Idioms – Limitations & Restrictions

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Hey guys!

Everybody knows the importance of learning some idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this section, you learn some idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.

Here are a few Idioms related to the topic limitations & restrictions.

* bend / break the rules – when you do something that is not allowed, either to help someone or for your own advantage. (quebrar as regras)

He wasn’t afraid to break the rules to help his colleague.

* the do’s and don’ts – what you should and shouldn’t do in a situation.

(o que se deve ou não deve fazer)

Disasters can be avoided if some do’s and don’ts are considered.

* draw the line – to set a limit or restriction. (impor limites)

The mayor had to draw the line to control the spread of the pandemic in the city.

* a fine line between something – when two things are very similar, but one is accepted and the other one is not . (uma linha tênue entre)

As a parent, I knew that there was a fine line between panic and caution.

* have your hands full – to be so busy that you do not have time to do anything else. (ter as mãos ocupadas, estar ocupado)

I’d love to help but I’ve got my hands full organizing the school play.

 * off limits / out of bounds – If an area of land is off-limits, you are not allowed to enter it. (fora dos limites, proibido)

The area will be kept off limits to foreign journalists until next year.

* over the top – too extreme and not suitable, or demanding too much attention or effort, especially in an uncontrolled way. (exagerado, extremo, excessivo)

I thought the decorations were way over the top.

* overstep the mark – to behave in a completely unacceptable way. (passar dos limites)

You’ve overstepped the mark this time, Simpson – you’re fired!

* no strings attached – when an offer doesn’t require you do do a particular thing or give something in return. (sem compromisso)

I think this is an extremely generous offer. There are no strings attached and I recommend that everyone accepts.

* your hands are tied – If your hands are tied, you are not free to behave in the way that you would like. (estar de mãos atadas)

I’d like to raise people’s salaries but my hands are tied.

I hope you learned some new idioms today, see you next time!

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