cair sobre

Bezso1971

New Member
Hungarian
Olá!
I have a little problem with the expression 'caíram sobre' in the following sentence: Os polícias caíram sobre os assaltantes, que foram apanhados em flagrante.
Somebody can help me to translate it into english?
Thank you!
 
  • gato radioso

    Senior Member
    spanish-spain
    The police caught them red-handed.

    I guess that "cair sobre" hasn't a literal meaning of someone falling from an upper position over someone else, but a sense of a rapid and efective action.
     

    Carfer

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Portugal
    The police caught them red-handed.

    I guess that "cair sobre" hasn't a literal meaning of someone falling from an upper position over someone else, but a sense of a rapid and efective action.
    Right, but the Portuguese equivalent of to catch someone red-handed is 'apanhar alguém com a mão na massa' or 'apanhar alguém com a boca na botija', that is, in the act.
     

    Ari RT

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    It's a metaphor. Just like a bird of prey "dives" towards its victim, the cops "fell" fast upon the burglars. A descending movement is thought to be always faster than an upwards effort. Think also about the movement of a trap "falling" fast enough to leave the prey no chance of escaping.
     
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