Means

當 means 意為「金錢;財產,財力;收入」時是個複數名詞,要接複數動詞:His means are more than adequate. (他的財力雄厚)。這意思的 means 有幾個常用的片語或成語:have the means to do something (有錢做某事),如 Small businesses don’t have the means to develop a sophisticated Internet presence. (小型企業沒有財力發展精緻的網際網路平台);beyond/within one’s means (超過某人的財力;某人的財力無法負擔/在某人的財力範圍內;某人的財力能夠負擔),如 He is living beyond his means. (他入不敷出);according to one’s means (根據某人的財力),如 You are invited to contribute according to your means. (請依您的財力捐款);a man/woman of means (富有的男子/女子),如 He had the well-dressed appearance of a man of means. (他穿著體面,像個有錢人)。

當 means 意為「方法;手段」時是單複數同型,可接單數或複數動詞:The best means of securing the cooperation of the builders is to appeal to their self-interest. (確保建商合作的最好方法是迎合他們自身的利益);The most effective means for dealing with the drug problem have generally been those suggested by the affected communities. (處理毒品問題最有效的方法通常就是受影響社區所提出的方法)。

意為「方法;手段」時,means 最常接 of,但接 for, to, toward 的情況亦不時會見到,而這些介系詞後面再接名詞或動名詞:a means of noise reduction (降低噪音的方法),a means for transmitting signals (傳送信號的方法),a means to an end (達到目的的方法),a means toward achieving social equality (獲致社會平等的手段)。

這意思的 means 有幾個常用的片語或成語,其中之一就是 a means to an end (= a way to an end),如 I gave him a bicycle as a means to an end: I want him to take more exercise. (我給他一輛腳踏車作為一種要他多運動的手段)。其他常用片語或成語還有:by means of (使用,應用;藉由),We express our thoughts by means of words. (我們用言詞來表達思想);by no means/not by any means (= not at all) (絕不,一點都不),如 It is by no means certain. (一點都不確定);by all means (= certainly; please do) (當然可以;好的),如 “Do you mind if I invite a few friends?” “By all means.” (我邀請幾個朋友可以嗎?) (當然可以)。

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