先有雞還是先有蛋?

英文:Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

說明:經常略作 the chicken and/or the egg?。

例句:

  • Do you know which came first, the chicken or the egg? (你知道先有雞還是先有蛋嗎?)
  • What do you say when a kid asks you: “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” (當小孩問你「先有雞還是先有蛋」時,你要怎麼說呢?)

你把我當成什麼人

英文:What do you take me for?

說明:亦可用 What sort of person do you think I am? 來表示,這相當於說 I am not that sort/type of person. (我不是那種人)。

例句:

  • Of course I didn’t tell Mary your secret - What do you take me for? (我當然沒有把你的秘密告訴瑪麗,你把我當成什麼人?)
  • I won’t tell anybody - What do you take me for? (我不會告訴任何人,你把我看作什麼人?)

師父引進門,修行在個人

英文:You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

說明:這句亦可說成 You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.,字面意思為「你可以牽馬到水邊,但你不能強迫牠喝水」。

例句:

  • Mason always complains about not having enough money. I showed him an ad I saw in the newspaper for a part-time job. He said it was a good idea, but he never called the phone number. I guess you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. (梅森老是抱怨錢不夠用。我給他看一個報紙上的兼職廣告,他說不錯,可是從不打電話去問。我認為師父引進門,修行在個人)

照片沒有本人好看

英文:The picture certainly/surely doesn’t flatter you.

說明:照片還可用 photo (複數 photos) 或 photograph 來表示。這句的關鍵字是 flatter,它除了「奉承;諂媚」的意思外,還意為「(相片、畫等) 比 (真人) 好看」。視情況而定,句中的 you 可改為任何的人稱代名詞或名詞。當然了,我們亦可視需要表達「照片比本人好看」的意思。

例句:

  • This picture surely doesn’t flatter my wife. (我太太這張照片沒有本人好看)
  • The photo flatters Amy. (這張照片比艾美本人漂亮)

人在屋簷下,不得不低頭

英文:Beggars can’t be choosers.

說明:Beggars can’t be choosers. 還有「飢不擇食」的意思,所以翻譯時端賴上下文的意思而定。

例句:

  • I asked Tom to lend me his bicycle, and he sent me this old, rusty one. But beggars can’t be choosers. (我要湯姆將他的腳踏車借給我,而他卻送來這台老舊又生鏽的腳踏車。沒辦法,人在屋簷下,不得不低頭)
  • Mary: Let me wear your green dress; I don’t like the blue one you lent me. (瑪麗:我要穿妳的綠色洋裝;我不喜歡妳借我的那件藍色的)
    Alice: Beggars can’t be choosers. (愛麗絲:人在屋簷下,不得不低頭)

哪有這種好事;哪有這麼好的事

英文:It’s too good to be true.

說明:“too good to be true” 意為「好得難以置信;好得不像是真的」,通常與 BE 動詞或 become, get, sound 等連綴動詞連用。根據語境不同,這片語除可表達上述積極意思外,亦可表達「哪有這麼好的事」這一消極意思。

例句:

  • The news was too good to be true. (這消息好得難以置信)
  • They told me I’d be going on business trips to Europe, but it was too good to be true. (他們告訴我,我將到歐洲出差,但這好得不像是真的)
  • A: The ad says buy one get two free. (廣告說,買一送二)
    B: No way! It’s too good to be true. (不可能!哪有這麼好的事)
  • A: John will buy us a drink tonight. (約翰今晚要請我們喝兩杯)
    B: Wow! It’s too good to be true. (哇!哪有這種好事)

傻人有傻福

英文:Fortune favors fools.

說明:這是從 Fortune favors the brave. (勇者理當走好運) 此一諺語轉換而來。

例句:

  • “Fortune favors fools” means that foolish people often have a lot of good luck. (“Fortune favors fools” 的意思是「傻人有傻福」)
  • Popular belief claims that fortune favors fools. (一般普遍的看法都認為傻人有傻福)

牛牽到北京還是牛;江山易改,本性難移

英文:A leopard doesn’t/can’t change its spots.

說明:這句亦可說成 “A leopard never changes its spots.”。

例句:

  • I doubt very much that marriage will change Edward for the better. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. (我非常懷疑婚姻會使愛德華變好。牛牽到北京還是牛)
  • It’s not surprising that he was sentenced to five years in prison again, because a leopard never changes its spots. (他再度被判入獄五年並不令人驚訝,因為江山易改,本性難移)

你完 (蛋) 了

英文:You’re toast!

說明:toast (土司) 這個字很難讓人聯想到「完蛋」的意思,因此這句口語必須加以熟記,以免搞錯意思,貽笑大方。此外,雖然例句都用驚嘆號,但使用句號也可以。

例句:

  • You’re toast! (你完了!)
  • You’re going to be toast! (你死定了!)
  • I’ll be toast without your help! (沒有你幫忙我就完蛋了!)
  • Oops, I’m toast! (糟了,我完蛋了!)
  • I’m not toast anymore! (我有救了!)