You know I love colloquial expressions 😉 They make us sound natural speaking a foreign language. In addition, an idiomatic expression can often get your point across better than any other way of putting things.
So here’s another great Brazilian Portuguese colloquial expression: a gota d’água.
A gota d’água
Literally: the drop of water
What it means:
- the last straw;
- the last in a series of unpleasant events that finally makes you feel that you cannot continue to accept a bad situation.
To remember this expression, think about that last drop of water that makes the glass overflow. Got it?
Two things to keep in mind
When we use this expression, we never say “de água”. We always pronounce it together: d’água. Listen to the pronunciation in the video.
You always use the verb Ser with this expression. Below are examples of a gota d’água in use with the verb Ser in different verb tenses.
Examples using a gota d’água
1) Imagine the girl in the picture below is having an argument with someone. They have been exchanging angry text messages back and forth, and she has just got that one message that made her go: This is the last straw!
É a gota d’água! = This is the last straw!
2) Esse corte no salário foi a gota d’água. Vou procurar outro emprego.
= This cut in pay was the last straw. I will look for another job.
3) Não chegue atrasado de novo porque vai ser a gota d’água. Você pode terminar perdendo o emprego.
= Don’t be late again because it’s going to be the last straw. You may end up losing your job.
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Jan P. Rietz
Oi, dear Luciana,
Thanks for your site and all the posts, but to this one I would like to add that this expression is not special Portuguese, but you can find it in several languages. E.g. it’s very, but very common in German too. Maybe even comes from an old German language, but as you can find it in Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian too, I guess it is even much older. Right now I am only wondering, why you cannot find it in English. Or was it maybe substituted after a while with the last straw, which seems to come from Persian or Arabic (so, the last drop maybe from Latin or Greek?).