Portuguese Expressions Using Poder
The word “poder” has two meanings in Brazilian Portuguese. First, poder means “power” (referring to authority or force, not electrical). Poder is also the Brazilian Portuguese verb for “to be able to”. Just a clarification: In English, we use the word “power” to talk about electricity. However when referring to electrical power in Portuguese, Brazilians say energia elétrica (for example, falta de energia or apagão – means power outage or blackout in Portuguese.)
Here are some Portuguese expressions using the word poder:
sede de poder
sede de poder - lust for power (literally: “thirst for power”)
abuso de poder
abuso de poder - abuse of power
Means “a higher power.” Entreguei minha vida a um poder superior - “I gave my life to a higher power”
one of my all-time favorites.
Sometimes substituted by variations such as “podes crer“, “pódi crê” or the almost unrecognizable “dicrê“, this common Portuguese slang expression (which literally means “you can believe”) can mean a few different things. The English slang “word,” comes to mind as a suitable translatio. Pode crer can just be a generic response to something that someone said, letting them know that you understood. It can be used a bit like “trust me” or as a synonym for “yes” or “right.”
In fact, pode crer is a popular street slang phrase in addition to being an acceptable saying in more sophisticated circles. It is a fantastic way of indicating you are following someone’s thoughts and agreeing with their reasoning while in conversation. Indeed it’s so appropriate for this function that you could almost convince someone that you both a) spoke Portuguese and b) thought their ideas were sound and reasonable just by nodding and saying pode crer…. pode crer… ô sim… pode crer. Give it a try.
Pode tirar o cavalinho da chuva
This is a good one. An oldie but a goodie.
It’s said when you want to tell someone that they should stop trying, or that they should give up trying to get something they want. Literally it means “you can take the horse out of the rain.”
Se você acha que vai conseguir ficar com aquela menina, pode tirar o cavalo da chuva porque ela já está namorando. – If you think that you’re going to hook up with that girl, you should stop trying because she already has a boyfriend.