Aroma, fragrance, odor, perfume, scent, smell, stench, stink

在這些有時同義的名詞當中,aroma, fragrance, perfume 和 scent 是貶義最少的字,通常意為「香氣;芳香;香味」,不過它們並不能完全免於有時「臭一下」的情況發生。以 scent 和 perfume 為例,雖然它們通常是指花香,芳香和香味,但偶爾也被用來指臭鼬和牲畜飼養欄所散發出來的氣味。至於 fragrance 和 aroma 亦時而「蒙臭」,如 She was wearing a cloying, cheap fragrance. (她使用一種讓人倒胃口的廉價香水) – fragrance 和 perfume 一樣可指「香水」,但前者通常為廣告用語;The aroma of burned toast was not good. (燒焦土司的氣味不好聞)。

Smell 和 odor (英國拼成 odour) 通常沒有特定指香味或臭味,但我們往往會在它們的前面加上形容詞來明確表示何種氣味,如 There’s a delicious smell/odor of fresh bread coming from the kitchen. (廚房飄來一股新鮮麵包的香味);There’s an unpleasant smell/odor filled the room. (房間裡瀰漫著一股臭味)。然而,如果 smell 或 odor 前面不加形容詞,那麼無論是字面或比喻的意思,一般幾乎都視之為臭味:Whatever is that smell/odor? (什麼東西那麼臭?)。

Stink 和 stench 一定是指臭味 (bad smell/odor)。

pick up after; pick up on; pick yourself up; pig out; pile up; pin down; pin on; pin up

pick up after +
整理、收拾某人所製造的髒亂或凌亂
I always have to pick up after him because he leaves things all over the office.

pick up on +
糾正某人所說的錯誤
My teacher picks up on any mistake I make and corrects me.

pick up on +
注意到大多數人未注意的事物
He’s very quick to pick up on new trends.

pick up on +
對某事做出回應、反應
The government has picked up on the reports in the media.

pick up on +
對稍早或先前在談話中所說的某事發表評論
I’d like to pick up on the point that John made.

pick yourself up
從失敗、沮喪、挫折、陰霾等中恢復過來或站起來
It took him a long time to pick himself up after his wife left him.

pig out
大吃大喝;狼吞虎嚥
The food was great, so I really pigged out.

pile * up +
(使) 堆積,(使) 積壓
The child piled up the bricks until they fell over.

pin * down +
要 (某人) 做出決定,要 (某人) 表態,要 (某人) 採取行動,要 (某人) 遵守 (諾言)
I’ve asked him to set a date, but he’s a hard man to pin down and won’t give a definite answer.

pin * down +
確切說明 (某事物) 的性質,明確說明 (某事物);查明,認出 (某人或某事物)
The government can’t pin down where the leak came from.

pin * on
把 (罪責、責任等) 加在 (某人) 身上
The police tried to pin the crime on him.

pin * up +
把 (某物) (用針、別針等) 固定在牆壁或其他垂直表面上
I pinned the notice up on the board.

本文亦刊載在下列網址:
http://htmfiles.englishhome.org/phrasalverbs/phrasalverbs-p.htm

Decline (v.)

如果某人要給你某樣東西,你可以婉拒該項提供 (to decline the offer),或者如果有人請你做某事,你也可以拒絕去做 (to decline to do something)。但你絕不能說你婉拒汽車或房子的貸款 (to decline the loan) 或婉拒借款 (to decline the lending or borrowing)。說得更明確一點,這裡所談的 decline 意為「婉拒,謝絕」,後面可接名詞當受詞或接帶 to 的不定詞;然而,decline 後面的名詞一般都是接 offer (提供;提議)、invitation (邀請) 或其他類似的名詞,不能接實物或實體的名詞:We asked her to the reception, but she declined the invitation. (我們請她參加招待會,但她謝絕了邀請)。She declined to have lunch with her friend, saying that she wasn’t feeling well. (她說她身體不舒服,婉拒了與她的朋友共進午餐)。

Decline 有一文法專用的意思,那就是「使 (形容詞、名詞或代名詞) 發生詞形或詞尾變化」,如 to decline a pronoun 意為「使該代名詞的詞形發生變化 (declension)」。

Advance, advancement (nn.) / advance, advanced (adjs.)

當名詞用時,advance 意為「前進,(尤指軍隊的) 推進」,如 The rebels continued their advance on the capital city. (叛軍繼續向首都推進) – advance 後面接介系詞 on 或 upon 來表示推進的方向;advance 也意為「進步,進展」,如 a major advance in molecular biology (分子生物學的重大進展)。advancement 亦有「進步,進展」的意思,如 There have been great advances [advancements] of medicine in the last 50 years. (近50年來醫學已有巨大的進步),此時 advance 和 advancement 是同義字,但 advance 比較常用 – 此外,advance 後面的介系詞雖可使用 of,但通常使用 in。

Advancement 通常用作比喻,指事業上的升遷或晉升 (career advancement),如 There is plenty of room for advancement within the company. (這公司內部有足夠的升遷空間)。與 advance 不同的是,advancement 通常暗示有引起變化的因素或外力的存在,亦即有「促進」的意思。因此,the advance of science 只是指科學的進步,而 the advancement of science 則暗示這項進步是肇因於人為的行動或外力:The purpose of the legislation was the advancement of science. (這項立法旨在促進科學發展)。在其他特殊的意思上,advance 意為「預付款」(為協助作者或銷售員應付日常開銷而事先給的錢):The author has signed a publishing deal for an advance of NT$ 50,000. (這位作者簽了一份出版協議,預付款為台幣5萬元)。

Advance 亦可當形容詞用,但它與相似字 advanced 是兩個意思截然不同的形容詞。advance (僅能用於名詞前) 意為「事先的,預先的,提前的」:Please give me advance notice. (請事先通知我);We sent advance copies of the new book to all the papers. (我們在新書發行之前向所有報社寄送樣書)。advanced 意為「先進的;高等的,高級的,高階的」:Ancient Greece was an advanced civilization. (古希臘是個先進的文明國家);My younger sister studied advanced math. (我妹妹學過高等數學)。

People, persons

People 意為「種族;民族」時是個單數名詞,如 The Chinese are a hard-working people. (中華民族是個勤勞的民族)。它的複數是 peoples:the many and varied peoples of West Africa (西非許許多多各式各樣的種族) — many and varied 為固定搭配,意為「許許多多,各式各樣」。然而,當意為「人們」時,people是複數名詞且沒有相應的單數型態。一些文法學者一直堅稱,people 是個集合名詞,所以當我們在指某一特定數目的個人時,people 不應被用來代替 persons。根據這項思維,我們應該要說 Six persons (不是 people) were arrested during the protest. (有6個人在示威抗議中被捕)。

但 people 向來都是被用在這樣的上下文中,且現在幾乎沒有人再為這項區別庸人自擾。然而,有關法律的上下文仍偏愛使用 persons,如 Vehicles containing fewer than three persons may not use the left lane during rush hours. (承載不到3人的車輛在尖峰時段不可使用內車道)。在涉及特定數目的複合字中,只能使用單數的 person:a nine-person bus (9人座巴士);a two-person show (雙人秀)。但 people 亦被用在其他複合字中:people mover (大眾運輸工具);people power (人民力量)。由於複合字中不可使用複數名詞是文法通則,因此這些 people 複合字乃是此一通則的例外 – 注意:我們不可以說 teethpaste 或 books-burning,而要說 toothpaste (牙膏) 或 book-burning (焚書)。

Dead (adj.) / dead body / deadly, deathly

Dead 通常被視為極限形容詞 (limit adjective or absolute adjective),亦即它不能有比較級和最高級的形式。因此,每當有像 “more dead than alive” (累得要死) 這樣的寫法出現時,大多數文法學者都認為應改為 more nearly dead than alive才合乎語法。然而,這個誇張的成語或陳詞並未造成嚴重的問題,但它通常被侷限用於口語和非正式寫作,而不用在正式寫作中。

Dead body 此一慣用語有時被批評是贅述的新聞用語,因為這裡 body 就是 corpse (屍體),因此它已經死了。dead corpse (死屍) 無疑地是贅述 (死了的身體才叫做屍體,所以多了這個 dead,顯然是畫蛇添足),而 dead body 可能也是贅述,但 dead person (死人) 顯然不是。

Deadly 和 deathly 都可當形容詞和副詞用。當形容詞時,deadly 意為「致死的,致命的」,而 deathly 意為「死一般的」(deathlike)。例如:This is a potentially deadly disease. (這是一種可能致命的疾病);The police charged him with possession of a deadly weapon. (警方指控他擁有致命武器);A deathly silence followed her announcement. (她宣布之後一片死寂)。當副詞時,deadly 意為「極度地,非常」(extremely, very),而 deathly 意為「死一般地」。例如:It is a deadly dull/boring play. (那是一場極其枯燥乏味的演出);She was deathly pale/white. (她像死一般地蒼白/死白);Her hand was deathly cold. (她的手像死人般地冰冷);The room is/They are deathly silent. (這房間一片死寂/他們鴉雀無聲)。

根據上述,deadly 和 deathly 無論是當形容詞或副詞都看似兩個意思不同的字。然而,當形容詞用的 deadly 還意為「徹底的;十足的 (僅能用於名詞之前)」(complete),經常與 silence 搭配使用,此時它跟 deathly 是同義字,所以上面 A deathly silence followed her announcement. 這句亦可寫成 A deadly silence followed her announcement. – 有些字典認為 deadly 也有「死一般」的意思。

Following

Following 可以用作名詞、形容詞、介系詞以及動詞 follow 的現在分詞。當名詞用時,following 意為「下列內容、事項等」,如 Please read the following carefully. (請仔細閱讀下列內容)。當形容詞 (僅置於名詞之前) 用時,意為「下面的,下述的,下列的;接著的,接下來的」,如 He did it for the following reasons. (他這樣做有下面幾個原因);They were married in 1990 and had a daughter the following year. (他們於1990年結婚,第二年就生了個女兒)。當介系詞 (後接名詞) 用時,意為「在…之後」,如 Following months of uncertainty, the government has finally announced its decision. (政府在猶豫數月後,終於宣布了決定)。用作動詞 follow (意為「跟隨;沿著…行進;遵循,按照;密切注意」等) 的現在分詞時,如 Following her to the MRT station, he asked her to have dinner with him. (跟著她走到捷運站,他邀她共進晚餐)。

必須注意的是,following 可能產生一個用法上的問題 — 在 following 既可當介系詞亦可當現在分詞的句子中,可能出現語意模稜兩可的情況。例如,在 Police have arrested a man following extensive inquiries. 這句中,如果 following 是介系詞,那麼這句的意思是「在廣泛的調查 (結束) 之後,警方逮捕了一名男子」;若 following 是現在分詞,則這句的意思是「警方根據多方的打探 (或調查) 已逮捕一名男子」。所以,當句子有這種疑義發生時,應改寫句子或使用其他同義字來代替 following,如以 after 來代替當介系詞用的 following,俾使句子的意思一目了然,殆無疑義。

Sure, surely / sure, certain / surely, certainly

英語純正人士經常宣稱,除了在一些由來已久的慣用語中,sure 仍當副詞外 (如 sure enough – 意為「果然;果真」:They all said it would fall down and sure enough it did. 他們都說那東西會倒下來,果然是倒了),sure 應只用作形容詞才正確,如 He has sure hands. (他做事穩當,不會出錯),而 surely 僅能用作副詞,如 He catches the ball surely. (他穩穩地接住球);Surely she’ll call you. (想必她會打電話給你)。

然而,現今這兩個字都有其他的用法,而這些所謂的例外其實才是它們最基本的應用。儘管 sure 當副詞用被一些評論家視為非正規英語、甚至有些粗鄙,但它在非正式和口語場合的應用卻非常廣泛:He sure is a nice guy. (他的確是個好人);They sure wanted her to visit them. (他們的確想要她去看他們);Sure, I like chocolate; who doesn’t? (我當然喜歡巧克力,誰不喜歡呢?)。在比較正式的寫作和演說中,副詞要用 surely:He surely is a splendid athlete. (想必他是位傑出的運動員)。surely 也出現在語意上不可使用 sure 的口語場合:Surely you can see my problem. (想必你能看出我的問題);You don’t believe her, surely? (想必你不相信她吧?)。

Sure, surely, real, really 和 truly 都可當作副詞加強語 (intensifiers),但必須謹慎使用。此外,必須注意:雖然 sure 和 real 用於非正式場合是合適的,但保守人士通常視它們為非正規英語,而其他三個字則是標準或正規英語:She sure [surely, truly] is bright. (她的確聰穎);Their team is real [really, truly, sure, surely] big. (他們的團隊確實龐大)。

Sure 當形容詞用時,主要意為「確信的,有把握的;一定的,必定的;確實的,可靠的」,與 certain 同義,兩者皆可用於敘述未來可能發生的事情。他們主要有三種句型:1. sure/certain + that/wh- 所引導的名詞子句 2. sure/certain + to + 原形動詞 3. sure/certain + of/about + 名詞。例如:He’s sure/certain to come tomorrow. (他明天肯定會來);I’m not sure/certain (whether) I’ll be able to come. (我無法肯定自己是否能來);They are sure/certain to succeed. = They are sure/certain of success. = They are sure/certain that they will succeed. (他們確信會成功)。然而,當主詞係假主詞 it 時,句中只能使用 certain 而不能使用 sure:It is certain (not sure) that he’ll come tomorrow. (他明天肯定會來)。

既然 sure 與 certain 同義,那麼有些人可能想當然耳地認為 surely 一定也跟 certainly 同義。這在美式英語中的確是如此,但在英式英語中,surely 並非總是具有與 certainly 相同的含意。試比較下列兩句:He surely doesn’t expect me to pay him immediately. (想必他不會指望我馬上付錢給他吧);He certainly doesn’t expect me to pay him immediately. (他肯定不指望我馬上付錢給他)。在美式英語中,sure, surely, certainly, of course 在用於肯定回答對方的問題時都是同義詞,通常是先說 yes,再說它們其中之一:”Can I borrow this book?” “Yes, sure/surely/certainly/of course.” (「我能借這本書嗎?」「當然可以」);”Want some more coffee?” “Sure.” (「想要再來一些咖啡嗎?」「當然想」);“Will you come again on Wednesday?” “Surely.” (「你禮拜三會再來嗎?」「當然會」)。surely 在這些應用中都是標準或正規英語,而 sure 在非正式寫作和大多數的口語場合才是標準英語。

Want / want for / want down, want in, want into, want off, want out, want up / want that

Want 這個動詞有三個主要意思:1.「要,想要」:He wants you to see him in Taipei without fail. (他要你務必在台北見他);2.「缺乏,缺少」:This deck of cards wants a nine of clubs. (這副牌缺了一張梅花9);3.「應該」(ought to or should):You want to tell him the truth. (你應該把實情告訴他)。第1和第2個意思無疑地是標準英語,而第三個意思通常僅限用於口語和非正式寫作。

我們知道,當 want 意為「要,想要」時,它的後面是緊接著不定詞結構,而不是接 for:I want you to go. (我要你去) – 不是I want for you to go.。然而,當 want 和不定詞在句中被分開時,這時候就要使用 for:What I want is for you to go. (我想要的是你去);I want very much for you to go. (我很想要你去)。當意為「缺乏,缺少」時,它通常接 for:They’ll not want for anything now that they’ve inherited his estate. (既然他們已繼承他的遺產,他們將一切無缺了)。

Want down, want in, want into, want off, want out, want up 這些片語最好的情況僅能被視為方言,但大多數情況都被視為非正規英語,不合語法,應避免使用:Could you hold on a moment? The kid wants down [up]. (請稍等一會兒,好嗎? 孩子想要下來/上來);The cat’s at the back door and wants in [out]. (貓在後門想要進來/出去);She wants into Cambridge University. (她想上劍橋大學);He accepted the appointment just last month, but now he wants out. (他上個月甫接受這項職位,但現在卻想掛冠求去);She wants off at the next stop. (她想在下一站下車)。正規英語都會在 want 後面加上不定詞再加介系詞而不會僅單獨使用 down, in, into, off, out, up (即 wants to come in, wants to get down, into, out, off, up),但不少人卻仍經常在輕鬆的場合不經意地使用這些片語。

Want 後面不可接 that 子句,所以像 She wants that you should come upstairs. (她要你上樓) 這樣的句子都是非正規英語,不合語法。如上述,want 後面接不定詞才是合乎語法的正規英語:She wants you to come upstairs.。

Adopted, adoptive

關於「收養,領養」小孩,動詞是用 adopt,如 to adopt an orphan (領養孤兒),而名詞為 adoption,如 the adoption of children。標題的 adopted 和 adoptive 為形容詞,前者意為「被收養的」,後者意為「收養的」。所以,The child is adopted. (這小孩是被收養的),也就是說他或她是 an adopted child (被收養的小孩),可能是 adopted son (養子 – 或 a son by adoption) 或 adopted daughter (養女);收養小孩的父母親,即養父母,則是 adoptive parents (adoptive father 養父;adoptive mother 養母),俾與 natural [or biological] parents (親生父母) 有所區別。

Adoptive 當然也可指families 和 homes,意思都是「收養家庭,領養家庭」。然而,在談論收養的地方時,我們則可使用 adopted 或 adoptive:She enjoys living in her adopted country. (她喜歡在被領養國的生活) – 因此,這個國家也就成為被領養者的入籍國 (country of adoption);Taipei is their adoptive city. (台北是他們領養的城市)。不過,有一種專門幫助人們領養小孩的機構叫做兒童領養機構,它們的英文是 adoption agency,不是 adoptive agency,應特別注意。