“Deal” is another word that has many different meanings in English. It is a noun, a verb, and part of several phrasal verbs as well.

In it’s simplest meaning, the word ‘deal’ means ‘contrato’ or ‘acordo,’ a business agreement such as a contract, a closed negotiation or an arrangement. The popular TV show here in the US ‘Deal or No Deal’ is clearly a good example of this use.

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“I think we agree on the terms, so do we have a deal?”
“Acho que concordamos nas condições, então está tudo certo?”

In law, it is common to refer to ‘plea bargains’ as ‘deals.’

“The jury will convict you, so you should take the deal.”

“O júri vai te condenar, então acho que você deve aceitar o acordo.”

Another use of ‘deal’ as a noun is in the context of playing a card game. The act of giving everyone their playing cards is called ‘the deal.’ This leads us into the world of ‘deal’ as a verb. Giving everyone their cards is handled by the ‘dealer’ whose job it is ‘to deal the cards.’ The image of playing cards being dealt is a strong and common metaphor in our society, the ‘hand one is dealt’ indicating personal fate and destiny.

“This is a difficult time, but it is the hand that I have been dealt.”

“A situação está difícil, mas são coisas da vida.”

Check out this video where I explain a bit about this excellent metaphor.

One of my favorites is ‘to deal’ meaning ‘aguentar’ or even ‘dar jeito.’ This is perhaps a shortened version of ‘to deal with…’ something, which means the same thing.

“Do you mind picking up the kids later?”

“It’ll be tough, but I’ll deal.”

“Você pode pegar as crianças mais tarde?”

“Vai me atrapalhar, mas dou jeito.”

A slang phrase that is common is “What’s the deal?” which roughly translates to “O quê que é?” Related to that is the phrase “So the deal is…” which approximates “A parada é o seguinte…”

Also, a minor note: ‘to deal’ is the verb we use to mean ‘distribute illegal drugs.’ So a ‘traficante’ would be a ‘dealer’ in English.

Hope you all enjoyed!


Christopher O'Donnell

Christopher is an American who loves Brazil and the Brazilian people. I write a Portuguese Blog, contribute to English Experts and run a social network for Brazilians learning English.

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