使用 marry 時常見的錯誤

Marry (結婚) 可當及物和不及物動詞用,但通常用作及物動詞,後接受詞。Divorce (離婚) 的用法亦同。例如:

  • Amy married a wealthy old man last month. (艾美上個月嫁給一個有錢的老頭)
  • Last year he divorced his second wife. (去年他跟他第二任太太離婚了)

然而,在正式文體中,它們都用作不及物動詞。例如:

  • He did not marry until he was forty. (他直到四十歲才結婚)
  • John and Mary divorced two years ago. (約翰和瑪麗兩年前離婚了)

在非正式的口說英語中,若沒有受詞,我們係使用 get married 和 get divorced 來表示「結婚」和「離婚」。例如:

  • My son and his girlfriend are getting married in Hawaii. (我兒子和他女友將在夏威夷結婚)
  • The couple finally got divorced last year. (那對夫妻去年終於離婚了)

Be married 和 be divorced 可表示結婚和離婚的狀態。例如:

  • We’ve been married for nearly 40 years. (他們已結婚快 40 年)
  • They’re divorced now. (他們現在已離婚)

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Prefer 的用法

Prefer 是個及物動詞,意為「更喜歡,較喜歡;寧願,寧可,更願意,更希望」。由於是狀態動詞,prefer 本身不用進行式,其後可接名詞 (片語)、不定詞或動名詞當受詞。Prefer 經常與介系詞 to 所引導的介系詞片語連用來比較兩個事物或兩個動作。例如:

  • Do you prefer summer or winter? (你比較喜歡夏天還是冬天?)
  • He prefers his daughter to live near him. (他更希望他女兒住在他附近)
  • Do you prefer to exercise indoors or outdoors? (你比較喜歡在室內還是戶外運動?)
  • She prefers living in Kaohsiung. (她比較喜歡住高雄)
  • I prefer white wine to red. (比起紅葡萄酒,我更喜歡白葡萄酒)
  • A lot of people prefer the quiet countryside to the noisy cities. (許多人喜歡寧靜的鄉村更勝於喧囂的城市)
  • Most people prefer watching television to reading books. (比起看書,大多數人更喜歡看電視)

必須注意的是,prefer… to… 是固定搭配,不可使用 than 來替代介系詞 to。例如:

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Do 和 make 後接名詞片語當受詞時的用法差異

Do 和 make 當及物動詞時都有「做;製作」的意思,當它們後接名詞 (片語) 當受詞時,do 著重於動作或做某事的過程,而 make 則強調動作的產物或結果。例如:

  • Betty did a very good math paper, but she still made two mistakes. (貝蒂的數學考卷答得很好,但還是有兩個地方錯誤)
  • When I was doing the cooking course, I made two chocolate cakes. (我在修烹飪課程時做了兩個巧克力蛋糕)

下列為與 do 和 make 連用或固定搭配的一些常用名詞 (片語):

DO: activity, business, cleaning, cooking, course, damage, drawing, duty, exam(ination), exercise, favor, gardening, harm, homework, ironing, job, laundry, one’s best, painting, shopping, task, test, washing (up), work 等。

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appraise 和 apprise 之對與錯

  • After I have the jeweler appraise the diamond, I will apprise you of its value. (在我請珠寶商鑑定這顆鑽石的價格後,我會通知你它的價值) (正)
  • After I have the jeweler apprise the diamond, I will appraise you of its value.

解說:appraise 和 apprise 都是及物動詞,前者意為「鑑定,估價」(to set a value on something),後者意為「通知,告知」(to notify or inform)。這兩個動詞的拼字只有一個字母之差,但意思截然不同,切勿把「馮京」當「馬涼」。

Lessen vs. lesson

Lessen 是個動詞 (及物與不及物),意為「(使) 減輕;(使) 降低;(使) 減少;(使) 變小」,如 The medicine will lessen the pain. (這藥會使疼痛減輕);His fever has lessened. (他的燒退了);The negotiations lessened the tension between Russia and Ukraine. (談判緩和了俄羅斯和烏克蘭的緊張局勢)。這個字的時態變化為 lessen, lessened, lessened, lessening, lessens。

Lesson 是個名詞,意為「課,一節課/一堂課,(教科書中的) 一課,課程;教訓」,如 These students study English, Spanish and other language lessons. (這些學生學英文、西班牙文及其他語言課程);Lesson Five is very boring. (第五課枯燥乏味);That guy needs to be taught a lesson. (那個傢伙得被教訓一頓);Many people have not learned their lesson and continue to drive under the influence. (許多人沒有記取/得到教訓,繼續酒後開車)。

Inveigh vs. inveigle

Inveigh 意為「猛烈抨擊;痛斥;痛罵」,是個不及物動詞,其後都是接介系詞 against,再接人或事物,如 Those politicians inveighed against immigrants to get votes. (那些政客猛烈抨擊移民來獲取選票)。這個字源自拉丁文,其相關時態變化為 inveigh inveighed inveighed inveighing inveighs。

Inveigle 意為「引誘;誘騙;哄騙」,是個及物動詞,其主要句型為 to inveigle sb. into doing sth. (引誘/誘騙/哄騙某人做某事),如 Her son tried to inveigle her into buying a new smartphone for him. (她兒子想方設法哄她給他買一支新智慧型手機)。這個字源自中世紀法文,其相關時態變化為 inveigle inveigled inveigled inveigling inveigles。它的名詞為 inveiglement,意為「誘騙;哄騙」。

由於詞源不同,這兩個動詞儘管拼字相近,但卻毫無關連。

Wait 還是 wait for 呢?

Wait 意為「等,等候」,可當及物和不及物動詞用,若受詞為時間,其後可接或不接介系詞 for。例如:

  • They waited hours to get the tickets for the exhibition. (他們等了好幾個小時才買到展覽會入場券) (正)
    They waited for hours to get the tickets for the exhibition. (正)
  • I waited 30 minutes for the bus. (我等了三十分鐘公車) (正)
    I waited for 30 minutes for the bus. (正)

然而,當受詞為人事物時,wait 的後面須有 for。例如:

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Infect vs. infest

Infect 意為「(疾病、病菌) 傳染 (給人),感染;污染,使 (食物、空氣等) 遭到污染,散佈病毒於;(思想或情緒上) 感染或影響 (他人)」,如 Don’t come near me if you’ve got a cold. I don’t want to be infected. (如果你感冒了,那就不要靠近我。我不想被傳染);He was infected with HIV. (他感染了愛滋病毒);The flu virus infected almost the entire class. (全班幾乎都感染了流感病毒);The food was infected with unspecified viruses. (食物受到不明病毒的污染);An unspecified kind of virus infects word-processing files. (一種不明的病毒感染文書處理檔案);Amy infected the whole class with her optimism. (艾美的樂觀感染了全班)。

Infest 意為「(有害的、危險的、討厭的人、動物、昆蟲等) 大批出沒於,侵擾,騷擾 (某地)」,如 The entire house was infested with mice. / Mice infested the entire house. (整棟房子鼠滿為患);The mountains were infested with robbers. (山裡有大批盜賊出沒);Mosquitoes infested many places. (蚊子侵擾許多地方)。由 infest 衍生而來的 -infested 與名詞連用來構成形容詞,意為「大批出沒的,大量滋生的,侵擾的」,如 shark-infested waters (大批鯊魚出沒的水域);a crime-infested city (犯罪充斥的城市)。

從上面的例句可知,這兩個及物動詞常用被動態且與介系詞 with 連用。它們的名詞分別為 infection 和 infestation,前者意為「感染,傳染;傳染病」,後者意為「大批出沒,侵擾,騷擾」。

坐雲霄飛車不能尖叫 (附 white-knuckle 的解說)

英國英格蘭西南部德文郡 (Davon) 的雲霄飛車有 400 公尺長,一次能乘載 28 名遊客,號稱該地區最大、最高、最快的雲霄飛車。但為了避免附近住戶抗議噪音污染,遊樂園特別豎立告示牌:「請不要喊叫或尖叫!」(Please do not shout or scream!)

如果一列雲霄飛車、呼嘯而過,上面坐滿了遊客,但卻鴉雀無聲,你不覺得有點恐怖嗎!除了豆豆先生 (Mr. Bean) 能在高速行駛的雲霄飛車上睡著外,恐怕再也沒有人能達到這種境界了。

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The dog lay at its owner’s feet.

  • The dog lay at its owner’s feet. (狗趴在主人腳邊) (正)
  • The dog laid at its owner’s feet. (誤)

解說:「(人、動物) 躺,臥,趴」的動詞為 lie,其時態變化為 lie, lay, lain, lying。「(物品) 放 (置);(動物) 下蛋,產卵」的動詞為 lay,其時態變化為 lay, laid, laid, laying。Lie 為不及物動詞,而 lay 為及物動詞。此外,lie 還意為「撒謊,說謊」(不及物動詞),其時態變化為 lie, lied, lied, lying。