While in Brazil, I've heard the phrase "correr atrás".

Given its context, I've understood it mean a type of action regarding focusing on and/or diligently remaining on task.

It's quite obvious it does not literally mean running behind.

Is there a better/correct/single-word translation for this phrase?


3 Answers 3


It can be pretty well-translated, depending on the context as:

  • Run[ning] for [it]
  • Go[ing] for [it]
  • Go[ing] after
  • Look[ing] for [it]
  • Work[ing] for [it]
  • To chase something

Let's see some phrases:

[pt] João foi correr atrás do cachorro que havia fugido.
[en] João went to chase the dog that had escaped.

[pt] Eu disse para ele correr atrás do dinheiro antes que o problema fique ainda maior.
[en] I told him to go for the money before the problem gets even bigger.

[pt] O proponente está correndo atrás das assinaturas necessárias.
[en] The proponent is working for the needed signatures.

Of course, it is still possible to use "correr atrás" literally as "running behind" sometimes:

[pt] O carro azul está a correr atrás do vermelho.
[en] The blue car is running behind the red one.


Depende muito do contexto, existem algumas possíveis frases que esse termo é mais utilizado. O mais comum que eu conheço é o:

Correr atrás do prejuízo

Que significa o mesmo que:

Compensar o prejuízo

Nessa caso, a melhor tradução seria:

Compensate for the loss.

Mas existem outros casos onde esse termo também é utilizado, como em "Correr atrás de algum objetivo". Exemplo

Preciso correr atrás de um emprego o quanto antes.

Que seria o mesmo que dizer para a pessoa manter o foco na tarefa de conseguir um emprego, o quanto antes. Acredito que uma boa para tradução para isso seja:

I need to ________ a job as soon as possible
1. run after
2. chase
3. go for

  • 2
    +1 for "run after". "atrás" in this meaning of "correr atrás" means "after" in English, not "behind". Though "chase" is even better.
    – Dan Getz
    Jul 15, 2015 at 21:45

Given its context, I've understood it mean a type of action regarding focusing on and/or diligently remaining on task

It has this meaning depending on the situation, like in the following examples:

  • someone explaining that you must work hard and go after your dreams, and if you do nothing, things won't magically happen and you must fight for and earn the things you want. In this case, this person could say "você tem que correr atrás do seu sonho" (you must go after your dreams)
  • your boss asked something and you are working hard to do everything he requested. When he asks about your progress, you could say "estou correndo atrás disso" (I'm working on it / I'm doing my best to get it done)

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