Better… than … 所構成的成語或諺語

英文有不少成語或諺語是由 better… than … 所構成,它們有的對應中文成語,有的是吾人現實生活的寫照,非常有意思,值得學習。在此列舉其中幾個比較常用的成語或諺語供大家參考。

1. Better late than never

詞義:遲到總比不到好;晚做總比不做好。亡羊補牢,未為遲也;亡羊補牢,為時未晚。

例句:

  • We’ve been waiting for you for an hour, but better late than never. (我們已經等你一個鐘頭了,但遲到總比不到好)
  • Mary’s card arrived two weeks after my birthday. Oh well, better late than never. (瑪麗的卡片在我生日過後兩個禮拜才寄到。唉,算了,遲到總比不到好)
  • Tom: Gary’s birthday was two weeks ago. Should I send him a card now? (湯姆:蓋瑞的生日是在兩個禮拜前。我現在該寄張賀卡給他嗎?)
    Sam: Better late than never. (山姆:晚做總比不做好 /亡羊補牢,為時未晚)

2. Better an open enemy than a false friend

詞義:虛假的朋友比公開的敵人更可怕;寧要公開的敵人,也不要虛假的朋友。明槍易躲,暗箭難防。

例句:

  • Jack: I don’t like John who pretends to be my friend but usually slanders me. I think he will stab me in the back one day. (傑克:我不喜歡約翰,他裝作是我的朋友,但卻經常中傷我。我想他總有一天會在我背後插刀)
    Paul: Better an open enemy than a false friend. (保羅:虛假的朋友比公開的敵人更可怕 / 明槍易躲,暗箭難防)

3. Better the devil you know (than the devil you don’t)

詞義:跟認識的魔鬼打交道總比跟不認識的魔鬼打交道來得好;生不如熟 (處理自己熟悉的人事物或情況,即使你不喜歡他們或它們,也比應付自己不熟悉的人事物或情況來得好,因為後者可能更難搞、更危險)。

例句:

  • I know Allen can be difficult to work with sometimes, but better the devil you know. (我知道有時很難跟艾倫一起工作,但生不如熟)
  • John: I hate my job so much that I’m thinking of asking for a transfer. (約翰:我很討厭我的工作,所以我打算要求調動)
    Teresa: I’d advise against it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. (泰瑞莎:我勸你不要。生不如熟)
  • Although she was unhappy in her marriage, Cindy never considered pursuing romances with other men. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know,” was her philosophy. (雖然婚姻不幸福,但辛蒂從未考慮跟其他男人傳緋聞。「跟認識的魔鬼打交道總比跟不認識的魔鬼打交道來得好」是她的哲學)

4. Better be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave

詞義:指年輕女性寧願嫁給疼愛自己的年老丈夫,也不要嫁給可能不會善待自己的年輕丈夫。寧嫁老頭子當寶,勿嫁年輕人為奴。

例句:

  • When Mr. Kim proposed to me, I thought he was too old, but my mother advised me, “Better be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.” (當金先生向我求婚時,我認為他太老,但我母親給我建議說:「寧嫁老頭子當寶,勿嫁年輕人為奴」)
  • When Ivy’s friends objected that her fiancé was much too old for her, she said, “Better be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.” (當艾薇的朋友都表示反對,說她的未婚夫對她而言年紀太大了,她說:「寧嫁老頭子當寶,勿嫁年輕人為奴」)

5. Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion

詞義:寧為犬首,不為獅尾。寧為雞首,不為牛後。

例句:

  • Elton: I can be the headmaster of a small senior high school, or I can be a teacher at a famous university. Which job offer do you think I should take? (艾爾頓:我可以擔任一所小型高中的校長或擔任一所著名大學的教師。妳認為我該接受那項聘用通知呢?)
    Renee: Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion. (蕾妮:寧為雞首,不為牛後)
  • A large multinational corporation had asked Simon to work for it, but he elected to stay with his small company as Executive Vice President, since he thought it better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion. (一家跨國大企業已邀請賽蒙去任職,但他選擇繼續留在他現在的小公司擔任執行副總,因為他認為寧為雞首,不為牛後)

6. Better (be or to be) safe than sorry

詞義:小心為要。細膩不蝕本 (台語,即小心不蝕本)。小心駛得萬年船。

例句:

  • It may be time-consuming to check all four tires of your car every week, but better safe than sorry. (每個禮拜都檢查車子的四個輪胎可能耗費時間,但小心駛得萬年船)
  • Gordon: I don’t need a tetanus shot just because I stepped on a nail. (戈登:我不需要只因踩到一根釘子就注射一劑破傷風)
    Rose: I still think you should get one. Better be safe than sorry. (蘿絲:我仍認為你應該打一劑。小心為要)
  • I’ll hold the ladder while you climb up. Better to be safe than sorry. (在你往上爬的時候,我會抓住梯子。細膩不蝕本)
將本文加入書籤.

發表迴響