Eclipse vs. ellipse vs. ellipsis

Eclipse 可當名詞和動詞用,前者意為「日蝕;月蝕」,如 a solar/lunar eclipse (日蝕/月蝕);There will be a total/partial eclipse of the sun next Tuesday. (下週二將有日全/偏蝕)。Eclipse 當名詞用時還意為「黯然失色;相形見絀」,如 The eclipse of the ruling party was inevitable. (執政黨大勢已去是不可避免的);Their political power was in eclipse at the time. (當時他們的政治權力正處於衰敗中)。

Eclipse 用作動詞時意為「遮蔽 (天體的) 光」,如 The moon will be totally/partially eclipsed at 11:20 p.m. (晚上十一點二十分將出現月全/偏蝕)。當動詞用的 eclipse 還意為「使黯然失色;使相形見絀;掩沒…的重要性 (或優點等);淩駕…之上;光芒蓋過…」,如 The electricity supply eclipsed all other issues during the election campaign last year. (去年競選期間,電力供應問題凌駕在其他所有問題之上,成為最重大的議題)。

Ellipse 僅當名詞用,意為「橢圓 (形)」,如 The orbit was an ellipse with a 3: 1 vertical to horizontal axis ratio. (這軌道是垂直軸與水平軸比率為 3:1 的橢圓形)。Ellipse 的複數為 ellipses,而這個複數字正好也是 ellipsis 的複數。

Ellipsis 同樣僅當名詞用,意為「(在句中省去一些詞語而不影響對句義理解的) 省略;省略符號 ( … )」,如 There is an ellipsis of that in that sentence. (那個句子省略了 that);Ellipsis is normal and very common, especially in informal conversation. (省略是正常的而且很常見,尤其是在非正式對話中)。

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