Marinade vs. marinate

Marinade 是個名詞 (可數或不可數),意為「滷汁,醃泡汁 (烹調魚肉或肉類之前澆於其上,或烹調前將魚或肉浸泡其中,以增味或使肉質更鮮嫩)」,如 The chef made a special teriyaki marinade. (這位主廚製作了一種特殊的串烤魚貝滷汁);Pour the marinade over the chicken and leave it for a couple of hours before frying. (油炸之前在雞肉上澆些滷汁,醃上幾個小時)。

Marinate 是 marinade 相應的動詞 (及物或不及物),意為「在魚肉或肉類上澆滷汁,將魚肉或肉類浸泡於滷汁」,如 You have to marinate the chicken overnight. (你必須將雞肉浸在滷汁中一個晚上);The factory produces marinated and plain tofu, as well as vegetarian sausages and meatballs. (這家工廠生產滷豆腐和純豆腐,以及素食香腸和肉丸)。

由於 marinade 長期以來也經常被錯誤地用作動詞來替代 marinate,致使許多字典現在都將 marinade 列為 marinate 的變體。這可能是因為當名詞用的 marinade 重音在第三音節,而當動詞用的 marinade 和 marinate 重音都在第一音節。然而,我們沒理由不做此區別,以免繼續錯下去。

Q:It is surprising Jerry should be so polite today. 這句是假設語氣嗎?

A:沒錯,這句是假設語氣。在英文中,表示主觀認為不該如此,而非敘述事實,要用假設語氣,其句型為 It’s + 形容詞 (+ that) + 主詞 + should + 原形動詞 (表示現在或未來) 或 should + have + 過去分詞 (表示過去);should 在句中意為「居然,竟然」。例如:

  • It is surprising (that) Jerry should be so polite today. (真想不到傑瑞今天竟然這麼有禮貌) (正)
    It is surprising (that) Jerry would be so polite today. (誤)
    It is surprising (that) Jerry was so polite today. (誤)
  • It is very strange that Tom should be so quiet today. (很奇怪,湯姆今天居然如此安靜)

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Figment of one’s imagination

Figment of one’s imagination 意為「臆想的事物;虛構的事物;憑空想像的事物」。有趣的是,figment 本身的意思跟這個片語完全一樣,使得 figment of one’s imagination 成為贅述 (tautology)。已知第一個使用這片語的人是英國女作家夏綠蒂‧勃朗特 (Charlotte Brontë),她在她 1847 年出版的世界文學名著《簡愛》(Jane Eyre) 中寫到:”The long dishevelled hair, the swelled black face, the exaggerated stature were figments of imagination.” (凌亂的長髮、腫脹的黑臉、誇張的身材,全都是虛構的)。除了用在這個片語外,figment 本身鮮少單獨使用。Figment of one’s imagination 為可數名詞,複數為 figments of one’s imagination。

例句:

  • I seemed to hear the sound of my front door opening last night but it turned out to be a figment of my imagination. (我昨晚好像聽到前門打開的聲音,但結果是我想太多了)
  • John: A little bird told me that we’ll get large pay rises/raises next year. (約翰:有人告訴我,我們明年將獲得大幅加薪)
    Mary: But many employees believe it’s a figment of the imagination. (瑪麗:但許多員工認為,這純屬虛構)

「你的英文用對了嗎?〔基礎篇〕—英文翻譯專家教你搞定易混淆文法」出版了

「你的英文用對了嗎?〔基礎篇〕—英文翻譯專家教你搞定易混淆文法」(電子書名稱為:「英文文法問題與解答」) 出版了,歡迎批評與指教。〔進階篇〕可望於 6 月初出版。

內容簡介

▍學習英文多年,你是否常常在使用英文的一瞬間猶豫不決,搞不清楚自己這樣用到底是否正確呢?

※ any 後面應接複數還是單數可數名詞呢?
※ anybody, any body, anyone 和 any one 有何不同呢?
※ lots of, a lot of 和 a lot 這三者有何不同呢?
※ 如果句子的最後一個字是有句點的縮寫字,那麼要怎樣標示標點符號來表示句子的結束呢?
※ Miss, Mr., Mrs., Ms. 的複數為何呢?

用過去式指現在的時間

在英文中,為了表示禮貌或使語氣比較沒有那麼直接,有時會使用過去式來指現在的時間。我們通常使用 hope、think、want 和 wonder 等動詞來達成這項目的。在這種句子中,動詞可能是過去簡單式或是過去進行式,後者更有禮貌。例如:

  • I was hoping you had a job. (我希望你有工作) - 沒有 I hope you have a job. 那麼直接。
  • I was having problems with my computer and I was just wondering if you could fix them for me. (我的電腦出了問題,我只是想知道你是否能幫我修復) - 沒有 I have a problem with my computer and I wonder if you could fix it for me. 那麼直接。I was just wondering if …這個句型經常可見,宜牢記。
  • Would you give this book to Simon, please? (請你把這本書拿給賽蒙,好嗎?) - 沒有 Will you give this book to Simon, please? 那麼直接,而且比較有禮貌。
  • I wanted to ask you a question. (我想問你一個問題)

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Economic, economical (adjs.)

Economic 源自 economics (經濟學) 和 economy (經濟),意為「經濟 (上) 的,與經濟有關的;經濟學的;產生經濟效益的;有利可圖的,賺錢的」,如 Economic growth is slowing down. (經濟成長正在減緩中);The government’s economic policies are often attacked. (政府的經濟政策常遭抨擊);Venezuela is in the midst of an economic crisis. (委內瑞拉正處於經濟危機中);The company had to close their Taipei office – with the rent so high it just wasn’t economic. (該公司不得不關閉台北辦事處,因為租金太高,不符經濟效益);The airline says this route is no longer economic, so they’re going to discontinue it. (航空公司說這條航線不再賺錢,因此將予以停飛)。

Economical 亦源自 economy,意為「經濟的,省錢的,經濟實惠的,便宜的;節約的;(人) 節儉的」,如 It would be more economical to switch the machine off at night. (晚上把機器關掉會比較省錢);an economical small car (省油的小汽車);This laptop (computer) is very economical on electricity. (這台筆電很省電);The material is an economical substitute for plastic or steel. (這種材料是塑膠或鋼鐵的低價替代品);He was always economical when it came to buying presents. (談到買禮物,他總是很節儉);Mary is an economical housewife. (瑪麗是個節儉的家庭主婦)。
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At、on 和 in 後接地點的用法 (下)

On 可用來指任何表面上的位置,意為「在…上面;到…上面」。例如:

  • All my books are on the desk. (我所有的書都放在書桌上)
  • She’s lying on the floor. (她躺在地板上)
  • There were several attractive posters on the wall. (牆上有幾張引人注目的海報)
    但 There’s a crack in the wall. (牆上有條裂縫)
  • I could hear the rain falling on the roof. (我聽得到雨滴落在屋頂上的聲音)

On 可用來指建築物的樓層。例如:

  • They live on the 39th floor. (他們住在 40 樓 (英) / 他們住在 39 樓 (美))
  • She works on the 51st floor. (她在 52 樓工作 (英) /她在 51 樓工作 (美))
    - 英國的一樓是 the ground floor,二樓是 the first floor;美國的一樓是 the first floor,二樓是 the second floor。

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At、on 和 in 後接地點的用法 (上)

At 可用來指位置或地點,意為「在…;在…裡;在…旁」。例如:

  • My girlfriend was already waiting at the gate when I got there. (當我到達那裡時,我女朋友已在大門口等候了)
  • Mary was sitting at her desk. (瑪麗坐在她的書桌前)
  • Gary’s sitting at the table in the corner. (蓋瑞坐在角落的一張桌子旁)
  • There’s a telephone booth/box at the crossroads. (十字路口有個電話亭) - 注意:crossroads 雖是複數型,但卻是個單數可數名詞。

At 可用來指在某家公司上班或在某個工作場所工作,但在某部門工作 (任職於某部門) 或在辦公室、辦事處、事務所等建築物工作,要用 in。某家公司的承包商或顧問,由於不是員工,一般都用 with。例如:

  • She works at Google. (她在谷歌上班)
    = She works for Google.
  • She works in the accounting department at Google. (她任職於谷歌的會計部門)
  • She works with Google as a consultant. (她擔任谷歌的顧問)
  • She should be at work by now. (她現在應該在上班) - at work (在上班)、go to work (去上班) 或 off work (沒上班) 中的 work 都意為「工作場所;上班的地方」。

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At the end of one’s rope, at the end of one’s tether

At the end of one’s rope 和 at the end of one’s tether為同義成語,意為「忍無可忍;山窮水盡;黔驢技窮;智窮力竭;筋疲力盡;束手無策;無計可施」。雖然這些中文成語的意思並非完全一樣,但都是在表示智慧、力氣或耐性已經用盡了。在句中,這兩個成語都位在 BE 動詞之後,即 to be at the end of one’s rope/tether。有時,它們會被寫成或說成 to reach the end of one’s rope/tether。

At the end of one’s rope 為美式英語,而 at the end of one’s tether 為英式英語,兩者都主要用於口語,其中 rope 與 tether (拴繩,即拴牛、馬等牲畜用的繩子) 亦可說是同義詞。At the end of one’s rope 可追溯到 1680 年代,但 at the end of one’s tether 起源於何時則無從考證,僅知它來自古瑞典語。
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使用 could 時常見的錯誤;釐清 could 和 can 易混淆之處

能力

Could 和 can 皆可表示能力 (意為「能,會」),前者表示過去的能力,後者表示現在和未來的能力。在此用法中,could 為 can 的過去式。例如:

  • When I was young, I could play the piano, violin, and cello. (年輕時我會彈鋼琴、拉小提琴和大提琴)
  • He can speak English, French, German, and Spanish. (他會講英文、法文、德文和西班牙文)
  • I can walk home after school tomorrow. (明天放學後我能走路回家)

當 could 用作 can 的過去式來表示過去有能力做某事時,這是指過去某一段時間發生的事實。對於過去有能力去做某一偶發的單一事件而且做了,在肯定句中我們就不能使用 could,必須使用 was/were able to 或 managed to 或比較正式的 succeeded in (後接動名詞),意為「成功做到,順利完成」。例如:

  • I was able to get the concert tickets I wanted. (我 [成功地] 買到了我想要的演唱會門票) (正)
    = I managed to get the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    = I succeeded in getting the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    I could get the concert tickets I wanted. (誤)
  • We were able to find the missing girl we were looking for. (我們 [成功地] 找到了我們要找的那個失蹤女孩) (正)
    = We managed to find the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    = We succeeded in finding the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    We could find the missing girl we were looking for. (誤)

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