build around; build in; build into; build on; bulk up

build * around
圍繞;以 … 為中心
His whole campaign was built around fighting injustice. (他的整個競選活動以打擊不公不義為主軸)

build * in
(通常用被動態) 使成為組成部分
The difficulties seem to be built in. (困難似乎無法避免)

build into +
(通常用被動態) 使成為組成部分;使成為不可分割的一部份
The difficulties are built into the work. (做這項工作必然會碰到困難)
Security has been built into the project. (這項計畫勢必會有安全上的問題)
The rate of pay was built into his contract. (工資率已訂入他的合約)

breed out; brick in; brick up; buckle down; buckle under; buckle up

breed * out +
在人工繁殖過程中消除 (某種特性、特徵等)
Cruelty and aggression have not yet been bred out of these animals. (殘忍和侵略性還未能在這些動物的人工繁殖過程中消除)

brick * in +
The windows were all bricked in. (窗戶全用磚堵起來了)

brick * up +
We bricked up a window/doorway/fireplace to prevent draughts. (我們用磚把窗戶/門口/壁爐堵住以防止進風)

buckle down
開始認真工作或努力做某事 (與 knuckle down 同義)
We had to buckle down and study for the exam. (我們必須開始好好唸書準備考試)

buckle under
屈服,屈從 (與 knuckle under 同義)
We didn’t like the ideas, but had to buckle under or face the sack. (我們不喜歡這些構想,但不得不屈從,否則將面臨被解雇的命運)

buckle up
(在汽車、飛機等上) 繫好安全帶
The passengers were told to buckle up before take-off. (乘客被告知起飛前繫好安全帶)


book out; bow in; bow out; bow to; break for

book out
We’d like to book out early in the morning. (我們想明天一早就辦理手續離開旅館)

bow * in
The owner of the restaurant bowed them in when they arrived. (他們來到餐廳時,老闆恭敬地將他們迎了進去)

bow * out
The waiters bowed the customers out as they left. (客人離開時,服務生鞠躬送出)
When leaving the presence of the king, you have to bow yourself out as you go. (你離開國王御前時得鞠躬退出去)

bow out
退出 (比賽等);引退;退休
John bowed out of the competition because of unknown reasons. (約翰不知什麼原因退出了比賽)
Our chief executive officer has decided to bow out early. (我們執行長已決定提前引退)

bow to +
向 (重要人物) 鞠躬致敬;屈服;服從;順從
All the officials in the conference room bowed to the President as he entered. (總統進入會議室時,所有官員都向他鞠躬致敬)
The government bowed to pressure and held the bill back. (政府屈服於壓力,撤回法案)
We must bow to their wishes. (我們必須順從他們的願望)

break for +
(為了逃走而) 跑向;逃往
Cindy had to hold him back as he tried to break for the door. (當他衝向大門試圖逃走時,辛蒂不得不攔阻他)
The police are assuming they’ll break for the border. (警方推定他們會逃往邊界)


belong to; bitch up; board out; board up; board with

belong to +
是 … 的成員
What political party do you belong to? (你是哪個政黨的黨員?)

belong to +
Your idea belongs to the nineteenth century and seems old-fashioned now. (你的觀念屬於 19 世紀,現在似乎過時了)
These two smartphones belong to Peter. (這兩支智慧型手機都是彼得的)

bitch * up +
把 … 弄糟/搞砸;破壞
I bitched the interview up. (我把面談搞砸了)

board * out +
安排 (人員、寵物) 在外住宿 (英)
We board our cat out with friends when we’re away on holiday. (我們外出度假時都會把貓放在朋友那裡寄養)
The children were boarded out with their uncle when we went abroad. (我們出國時,孩子們被安排住在他們叔叔那裡)

board * up +
用木板封住或擋住 (門、窗)
They boarded up all the windows to stop people getting into the empty houses. (他們用木板封住所有窗戶以防人們進入空屋)
All the windows were boarded up. (所有窗戶都用木板封住了)

board with +
在 (某人處) 搭伙
Joan boarded with a Chinese family. (瓊安在一個華人家裡搭伙)


back into; bargain for/on; beat out

back * into +
I prefer to back my car into the garage. (我比較喜歡倒車入庫)

bargain for/on +
預期,預料 (某事會發生) (通常用於否定句)
I hadn’t bargained for such a long wait. (我沒料到會等這麼久)
Mary didn’t bargain for her husband returning so soon. (瑪麗沒有料到她先生會回來得這麼快)
The exam was more difficult than I had bargained for. (這次考試之難出乎我的意料之外)
We hadn’t bargained on so many people coming. (我們沒料到會有這麼多人來)

beat out +
險勝,打敗 (美)
The marathon runner barely beat out his rival at the tape. (那位馬拉松跑者到了終點線才險勝他的對手)
Our company beat out several other rivals for the contract. (我們公司打敗幾個競爭對手,取得合約)


abide by; add on; agree with; allow of; argue down

abide by +
遵守,遵循 (協議、決定或規章);信守 (承諾等)
Competitors must abide by the judge’s decision. (參賽者必須服從裁判的裁決)
I will abide by my promise. (我會遵守諾言的)

add * on +
You have to add the VAT on to the price. (你必須把增值稅也算在價格內)

agree with +
(通常用於否定句或疑問句) 適合 (某人的身體或胃口);贊同 (某事);吻合,一致
I like lobsters but unfortunately they don’t agree with me. (我喜歡吃龍蝦,可惜吃了以後不舒服)
John doesn’t agree with giving money to beggars. (約翰不贊成給乞丐錢)
The verb agrees with its subject in number and person. (動詞在數和人稱方面必須與其主詞一致)

allow of +
容許;容許有 … 的可能
The rules don’t allow of any exceptions. (這些規定不容有任何例外)
The task is so urgent that it allows of no hesitation. (任務非常緊迫,不容遲疑)

argue * down
I argued Jack down fiercely. (我狠狠地把傑克駁得無話可說)


jockey into; join in

jockey * into
哄騙、誘騙、欺騙某人做某事 (to jockey somebody into doing something)
They jockeyed Allen into signing a terrible contract. (他們誘騙艾倫簽下一份可怕的合約)
Swindlers jockeyed his father into buying some worthless land. (騙徒騙他父親買下一些毫無價值的土地)

join in
Why don’t you join in? (你為何不參加呢?)

join in +
You are welcome to join in our discussion. (歡迎你參加我們的討論)


Fall 還是 fall down 呢?

Fall 可當名詞和動詞用,意思少說也有一、二十個之多,但本文僅就其「落下,倒下,摔倒,跌倒;下降」的意思來討論相關的用法錯誤。Fall 是個不規則動詞,時態變化為 fall, fell, fallen。它僅當不及物動詞用,所以不需要受詞。例如:

  • Robert had a bad fall yesterday. (羅伯特昨天重重地摔了一跤) (fall 當名詞用)
  • Many trees fell in the storm. (許多樹在暴風雨中被吹倒了) (fall 當動詞用)
  • House prices have fallen recently. (房價最近下跌) (fall 當動詞用)

由於 fall 僅當不及物動詞用,再加上其「向下」的含意,許多人乃把 fall 和 fall down 當作同義詞,用錯而不自知。Fall 指的是從較高的位置掉落到地面,或從較高的水平或價位降下來,而 fall down 這個片語動詞則是指人或物從其正常的位置掉落到地面。因此,當你認為既然「摔倒;跌倒」的名詞是 fall,那麼動詞當然也是用 fall 時,錯誤於焉發生。例如:

Blow up vs. blowup, pick up vs. pickup, take over vs. takeover 等等

英文中有許多 (數量可能有上百個或甚至更多) 兩個字的片語動詞 (phrasal verb),都可以結合在一起來構成名詞或形容詞,如 blow up/blowup, burn out/burnout, left over/leftover, log in/login, look out/lookout, pay back/payback, pick up/pickup, roll out/rollout, run away/runaway, set up/setup, take over/takeover, work out/workout 等等,真是族繁不及備載。有關這些片語動詞的意思及例句,可參閱「片語動詞寶典」。


Home in vs. hone in

Home in (on something) 是個不及物的片語動詞 (phrasal verb),意為「瞄準 (目標)」。它導源於 19 世紀人們利用信鴿 (homing pigeon) 送信,但它在 20 世紀再度受到青睞,被用來指飛彈瞄準目標,如 The missile homed in on its target. (飛彈射向目標)。這個片語動詞現在亦常用於比喻,意為「直搗 (問題核心);切中 (要害)」,如 The government is homing in on computer fraud. (政府正集中力量打擊電腦詐騙)。

Hone in (on something) 為 home in 的「變體」,意為「瞄準 (目標);全神貫注於…」,但許多人認為它是錯的。不過,hone in 現在相當常用 – 尤其是在美國和加拿大 – 常用到許多字典現在都收錄了這個片語動詞,如 Supporters are honing in on the site of the political rally from miles around. (支持者紛紛從四面八方向政治集會的舉辦地點聚集)。Hone 這個字本身可當名詞和動詞用,前者意為「磨刀石」,後者意為「用磨刀石把 (刀) 磨鋒利」。

在北美以外的國家,home in 的使用頻率大幅領先 hone in。它在北美也較常用,但領先 hone in 的幅度僅約二比一。目前即使在科技和軍事等一般可能認為 home in 會佔優勢的領域,hone in 亦很常用。美國和加拿大若干書報雜誌出版公司顯然基於政策的因素而偏愛 home in,但大多數出版商顯然沒有這種嚴格實施的政策,非得只能用 home in 或 hone in 不可。