicated to a religious celebration in Brazil, like Christmas, Easter and so on. When we change the terms sequence to santo dia, we have a different meaning, in this case.

Santo dia is a way to emphasize the sentence. Do you know the Fab four? Paul McCartney used to sing: Did I tell you I need you every single day of my life? In Portuguese, we could sing “todo santo dia da minha vida” instead of every single day of my life.

Let’s practice a few examples:

  • Eu amei você todo santo dia da minha vida (I loved you every single day of my life)
  • Eu rezo todo santo dia antes de dormir (I pray every single day, before go to bed)

Elas por elas

Elas por elas is an expression that means something as “an even exchange” in English. We only use this expression in its feminine way: we never say “eles por eles”, even if we were talking about a masculine term.

For instance:  O preço, após o desconto, ficou elas por elas.  (The purchase price, after the discount, was an even exchange).

  • Eu falei o que não devia. Ela também falou demais. Então foi elas por elas. ( I said what I shouldn’t say. She also talked too much! Fair enough)

À paisana

And our last term today is one of them you’ll find a lot, if you’re a Brazilian newspaper reader. We find so often sentences like “um policial à paisana reagiu ao assalto” meaning “a plainclothes officer responded to the assault”.

So, we can conclude that “à paisana” means a cop that is not dressed like a cop. He is wearing “normal clothes”, civilian clothes, because he is not working that time.

  • Um policial à paisana prendeu os bandidos (A plainclothes officer arrested the bandits)
  • Um policial à paisana sacou a arma (A plainclothes officer drew his gun).

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Going deep on the meaning of roer

See you soon.

Thanks!

Marcos Sales

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