Podcast: Uso da Palavra Actually

Em nosso podcast de hoje, vamos aprender um pouco sobre os usos da palavra “actually” no inglês falado. Nessa dica você perceberá que  “actually” vai além do simples significado de  “na verdade” ou  “na realidade”. Também é muito mais do que apenas um false friend entre português e inglês. Enfim, leia e escute essa dica para aprender muito mais a respeito.

Lembre-se que você pode fazer o download gratuito dos arquivos (PDF e MP3) dessa dica, clicando nos links que se encontram logo acima da caixa de áudio. Se você  usa o iTunes em seu computador, baixe o podcast clicando aqui (também disponível para iPhone, iPad e iPod). Vamos lá! Aumente o volume, prepare-se, escute e leia mais essa dica para você ficar com o inglês na ponta da língua.

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Hello boys and girls, welcome to Inglês na Ponta da Língua podcast. My name’s Denilso and today I want to share with you a little bit about the word “actually”. Before that, I have to tell you that you can listen and download our podcasts on www.inglesnapontadalingua.com.br. I’m sure you’ll find lots of interesting things in there.

Well, as you all may know, the word “actually” is one of those so-called false friends we have between English and Portuguese. That means that “actually” looks like a word in Portuguese, but it’s not the same in usage and meaning. “Actually” looks like “atualmente”, but the word “actually” means “na realidade”, “na verdade”. It’s a synonym of “in fact”, “in reality”, “as a matter of fact”, “in truth” and a few others.

O Uso da Palavra

Although it seems to be a simple word, “actually” is one of the most common and complex words used in spoken English. Sometimes, its use is not so simple as you may think. So, you’d better learn how to use it correctly.

When it’s a synonym of “in fact”, “as a matter of fact”, “in reality” etc., “actually” is used to emphasize what is really true or what really happened. Listen to these examples:

Person 01: Someone’s told me that you’re a lawyer. (Me disseram que você é advogado.)

Person 02: Well, actually, I’m a doctor. (Bem, na verdade, eu sou médico.)

Or,

Person 01: Are you from Brazil? (Você é do Brasil?)

Person 02: Actually, I’m from Portugal. (Na verdade, eu sou de Portugal.)

Or,

  • Actually, he didn’t go to the party because he was sick. (Na verdade, ele não foi à festa porque estava doente.)
  • Disappointed? No, actually, I’m very happy. (Desapontado? Não, na verdade, estou muito feliz.)

As you can notice, “actually” in the examples above shows that people may think one thing totally different from the real situation. So, “actually” emphasizes the correct piece of information.

In some cases, “actually” means “really” which in Portuguese is something like “mesmo”.

  • What time are you guys actually leaving? (A que horas mesmo vocês vão sair?)
  • She actually did it. (Ela fez mesmo.)
  • It looks as if Mike is actually doing some work. (Parece que o Mike está mesmo fazendo algum serviço.)

Sometimes “actually” is used for admitting something. In this sense, some authors say it functions as a softener and as such it means something like “to be honest” (“para ser sincero”, in Portuguese).

  • I spent more money than I should, actually. (Para dizer a verdade, eu gastei mais dinheiro do que deveria.)
  • Well, actually, I’ve already said we can’t go. (Bom, para ser sincero, eu já disse que não podemos ir.)
  • We actually had a hard time moving the sofa. (Para ser sincero, a gente deu um duro danado para mudar o sofá de lugar.)

Or,

Person 01: Can I have a word with you? (Posso trocar uma palavrinha com você?)

Person 02: I’m very busy, actually. (Para ser sincero, estou muito ocupado.)

Actually” also has the sense of “surprisingly” or “though it may seem strange”. In Portuguese, we say “pode parecer estranho”. In this sense, “actually” usually comes at the beginning of the sentence.

  • Actually, he wanted me to pay for his lunch. (Pode parecer estranho, mas ele queria que eu pagasse o almoço dele.)
  • Actually, she didn’t come to work today. I wonder what happened. (Pode parecer estranho, mas ela não veio trabalhar hoje. O que será que aconteceu?)

When someone asks you a question and you want to friendly confirm your answer, you can use “actually” at the end of the sentence. In this case, it can be left out of the sentence; so, you can make use of it or not.

Person 01: Can you speak English? (Você sabe falar ingles?)

Person 02: Yes, I can, actually. (Sim, claro.)

Or,

Person 01: Are you coming with us? (Você vai vir com a gente?)

Person 02: Yes, I am, actually. (Vou sim, claro.)

Another use of “actually” is to add new information to what’s being said or to correct what you’ve just said. It can be translated as “aliás”:

  • I’ve known Mike for years. Since we were kids, actually. (Eu conheço o Mike há anos. Aliás, desde que éramos crianças.)
  • Actually, on second thoughts, I don’t think I want to go out tonight. (Aliás, pensando bem, eu acho que não quero sair hoje à noite.)
  • It was yesterday; no, actually, it was Monday morning. (Foi ontem, não, na verdade, foi segunda de manhã.)

Actually” has other functions in spoken English. If you watch movies, sitcoms, interviews, listen to songs, talk to native speakers, you’ll hear it a lot. Pay attention to it and notice the nuances it has.

To wrap this up, let me just say that “atualmente” in English is “nowadays”, “today” or “currently”. In Portuguese, we don’t use the word “atualmente” very much. Instead, we tend to say “hoje em dia”, “nos dias de hoje”. Listen,

  • Lots of people get porced nowadays. (Muita gente se porcia hoje em dia.)
  • He currently is directing TV sitcoms. (Atualmente, ele está dirigindo seriados.)
  • Let me show you the products that are currently available. (Deixe-me mostrar os produtos que estão disponível no momento.)

Well, that’s it for today guys. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tip. And remember that you can also like our fanpage on Facebook. Just go to www.facebook.com/inglesnapontadalingua and have lots of fun with us.

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