現代英語評註-1

[dreamed or dreamt?] [learned or learnt?] [hardly...when...] [take a bath] [ordered pairs] [different] [any more or anymore?] [fellow/fella/feller] [girl/gal/gel] [hot/warm] [protest] [bunch] [mutual] [may have] [burned or burnt?]

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dreamed or dreamt?

你該說 "dreamed" 還是 "dreamt" 呢? "dream" 的過去式和過去分詞是 dreamed 還是 dreamt 呢?

例句:

  • Mr Diks always dreamed of owning his own Scottish estate. (報紙的報導)
  • Kolya had always dreamt of having a camera. (自傳)
  • The event was dreamed up by Mick Jagger. (報紙的文章)
  • The advert was dreamt up by a London agency. (報紙的文章)

證據:

證據顯示,在英式英語中,"dreamed" 比 "dreamt" 還常用約兩倍。在美式英語中,
"dreamed" 比 "dreamt" 還常用約七倍。

建議:

dream 的過去式和過去分詞你可以寫成 dreameddreamt,但 dreamed
比較常用。


learned or learnt?

你該說 "learned" 還是 "learnt" 呢? "learn" 的過去式和過去分詞是 learned 還是 learnt 呢?

例句:

  • As a child I learned to live out of a suitcase. (一名電影導演被雜誌引述的話)
  • In America I learnt a lot of management techniques. (一名公司秘書被報紙文章引述的話)
  • We moved house just as my young son had learned to climb the stairs. (一名讀者對雜誌的投書)
  • Claudia revealed that she had learnt to ski last year. (報紙的文章)

證據:

在英式英語中,"learned" 和 "learnt" 都很常用,但 "learned" 當做過去式或過去分詞出現的次數約為 "learnt" 的1.3倍。在美式英語中,"learnt" 幾乎不用。

建議:

在英式英語中,你可以使用 learned learnt


hardly...when, hardly...before, hardly...than?

你該說 "hardly...when","hardly...before" 還是 "hardly...than" 呢?

hardly, barely scarcely 有時被用來表示一件事緊接另一件事之後發生,即「剛剛...就」的意思。但你是說 -- 舉例而言 -- "He had hardly sat down when the phone ran.","He had hardly sat down before the phone rang." 還是 "He had hardly sat down than the phone rang." 呢?(他剛剛坐下,電話就響了。)

例句:

  • He had hardly settled into his office when Irana came in. (小說)
  • Carter had hardly left Teheran before demonstrations began in the holy city of Qom. (一本有關伊朗的書籍)
  • Hardly had Mr Gorbachov stopped speaking than he was faced with a dramatic new challenge to his position. (電台報導)

傳統的論點是,在這類句子中應該使用 when beforethan 被視為不正確。

證據:

在英國一本著名的字典中,"when" 出現在 "hardly", "barely", 或 "scarcely" 之後的次數是212次,"before" 130次,"than" 54次。"than" 幾乎都是出現在副詞挪到最前面,其後緊接著助動詞的倒裝句中 (例如:"Hardly had he sat down than the phone rang.")。

建議:

你可以在"hardly", "barely", 或 "scarcely" 之後使用 when before 來表示一件事緊接另一件事之後發生:

  • He had hardly settled into his new job when he got the sack due to cutbacks. (雜誌的文章)
  • He had hardly settled in Cardiff before he was called to Rome to take part in the Second Vatican Council. (訃聞)
  • Barely had I set foot in the street when I realised I was lost. (短篇小說)
  • Barely had he disappeared down the tunnel before his side drew level. (足球比賽的報導)
  • I'd scarcely had time to have the glass replaced when someone broke in again.(報紙的文章)
  • She had scarcely got downstairs before she heard the smash of glass and the clang of a bucket falling. (小說)  

你也可以在 "hardly", "barely", 或 "scarcely" 的後面使用than,倘若你將其中一個副詞 置於句首,其後接助動詞再接主詞:

  • Hardly had this process got under way than everything was changed. (雜誌的文章)
  • Barely had his parachute opened than the plane exploded into a ball of fire. (報紙的文章)
  • Scarcely had I arrived in the capital than my hopes received a boost. (報紙的文章)

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take a bath

英國人的洗澡是說 "have a bath":

  • I went home and had a bath.
  • I'd like to have a bath, but the bathroom seems to be locked.
  • Mark had arrived, and was upstairs having a bath.

美國人比較喜歡 "take a bath":

  • He wouldn't eat, wouldn't take a bath. He wouldn't do anything.
  • He can't resist taking a bath in the big tub.
  • He takes a bath and washes his hair immediately before leaving.

然而,請看看下面的句子:

  • ...those Japanese who took a bath in Bombay.
  • Shareholders have already taken a bath.
  • Investors announced that they were taking a bath.

我們為何對日本人,股票持有人 (或股東)及投資商的個人清潔那麼有興趣呢? 投資商為何要大聲嚷嚷,昭告天下,唯恐我們不知他們的衛生行為呢?  

再看幾個句子你應該就會明白它的意思:

  • The entire insurance broking sector took a bath yesterday on Sedgwick's depressed interim results.
  • The Bank of Ireland took a bath in New England, America's most depressed banking market.

在商業界,"take a bath" 的意思顯然是「損失很多錢」。

  • People who kept on buying in '87 and took a bath, piled further into UK property and took another bath.
  • USair took a bath over American Airlines' price war but not a bad bath.

所以,我們給你的建議是,回家洗個澡,別再去管股票的漲跌。


ordered pairs

fish and chipssex and violencelaw and order 之間有什麼共同點呢? 它們都是一種將兩個字變成固定不變的片語的怪異趨勢的實例。

你曾經注意過英語有許多 "X and Y" 形式的片語,而 X and Y 的順序都是 (或幾乎都是) 固定的嗎? 這些片語都不是成語 -- 這也就是說, 從被 and 連接起來的兩個字的簡單意思即可知道該片語的意思 -- 但經由說英文的人和英文寫作者經常的使用,它們已變成固定不變;如果字的順序改變,該片語將變得「不像樣」或聽起來令人刺耳。

再舉幾個例子:

cup and saucer
health and safety
heaven and earth

你能想出其他的片語嗎?

上面的例子都是兩個名詞用 and 連接起來。但有些形容詞、副詞和動詞也同樣地被固定成「成雙成對」。有時連接詞是 or 而不是 and

  • Communism remained alive and well in Plymouth for several years.
  • Listen, Year 7, I really am sick and tired of having to shout.
  • To know exactly how much money we had here and now -- and to debit it.
  • Well I decided rightly or wrongly that Birmingham was the best...
  • Journalists wine and dine Liberal luminaries,...
  • Planes constantly come and go at the new airport.

有趣的是,這項「固定化」不能用使用次數來解釋:英語中還有其他同樣常用的類似成雙成對片語,但它們的順序可以對換。它們包括:

  • I would like to hear from boys and girls.
  • And how did he treat the girls and boys?
  • A full English breakfast of bacon and eggs was sent in.
  • ...the disappearing English breakfast of eggs and bacon and all the trimmings.

顯然地,這些「固定」的組合片語並沒有固定的模式可以遵循,你必須學習它們的「固定」用法。


different

如果我問你 (the) same 的反義字是那一個,你會怎麼說?

當然是 different ! 這還用問嗎!

所以 in a different league/class 這個片語 (league 在此的意思是「種類」) 的意思應與 not in the same league/class 的意思一樣吧?

錯了,而且錯得離譜!

讓我們先來看幾個例句:

  • But world No.2 and second seed Graf was in a different league.
  • But the Germans remain in a different class and duly took the golds.
  • The USA thus remains in a different league from the supposed competitors.
  • Latin America's recovery has been faster, because its superior education and infrastructure place it in a different league.

  • As a civil rights leader he was not in the same league as Martin Luther King.
  • But he admitted last night: "We are not in the same league as United yet."
  • Scenically, it's not in the same class as the magnificent beaches further west.

顯然地,如果你是 in a different league/class,那是表示你優於別人;但如果你是   not in the same league/class,那是表示你比別人差,或趕不上他們。語言有時是很奇怪的!

但有件事是可以確定的,那就是:The CyberTranslator website is always in a different class from other sites.  

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any more or anymore?

你應該說 "any more" 還是 "anymore" 呢?

你什麼時候要寫成 any more,而什麼時候又要寫成 anymore 呢?

在表達事情不再發生或不再是事實時,這兩種寫法都被視為正確。

例句:

  • No one eats afternoon tea any more.(報紙的文章)
  • Men just don't know what women want any more. (雜誌的文章)
  • Life isn't so simple anymore. (報紙的文章)
  • James could not look after himself anymore.(報紙的文章)

但當你是指更多、額外的的數量時,一般都認為只有 any more 才正確。

例句:

  • Russia cannot afford to lose any more time. (報紙的文章)
  • She had been told that she could not have any more children. (報紙的文章)
  • The country had no need to destroy any more of the Amazon rainforest. (雜誌的文章)
  • Malaysia has had 230,000 refugees through its camps, and does not want any more. (雜誌的文章)

一般也認為在形容詞和副詞的前面只有 any more 才正確,如下面的例句:

  • It is difficult to believe that a more authoritarian form of leadership would have been any more successful. (報紙的文章)
  • Why should these police be treated any more leniently? (報紙的讀者投書)

在 "than" 的前面只能使用 any more

例句:

  • There are no signs so far that any more than a tiny handful of MPs will express dissent. (報紙的報導)
  • This isn't going to help them any more than it will their customers. (報紙的文章)

證據:

證據顯示, "any more" 和 "anymore" 都被廣泛用來表達事情不再發生或不再是事實。但在英式英語中,"any more" 比 "anymore" 還常用5倍,而在美式英語中,
"anymore" 則比"any more" 還常用4倍。

在一本著名英英字典中,在談論更多的數量時,"any more"出現了 3,500次,而 "anymore" 被用了 61次。在形容詞或副詞前面,"any more" 出現 550次,而 "anymore" 僅被使用 3次。"any more than" 出現約 1,300次,而 "anymore than" 為 56次。

建議:

當你要表達事情不再發生或不再是事實時,你可以寫成 any moreanymore
在英式英語中,any more 比較常用:

  • Nobody in Boston believes the polls any more. (報紙的報導)
  • Galicia used to be a very poor corner of Spain, but not any more. (報紙的文章)

在指更多的數量時,你應寫成 any more,而不要使用 "anymore":

  • She was not asked for any more information. (報紙的報導)
  • Ferguson believes that will be enough to prevent any more incidents. (報紙的報導)

同樣地,在形容詞、副詞或 "than" 的前面,你應寫成 any more,而不要使用  "anymore":

  • But are the women of the 90s any more adventurous? (報紙的文章)
  • He would not say if it was working any better than the old system, or any more efficiently. (報紙的報導)
  • Economic progress is no guarantee of political stability, any more than wealth brings happiness to individuals. (報紙的文章) 

fellow/fella/feller

a fellow, a fella 和 a feller 之間有何不同嗎?

它們都是男子 (man) 的通俗用語。許多人會認為它們並非個別的字,而  fella 和  feller 只是 fellow 在平常說話中的發音的書寫形式。事實上,fellow 還有其他意思,如阿格西和山普拉斯是 fellow American players (美國同胞選手);你可以查字典看看其他的意思!

現在讓我們來看看我從字典中找到的這三個字的例句:

  1. Mr Alexander is indeed a fine fellow.
  2. You'll get really hurt one of these days, young fellow.
  3. Come on, old fellow, let's get you to hospital.
  4. What are you fellows looking for, anyway?

  5. When I was twelve I met this fella at a fairground.
  6. A bloody fine race, as it `appened. The one that the big fella won.
  7. OK, you have the page-three fella, but you don't see him naked.
  8. She not only brings her dad and her fella, but her fella's mate as well.
  9. Why, fellas? Why did you do it?

  10. There's a feller at the gate asking for you.
  11. Hell of a rotten trick to play, feller.
  12. Like you to meet the two young fellers I got for partners.
  13. "Let's go, fellers!" cried Tex.

對許多英語為母語的人士而言,fellow 給他們一種相當老式的感覺。請注意例 1 中的正式稱呼 Mr Alexander (該句的 nice fellow :好人),以及例 2 中一位年紀較大者所說的意涵。另外,也請注意:與 fellafeller 不同的是,fellow 鮮少單獨用來做為直接稱呼語;不過,顯然地,它可以被 oldyoung 等形容詞所修飾。

fellafellow 更加通俗好多倍。例句顯示,它通常是指性感的男子或某人的男友。fella 是那種你會在少年和少女雜誌中看到的字。

feller 是這三個字中最不常見的,大多僅限於口說英語的書寫形式。


girl/gal/gel

看完了男性的 fellow, fella feller 之後,現在讓我們來討論女性的 girl, galgel。我希望你們不必要我告訴你們 girl 這個字的用法! 以下為從英英字典及英文報章中找出來的 galgel 的例句:

  • ...Roseanne Barr, a real funny gal.
  • Johnny would ask her, `You all right, gal?'
  • The bells are ringing for me and my gal.
  • Glenn Close apart, most American stars avoid bad-guy or bad-gal roles.
  • We're in trouble, here guys and gals.
  • ...solid soldiers, regular guys and gals.

  • Give 'em to that gel I towd yer about.
  • She's ever such a nice gel.
  • She's a smashin' gel. A real treat.
  • `I'll ask her tomorrow.'- `Oh all right gel.'
  • ...sexual attitudes moulded in the days when `nice gels didn't'.
  • ...nice, Home Counties gels.

galgel 都可被視為 girl 的「音譯字」。gal 在美式英語中相當常見,也比較常見。而且,正如我們在例句中所見到的,它經常與 guy 連用。

gel 比較少見 (我相信絕大多數人的字典都查不到這個字當 girl 使用的意思)、比較老式,且可能僅限於英式英語才有使用。倫敦和英格蘭東南部的口音就是把 girl 發成 gel 的音。它前面最常見的形容詞是 nice。有一首老歌中有句歌詞說 "all the nice girls/gels love a sailor"。

拼字相同,意思不同的字,若發音又不同,往往會造成一些困擾;gel 就是這樣一個字,它的另一個意思(發 /Gel/ 的音) 是指可塗抹在身上的凝膠、乳霜。然而,這也使 gel 經常語帶雙關。有一本雜誌以 "All the nice gels" 來做為一則美容產品廣告的標題。

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hot/warm

根據字面的意思,hotwarm 都是指比一般或平常高的溫度。hot 通常又暗示比 warm 高的溫度。這兩個字 -- 以及其他與它們有關的字,如 hotly, heatedwarmth -- 也可用來描述人的情緒或行為。

hotheat 與侵犯性的行為和憤怒、激越的情緒有關,通常是不愉快和負面的。以下為我們從字典中找到的一些例句:

  • He is known for his hot temper and sullen moods.
  • ...the referee, who had already awarded two hotly disputed penalties.
  • The controversy about funding political parties has generated more heat than light.
  • One of the councillors attacked a fellow member during a heated debate.
  • It's all nonsense,' Robyn said heatedly.

相對地,warm warmth   被用來描述友善,關懷,親切和正面的情緒:

  • The soldiers were given a warm welcome by local villagers.
  • She was a lovely, warm-hearted person who would help anyone.
  • He shook their hands warmly. `So glad you could come.'
  • ...a relationship of warmth and filial love.
  • His fairness, personal warmth and clarity of judgment made him an ideal diplomat.

protest

protest 這個字該怎麼用呢? 是直接在 protest 的後面加受詞? 還是必須在 protest 的後面加一介系詞之後再接受詞? 若是後者,該用哪個介系詞? 請看看下面的例句:

  • The Peasant Party protested the suppression of student newspapers. (歷史書籍)
  • About 1,000 demonstrators protested against the appointment of a general as the country's new prime minister. (電台報導)
  • Nigerians up and down the country protested at the President's sudden move. (雜誌的文章)
  • Amnesty International has protested about the treatment received by the prisoners. (雜誌的文章)
  • In 1970, demonstrators protested over the decision by Italian authorities to make Catanzaro the regional capital. (報紙的文章)

在美式英語中,protest 通常不接介系詞,但許多英國人不喜歡這種用法。

證據:

根據一項使用頻率的統計,在英式英語中,"protest" 後面接 "against" 佔了 40.7%,接 "at" 佔了 26.5%,接 "about" 佔了 20.0%,接 "over" 佔了 7.2%。"protest" 後面不接介系詞的情況佔了 5.5%。在美式英語中,相對的比例分別為:9.6%, 0.5%, 0.6%, 0.3%, 89.0%。

建議:

在英式英語中,"someone protests something." 是一種相當新的說法;對大多數英國人來說,這聽起來相當奇怪。所以,當你是在跟英國人講話時,目前最好還是暫時說成 "someone protests against something, protests at it, or protests about it."  


bunch

在通俗英語中,bunch 這個字通常被用來指一群人。在做此意思解釋時,它從不單獨使用;它的前面必須加形容詞或後面接以 of 做開頭的片語或兩者。

bunch 的後面接 of 而前面沒有形容詞時,它絕大部分的情況都是表示討厭、不喜歡及不贊同某一群人。現在讓我們來看看從字典中找到的例句:

  • ...a bunch of young hooligans.
  • He called them terrible, he said his team was a bunch of losers.
  • I know how to do it. I don't need a bunch of kids looking at screens all day trying to figure it out for me.
  • ...a bunch of people so unsophisticated in their thinking that they cannot 'agree to differ'.

然而,一旦你在 bunch 的前面加一形容詞,不管其後有沒有 of,它都是表示非常正面的意義。

  • The players were a great bunch.
  • The Prime Minister described young people today as a `self-confident and talented bunch'.
  • There's a very nice bunch of people at BBC Cardiff.
  • His success is also a tribute to his family - a lovely bunch of soccer-mad people.

顯然地,此一普遍規則亦有例外,尤其是美式英語。不過,你們可以仰賴 CyberTranslator bunch 來提供你們最重要的資料。

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mutual

mutual 這個字該怎麼用?

1. 形容詞 mutual 的用法有二。

它被用來表示兩個人或兩個團體之間「相互」的意思:

  • Healy and Russell have great mutual respect. (報紙的文章)
  • Mr Ruutel spoke of the need for mutual support in the face of possible sanctions. (電台的報導)

這是 mutual 較舊的意思,一些人認為這是唯一正確的意思。

有時 mutual 被用來表示兩個或兩個以上的人或團體之間「共同」的意思:

  • Discussions were called off by mutual consent. (報紙的文章)
  • He has invited councils to approach him at any time to discuss matters of mutual interest. (報紙的報導)
  • Julie and Dawn met recently through a mutual friend. (報紙的文章)  

有些人認為這種用法錯誤;他們說應該用 common in common 來取代 mutual:

  • It is important that all those involved should come together to discuss matters of common interest. (雜誌的文章)
  • They had many friends in common. (小說)

證據:

在一本英英字典和一項調查中,"mutual" 被用來表示「共同」意思的次數約有1,300次 。與它連用的名詞最常見的是 "friend", "interest", "agreement" 和 "consent"。 a "mutual" friend (316次) 的說法比 a "common" friend (11次) 或 a friend "in common" (19 次) 常見。而 "mutual" agreement (140次) 也比 "common" agreement (26次) 常用。相對地,"common" interests (427次) 的說法比 "mutual" interests (149次) 常見。

建議:

在現代英語中,我們可以接受 mutual 被用來表示「共同」的意思:

  • He scrapped a three-year contract with Warwickshire by mutual agreement. (報紙的報導)
  • They met through their mutual love of music. (報紙的文章)

但請注意:common interest 比 mutual interest 來得常見。

  • We have a common interest in ensuring that, once decided, policy is properly implemented. (報紙的文章)

2. 形容詞 mutual 和動詞 share 均被用來表示某些人或團體「共同、共通、共有」的意思:

  • People are brought together through their mutual love of the game. (報紙的文章)
  • We share an interest in films and plays. (報紙的文章)

有時我們會見到 mutual share 被用在一起:

  • Fleming and his wife shared a mutual desire for violent behaviour. (報紙的文章)
  • We shared a number of mutual interests. (雜誌的文章)

若干人士不喜歡這種用法,宣稱只能使用其中一個字,不能兩個字同時用在一起。

mutual 有時亦被放在敘述聯合的動作或關係的名詞前面:

  • Neither sees the increasing mutual co-operation between the two parties as all that astonishing. (報紙的報導)
  • Each member continues to evaluate the mood of the other before engaging in any action requiring mutual collaboration. (心理治療書籍)
  • A considerable mutual interdependence has grown up between the Saudis and the Yemenis. (電台的報導) 

同樣地,也有人不喜歡這種用法,宣稱 mutual 在這類句子中是多餘的。

證據:

在一本英英字典中,"share" 和 "mutual" 一起出現 24 次。沒有 "mutual" 時 "share" 出現約 400 次,而沒有   "share" 時 "mutual" 出現 67 次。

"mutual co-operation" 出現 38 次,"mutual collaboration" 3 次,"mutual interdependence" 17 次。(在沒有 "mutual" 的情況下,"co-operation", "collaboration" 和 "interdependence" 分別出現 11,000 次,3,000 次 和 400 次。)

建議:

當我們在使用 mutual 這個字時,須避免意思上的重複。例如,我們應該說 "have a mutual interest" 或 "share an interest",而不要說 "share a mutual interest":

  • The paper says Lithuania and Moscow have a mutual interest in peaceful compromise. (電台的報導)
  • They shared a love of opera. (報紙的文章)

不要說 "mutual co-operation", "mutual collaboration" 或 "mutual interdependence",只要說 co-operation, collaboration interdependence 就可以了:

  • She said she hoped to foster co-operation between schools and business. (報紙的報導)
  • The deal is one of the most dramatic examples of the trend towards collaboration among Europe's leading industrial groups. (報紙的報導)
  • Senator Cook said interdependence between nations was crucial for each of APEC's 18 economies to prosper. (報紙的報導) 

may have

may have 該怎麼用呢?

我們有時會聽到人家說 something may have happened,意思是說該事有發生的可能性,但實際上它並未發生:

  • The heroin may have gone undetected if the boat had not had fuel problems. (報紙的報導)
  • The babies may have survived if treatment had continued. (報紙的報導)

大體而言,這項用法被認為是錯的。一般認為應該使用 might have

  • Things might have been very different if the weather had not been so good. (報紙的報導)
  • The dogs might have died within hours if we had not broken in and rescued them. (一份傳單)

證據:

在一本英英字典中,"may have" 被用來表示「事情有可能發生,但實際上並未發生」意思的次數有 35 次;"might have" 被用來表示相同意思的次數則多達 500 次以上。

建議:

如果你是在談論一種可能發生但實際並未發生的情況,那麼你最好是說 it might have happened,而不要說 it "may have" happened:

  • The disaster might have been averted if an asbestos-based putty had been used to seal joints in the booster rockets. (一篇有關石綿的文章)
  • If things had been different, he might have done well as a country and western singer. (雜誌的文章)

burned or burnt?

你該說 "burned" 還是 "burnt" 呢? "burn" 的過去式和過去分詞是 burned 還是 burnt 呢?

例句:

  • Youths burned cars and stoned police. (報紙的報導)
  • They burnt their hands as they tried to put out the flames. (報紙的報導)
  • She was badly burned in the explosion. (報紙的文章)
  • Spanish lorries had been burnt by the French. (報紙的報導)

證據:

證據顯示,在英式英語中,"burned" 和 "burnt" 同樣常用,但 "burned" 比較常用做不及物動詞 (一般通常寫成 "The fire burned all night." 而非 "The fire burnt all night.")。"burnt" 比較常用在名詞的前面 (一般通常寫成 "the burnt building" 而非 "the burned building")。在美式英語中,"burned" 比 "burnt" 還要常用大約 6 倍。

建議:

在英式英語中,你可以使用 burned burnt. burned 比較常用做不及物動詞:

  • A log fire burned brightly on an open hearth. (小說)
  • Rusty was so humiliated that her cheeks burned and her eyes filled with tears. (小說) 

在英式英語中,名詞前面通常使用 burnt 而不用 "burned":

  • An intermediary buys the burnt wood at half-price and sells it to the paper companies. (報紙的報導)
  • The smell of burnt rubber and diesel hangs heavy in the air. (報紙的報導)  

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