如何區分 apparent 兩個不同的意思

Apparent 這個形容詞有兩個意思:一是「表面 (上) 的;似乎的」,另一是「顯然的;顯而易見的」。當 apparent 位在名詞前面來修飾該名詞時,它意為「表面 (上) 的;似乎的」,若位在 be 動詞或其他連綴動詞的後面當主詞補語,則意為「顯然的;顯而易見的」。請看下面的例句:

The teacher was shocked by the parents’ apparent lack of concern about their child’s behavior. (老師感到震驚的是那孩子的父母親似乎毫不關心自己小孩的行為表現)
Their apparent grief soon turned to laughter. (他們表面上的哀傷立即轉為笑臉)
It was apparent that he was in no condition to travel. (他的健康狀況顯然不宜旅行)
The reasons for her sudden departure soon became apparent. (她突然離去的原因不久就一清二楚了)

Apparent 的副詞 apparently 也是這兩個意思。若位在句首,它可能意為「表面上;似乎,看來」或「顯然地;顯而易見地」;若位在句中,尤其是位在 be 動詞後面修飾另一副詞時,它大多意為「顯然地;顯而易見地」。請看下面的例句:

Apparently he did not succeed. (看來他沒有成功)
Apparently she never got my letter after all. (顯然她一直都沒有收到我的信)
He was apparently much surprised at the news. (他對那消息顯然十分驚訝)

極限形容詞的「最高程度」和「接近最高程度」

英文中有些形容詞是不可分等級的,因為其含義已包括了極限的意思,所以它們沒有比較級和最高級的形式。有些人稱之為極限形容詞 (limit adjectives),如 empty, impossible, perfect, unique 等等。

不過,我們還是可以在其前面加上 absolutely, completely, quite, thoroughly, totally, utterly, wholly 等副詞來表達「最高程度」。例如:

That’s completely (or thoroughly, totally, wholly…) impossible. (那是完全不可能的)
They were absolutely speechless. (他們簡直連一句話都說不出來)

再者,我們也可以使用 almost, nearly, practically, virtually 等副詞來表達「接近最高程度」。例如:

The classroom was virtually empty. (教室已幾乎空無一人)
It’s almost impossible to say that I love you. (要說我愛你幾乎是不可能的)

此外,amazed, amazing, disgusting, surprised, surprising, terrified, terrifying 等表示情緒反應的分詞形容詞也是屬於極限形容詞,所以也沒有比較級和最高級的形式。同樣地,我們可以在其前加上 absolutely, completely, quite, thoroughly, totally, utterly, wholly 等副詞來表達「最高程度」,如 utterly amazed (非常吃驚)、absolutely disgusting (討厭至極)、completely terrified (十分震驚)。然而,我們卻不能在這些分詞形容詞前面加上 almost, nearly, practically, virtually 等副詞來表達「接近最高程度」。

Equal 和 equal to 你搞混了嗎?

Equal 這個字可當動詞、形容詞和名詞用,是個很常見的字。相信絕大部分人都會這個字,但在表達「等於」的意思時,卻有不少人會用錯。當動詞時,equal 是個及物動詞,亦即其後直接接受詞,不可先接介系詞 to 再接受詞。再者,作「等於」解時,equal 與 “be equal to ” (這個 equal 是形容詞) 同義;換言之,若有受詞,則當及物動詞用的 equal 後面不可接 to,但當形容詞用的 equal 後面一定要有 to。例如:

Two and three equals five. (2加3等於5) (正)
Two and three equals to five. (誤)
Two and three is equal to five. (正)
Two and three is equal five. (誤)

此外,當及物動詞用的 equal 還有一個蠻常用的意思,那就是「平了(…記錄)」:

Thompson today equaled (or equalled) the world record for the 400 meters. (今天湯普森平了400公尺的世界記錄)

英文列舉方式知多少?

寫作時經常需要列舉 (enumerate or enumeration),如第一、第二、第三…等等。列舉具有提綱挈領、段落分明的效果。英文的列舉方式有幾種呢? 答案是有很多種,但最常用的有下列幾種:

1. First, …second, …third;
2. Firstly, …secondly, …thirdly, …(lastly);
3. First, …next, …last;
4. (美式英語) First of all, …second of all, …thirdly, …(lastly);

由於早期有些字典並無 firstly 這個字,因此有人認為第2項的列舉方式應寫成”First, …secondly, …thirdly, …(lastly)”,但在現代英語中,這兩種列舉方式都可以,亦即使用 first 或 firstly 皆可,這可由「牛津英語大辭典」(OED) 把這兩種方式都列出得到證明;此外,”The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage” 一書的作者 R.W. Burchfield 在書中提到,他慣用的列舉方式是 “First, …secondly, …thirdly, …”。

與 detail 有關的三個實用句型

寫作時,許多人都會寫到「某某事會在下一節或下一段詳細敘述」,此時就會用到 detail 這個字或其字形變化,因而形成三個非常實用的句型;它們分別是「某某事 + will be described in detail…」、「The details of 某某事 + will be described …」和「A detailed description of 某某事 + will be given…」。請大家務必熟記這三個歷久彌新、使用率超高的句型,將會受用無窮。譬如說,某某事就是前第一家庭的國際洗錢活動,那麼這三個句型的寫法如下:

  1. The international money laundering operations involving the former first family will be described in detail in the next paragraph. (前第一家庭的國際洗錢活動將在下一段詳細敘述)
  2. The details of the international money laundering operations involving the former first family will be described in the next paragraph.
  3. A detailed description of the international money laundering operations involving the former first family will be given in the next paragraph.

第1句也可改寫成下句,意思相同,亦同樣相當常用:

The international money laundering operations involving the former first family will be fully described in the next paragraph.

“S + V…, and that …” 的強調句型

這個強調句型雖不若 “It is/was + 被強調部分 + that 子句”來得常見,但用起來也是簡潔有力,擲地有鏗鏘之聲,語氣加強效果十分顯著。句中的 that 代替前面全部或部份句子,而 “and that” 意為「而且」。請看下面的例句:

  • All people seek after happiness, and that without any exception. (所有人都在追求幸福和快樂,而且沒有例外)
  • They fulfilled the task, and that in a few days. (他們完成了工作,而且是在幾天內就完成了)
  • I gave her some presents, and that the day before yesterday. (我給了她一些禮物,而且是在前天給的)

Approach, discuss 和 lack 這三個動詞有什麼關係呢?

老實說,這三個動詞一點關係也沒有,但它們有一共通點,那就是它們都是及物動詞,後面直接接受詞,不可以接介系詞再接受詞。英文中有許多這樣的動詞,這裡只是以這三個我們常見但經常用錯的動詞作代表。總之,當 approach, discuss 和 lack 做及物動詞用時,那麼 approach to + 受詞,discuss about + 受詞,lack of + 受詞的寫法都是錯的。例如:

Silently we approached the enemy’s camp. (正)
Silently we approached to the enemy’s camp. (誤)
(我們悄悄地逼近敵人的營地)
He’s approaching 70. (正)
He’s approaching to 70. (誤)
(他快70歲了)

She discussed her study plan with her mother. (正)
She discussed about her study plan with her mother. (誤)
(她和母親討論她的讀書計畫)
Mr. Wang refused to discuss the matter. (正)
Mr. Wang refused to discuss about the matter. (誤)
(王先生拒絕討論這件事)

He’s good at his job but he seems to lack confidence. (正)
He’s good at his job but he seems to lack of confidence. (誤)
(他善於工作,但似乎缺乏信心)
I don’t seem to lack anything. (正)
I don’t seem to lack of anything. (誤)
(我好像什麼都不缺)

然而,這三個動詞的名詞 approach, discussion 和 lack 則都必須先接介系詞再接受詞。例如:

I like her approach to the problem. (我喜歡她解決這問題的方法)

We had a discussion about our future plans last night. (我們昨晚討論了我們未來的計畫)

He cannot buy this watch because of his lack of money. (他因缺錢買不起這個手錶)

Compensate 或 compensate for 呢?

Compensate 可當及物和不及物動詞用。當及物動詞時意為「補償;賠償」,後面接被補償或賠償的人或事物當受詞,然後再接 for + 補償或賠償的原因;當不及物動詞時意為「彌補;抵銷」,後面先接介系詞 for 再接要彌補的事物。請看下面的例句:

We compensate workers for injuries suffered at their work. (我們對工人在工作中受傷給予補償)

Her intelligence more than compensates for her lack of experience. (以她的聰穎來彌補她的經驗不足是綽綽有餘的)

若干真正實用的口語

Is there someone else? 你是不是有了新歡?
She is coming on to you. 她對你有意思。
He seems to be attracted to you. 他好像對妳有好感。
Are you hitting on her? 你在追她嗎?
She dumped me. 她把我甩了
He’s out of love. 他失戀了
Don’t break the date! 不要失約喔!
He finally asked me out. 他終於約我了
Don’t get it wrong! 別會錯意!
They mate for each other. 他們真是絕配。
I’m beat! 我累死了!
Shoot! 說吧! 有屁快放!
Am I boring you? 我讓你感到很煩嗎? 很無趣嗎?
Take a hike! 省省吧! 得了吧!
Take a walk! 省省吧! 得了吧!
Get in line! 等著吧! 不必了! 省省吧!
Take a number! 你省省吧! 你等著吧!
Drop dead! 去死吧!
Go to hell! 去死吧!
I laughed my ass off! 笑死我了!
What a crap! 一派胡言,胡說八道!
Cut that crap! 少胡說八道!
You’re shitting me! 你騙我!
You pissed me off! 你把我惹毛了!
That pisses me off! 那使我很火大!
Good my ass! 好個屁!
None of your God damned business! 沒你的事! 關你屁事!
Keep away! Go away! 走開!
Not even think about it! 想都別想,門都沒有!
You wanna play hard ball? I’m in game! 你要玩硬的,我奉陪!
Real bad! 真糟糕
My bad! 是我不好
How’s that? 怎麼會?

so much so that + 主詞 + 動詞

這句型時有所聞,意為「達到這樣的程度以致於」、「如此…以致於」,表示前因後果(cause and effect)。第一個 so 是「如此地;這樣地」,第二個 so 是代名詞,代表前面所提過的某件事或某一概念。

  1. He is ill, so much so that he cannot walk alone. (他病得很重,連路都走不了)
  2. He is rich, so much so that he can buy anything he wants. (他很有錢,有錢得可以買任何他想要的東西)
  3. John is clever, so much so that he can solve most of the problems. (約翰很聰明,聰明得可以解決大多數的問題)
  4. The patient was very tired when he returned from the ride, so much so that he could not sit up. (病人坐車回家時非常疲倦,疲倦得不能坐起來)
  5. He is poor, so much so that he can hardly get enough to live. (他很窮,窮得幾乎無法過活)