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容易弄错的美语(上)/怀中

下面一些用语或口语,在字眼上,颇有相似之处,但在意义和用法上,却有不同。使用时要特别小心,以免出错。

son of a gun 与 son of a bitch:
son of a gun 是对好友表示一种惊讶的口语(an interjection or an exclamation of surprise between very good friends),有点像「坏蛋」、「家伙」的味道。
但 son of a bitch(或 SOB)是美国人极为严重的骂人话(curse word),千万不可乱用,以免闹事。因为这不但意味这位 son 没有确定的父亲,同时母亲也是缺乏道德和贞操(less virtuous)。 例如:

* I have not seen you for a long time;you (are)son of a gun!(你这坏蛋啊,我好久不见你了!)
* After the two men called each other“son of a bitch”(SOB),they started a fight.(这两位男子互骂SOB後,就动起武来。)

至於 son of a gun 的来由,据说从前女人可以住在海军船上服务。结果一位女人生下孩子时,不知父亲是谁,於是船上的人,就以「gun」做为孩子的 paternity,孩子也就被称为「son of a gun」。虽然只用在好友中,但有时也真有坏蛋的意思(evil person or a rogue)所以不是恭维语(complimentary word),除非真正好友,少用为妙。
at large 与 by and large:
at large 当形容词,最常用的意思是指嫌犯脱逃,逍遥法外(escape,referring to criminal before arrest)而 by and large 当副词用,意思是一般而言(generally speaking on the whole)。 例如:

* The murder suspect is still at large. (凶手仍然逍遥法外)
* By and large, I feel(that)the new proposal is sensible.(大体来说,我认为新的建议是很切合实际的。)
* By and large, most people will care about their weight. (一般而言,许多人关心他们的体重)

然而,有时 at large 也有「一般」(in general)的意思。 例如:
* The Chinese people at large are peace-loving. (一般中国人是爱好和平的)
Here you go 与 Here you go again:
Here you go 是指给别人东西时说:「这就是你要的」(=Here is what you want);有时也表示同意对方的意见(= you are right);有时又与 there you go 互用。 (来源:专业英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

* The cashier said, “Here you go!”when she gave me the change. (当收款员找我零钱时,她说:「这就是!」)

但是 Here you(或 we)go again 意思是「你又旧事重提了」,表示对一件事情多次重复的厌烦。(feel annoyed when something is repeated over and over again)。例如:
* When he brought up the same issue to me, I said, “Here you go again!”(当他向我提出同样的问题时,我说:「又是老话题了!」)

至於“Here goes”又是指说话者开始做某事时说:「开始了」。例如:
*“Here goes!”, shouted the racer as he started running.(当赛跑者开始跑步时,喊著「我就开始了!」)
to marry (someone)与 to be married to(someone): marry 当做及物动词时,多用主动语态(active voice)。 例如:

* She married a man ten years younger(或older). (她嫁给一位比她小或大十岁的男人)
= She married a man ten years her junior(或senior).

但是 marry 用在被动语态时(passive voice),後面要用介系词 to。 例如:
* She is(was)married to a man ten years younger(older).
= She is (was)married to a man ten years her junior(senior).(假如用 is,指目前还是夫妻,如用 was,可能已经不是夫妻了)

然而,在 married 後面用介系词 by 时,又有「牧师证婚」的意思。 例如:

* She was married by a man ten years younger. (是指为她证婚的牧师,比她小十岁。)
* She was married by my father.(为他证婚的牧师是我老爸。)(因为牧师证婚已成过去,所以要用过去式 was。)
near 与 near by:
near 是介系词(preposition)通常後面跟受词(object),但是 near by(或 nearby)当形容词(adjective)意思是指「附近」(=close),只指某一地方(somewhere),没有特定地点(no specific location)。 例如:

* The school is near the railway station. (学校在火车站附近。)
* The post office and library are near by. (邮局和图书馆都在附近。)

可见 near by(或 nearby)通常後面不加受词,不然就显得 awkward 了。所以很少人说:

* I ate at a near restaurant. 不过可以说:
* I ate at a nearby restaurant.; 或
* The restaurant where I ate is nearby.(不过也有老外用 near)
school is open 与 the school is open:
school is open (或 schools are open) 是指「学校开学」(classes are in session),这里的 open 是形容词,school 前面不加冠词 the,意味整个中小学的 school system。但是 the school is open,多指学校的建筑物开放著,但没有学生上课。

同理:He goes to school. 是指他去上学读书受教育,而 He goes to the school. 又指他去学校的建筑物(看朋友、参观等)。
至於 School is closed.(或 Schools are closed.) 是指「学校停课」,前面也不加 the。

注意:close 当形容词时,也有「附近」(nearby) 或「友善」(friendly) 的意思。 例如:
* The school is close(=nearby).(学校在附近。)
* That is a close neighborhood.(那是一个友善的住宅区),而 The school is opened at 8 a.m.; 或
* The school is closed at 5 p.m.(都是指学校的建筑物开放或关闭的时间。)

但是 The store is open. 是指店铺在营业中(= Business is going on.),而 The store is closed. 又是指店铺暂时不营业。

假如店铺是永久性的「关门大吉」,就应该说:
* The store was closed down. (permanently)

不过 closed 当形容词时,又有「保守」(conservative)或受某种「限制」(restricted)的意思。 例如:
* This is a closed community.(这是一个保守的社区。)(由於宗教信仰等原因,美国有的社区不欢迎外来的人。)  
 
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