Consequent, consequential (adj.)

這兩個形容詞都有「因…的結果而引起的,…引起的,隨之發生的」意思,但兩者的含意並不相同,consequent 是指直接引起的,而 consequential 則是指間接引起的且大多用在法律文件中:Competition in the market has led to goods being produced cheaply and a consequent deterioration in quality. (市場的競爭已導致商品的廉價生產,隨之品質也下降了);She was knocked down by a truck and her consequent injuries left her a permanent invalid. (她被卡車撞倒,而因此造成的傷害使她終生殘廢);consequential loss/damage (間接損失/損害)。譬如說,工廠的某台機器損壞了,機器本身的損壞是個損失,這是直接損失 (direct loss),但如果因該機器損壞而不得不停工或者延誤工期,那麼這就是間接損失 (consequential loss)。

Consequent 經常與介系詞 on 和 upon 連用,但有時也跟 to 連用:The rise in price was consequent on/to the failure of the crops. (物價上漲是由收成不好所引起的);Severe flooding was consequent on/to the heavy rains. (嚴重洪災是由大雨所致)。consequent 的副詞 consequently 是個相當常用的字,意為「因此;結果」:They’ve increased the number of staff and consequently the service is better. (他們的員工增加了,因此服務更好了)。

Consequential 除了上述意思外,也意為「重要的,意義重大的」(important, significant),可以指事物也可指人,其反義詞為 inconsequential,意為「不重要的;無足輕重的;微不足道的」(unimportant, insignificant):He made a consequential decision. (他作了一項意義重大的決定);an inconsequential event (無關緊要的事件);an inconsequential detail (微不足道的細節)。此外,consequential 還有「自大的,自負的,自以為是的」(self-important, pretentious, pompous) 的意思:He is a consequential little man. (他是個自以為是的小人物)。

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