Colloquial expressions enrich the language and are so much fun, don’t you think? They make you sound more natural speaking the language.
In this video lesson, I show you a great Brazilian Portuguese expression to say that something is very expensive.
It is the equivalent of saying that something will cost you and arm and a leg, but it uses different body parts 🙂
I will also show you the regular word for expensive and how to use it with the verbs Ser and Estar.
Watch the video:
Expensive = Caro, Cara
Let’s start with the basics:
- Caro, cara = expensive
Because expensive is an adjective, it needs to agree in gender and number with the noun.
Here is a lesson on the gender of adjectives.
Here is one on the gender of nouns.
É caro or Está caro? Ser or Estar?
Both are correct. They communicate slightly different ideas.
Using the Verb Ser
In the beginning of your Portuguese journey, you learned that the verb Ser is used to describe permanent qualities. Yes, this is an over-simplification, but it will work for our case here. When I am talking about things that are expensive in general (not just expensive right now or at this store), I use the verb Ser.
- No Brasil, carros são caros. = In Brazil, cars are expensive.
- É muito caro comprar uma casa em São Francisco. = It’s very expensive to buy a house in San Francisco.
Using the Verb Estar
When you first studied the verb Estar, you learned that it is used for temporary states and things that are not permanent. Observe the examples below to see how this applies to our study of the word Caro.
You want to buy a car. Say you walk into a dealership and see a really good deal. You can say:
- Esse carro não está caro. = This car is not expensive.
It is like saying that this car is not expensive at the moment or at this place.
É caro comprar uma casa em São Francisco. Agora, com uma economia forte, está ainda mais caro.
= It is expensive to buy a house in San Francisco. Now, with a strong economy, it is more expensive.
The Verb Custar
Custar means to cost, such as in:
- Quanto custa? = How much is it? How much does it cost?
- Essa mesa custa R$200,00. = This table is R$200,00.
Custar os Olhos da Cara
This is the expression that I wanted to show you today.
- Custar os olhos da cara = to be very expensive
In English, some things can cost you an arm and a leg. In Portuguese, they will cost you your eyes. Or, translating the expression literally, they will cost you “the eyes of your face”.
Remember to conjugate the verb Custar in your sentences to agree with the object you are talking about. Here are three examples using the expression:
Essa loja é caríssima. Tudo aqui custa os olhos da cara.
= This store is very expensive. Everything here costs you an arm and a leg.
Produtos de tecnologia custam os olhos da cara no Brasil.
= Technology products cost you an arm and a leg in Brazil.
Reformar a casa vai custar os olhos da cara!
= It will cost us an arm and a leg to renovate the house!
Now you know how to talk about expensive things like a Brazilian! Have fun using your new expression 🙂
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